Welcome to Lay Baby Lay

Nursery Decor & Baby Room Ideas


small closet makeover

Recently, sweet Sheaffer asked me to participate in a new column on her blog, Pinterest Told Me To, called “closet confessions.”  (She uses Pinterest for wardrobe inspiration, and then posts her interpretations using items from her own closets, plus other great style tips!)  She asked for some photos of my closet, along with a few details about some of the pieces hanging in it (check out the post to see).  I quickly jumped on the idea because the thought of re-organizing and refreshing my closet has been on the back of my mind for quite awhile.

It can be a challenge to keep everything organized in this season of life, where it seems I am in a cycle of not pregnant, pregnant, super pregnant, post-pregnant, nursing, post-pregnant-and-not-nursing-but-haven’t-lost-all-the-baby-weight-yet, and so on.  And then if you hope to do it again, you don’t really want to get rid of it all, because you don’t want to have to buy new clothes when you are once again in the hopefully very short season of post-pregnant-and-not-nursing-but-haven’t-lost-all-the-baby-weight-yet.

small closet makeover

Also, as we live in a 1948 house, our closets are all fairly small so we don’t have much extra storage.  My closet is what I’d call a “step-in,” as in you can step in, turn around, and step out.  There is no walking involved, but you can actually get into the closet at a snug 60″ x 30″.

small closet makeover

Formerly, the closet had a rod on both sides, with shelves above, and I had all most of my shoes scattered on the floor.  I decided to paint it all black, to sort of give it a boutique look, and when I took down the rods and shelves I was happy to discover there were shelf supports already existing all up and down one side of the closet.

This was also extra incentive to do some real purging, because I’ve seen photos of gorgeous closets with shoes lining the walls.  I did an honest evaluation of my clothes, taking out those that don’t fit well or that I just don’t wear, making a concise collection that fits on one rod.  Then, I was able to organize my shoes up and down the shelves on the other side.

small closet makeover

On one shelf, I displayed my treasured Harry Potter collection (my guilty pleasure when I’m feeling a little stressed) and a pair of vintage brass camels that are great for holding accessories, plus this lovely little box that contains smaller jewelry items.

small closet makeover

small closet makeover

On the other side, I have clothes hanging on the rack, and my jeans are stacked on the shelf above.

small closet makeover

I painted the walls all black (caviar by Sherwin-Williams), which is really dramatic and fun, and I wanted to add some kind of interest to the back wall.  I loved the backdrop Anna Rifle Bond created for the Rifle Paper Co. booth at the stationery show, so I tried my hand at a simple floral design (not nearly as awesome as hers, of course!) with a gold sharpie.  I just wanted it to be kind of loose and organic and not too perfect and I also painted some light pink dots on the wall for a little added interest.

small closet makeover

So, there you have it!  A quick little closet redo.  It took me about three hours from start to finish, seriously (of course, it’s a very small space!), which was much less than I expected.   It’s so nice to actually know what is in there and be able to get to it easily, which makes getting ready infinitely better.  I have maternity clothes and other staples I wanted to save in two bins under our bed, so the only items there are those I can wear at this point.

Be sure to check out Pinterest Told Me To today to see a few more photos, as well as some of my favorite things from my closet.  I have several friends who are big fans of Sheaffer and take lots of inspiration from her, and if you aren’t familiar with her site,  she’s an adorable wife and mom who uses Pinterest as inspiration to put together outfits with items from her own closet.  She has become somewhat of a personal stylist for her readers, giving them courage to try out new trends and looks, and they clearly love taking her advice!

small closet makeover

Thanks, Sheaffer, for letting me play along!   Be sure to enter the awesome $150 Stella and Dot giveaway she is offering below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


jonilay"Hi Erika! Thanks so much! The poster is from one of my favorite poster artists, Jason Munn. …"

Erika"Wow, that black and gold wall is stunning!! Can you please tell me where you got that amazing Flight of …"

Catching My Eyes and Ears This Week | The Clever Pony : Thoughtful Branding + Design"[…] gorgeous, handpainted small closet makeover that is completely inspiring me to makeover my […] "

Kelly Crawford"Oh my goodness! I love the black with the gold sharpie!!!! Totally know what I am doing in our mud …"

laura"love the black and gold! "

Katie F"Love the dramatic walls! "


girl baby room ideas

Some feathered inspiration for today.  Love that gorgeous rug!

A few fun links for Friday, too:

How awesome are these potty training charts from Hello Lucky?  There is a girl version and a boy version (hilarious!!).  Perfect for when you are on the potty train wreck.

Love these new zebra crib sheets.

I was happy to recently find one of my favorite shops again (she left etsy and I couldn’t find her!).  She makes the cutest little animals and often does sales on instagram.  The bunnies are ridiculous and perfect for Easter.

Chip bought me this adorable edition of Alice in Wonderland (love Mr. Boddington’s studio!) and I’ve really been enjoying reading it, not to mention it’s perfect on my nightstand.



Jenn Lara"Love so much!! Just ordered the lemon poster!! Thanks for such awesome ideas!! "

1 comment

on marriage


(my grandparents)

Just a little slice of life here.  I am working on our bedroom, as I mentioned Monday, and I’m planning to hang a print out of a note Chip received from a friend.  As I was getting it ready to hang, I reflected a little on what was behind it, and I thought I’d share.

It was before we found out we were expecting Brigette, and Vivi was about 17 months old and we had settled into a pretty good routine.  Everything was just kind of normal.  I remember at that time driving in my car somewhere with Vivi and I was thinking about our life and it just kind of felt a bit dry.  Not bad, mind you, but it just felt like we had settled a bit.  Chip’s work was going well, and he worked late some nights, and it seemed our days and evenings were predictable with Vivi, and you know, things were just routine.  Not many surprises, everything was just comfortable.  And it was comfortable with Chip and me.  We had been married for four and a half years and I thought, “well, I guess this is it.  We’re out of the newlywed phase and just doing life now.”

Rather than being terribly bothered by that thought, I just went with it.  I mean, things were just fine.  Just not spectacular, I guess.

Then, we decided to refinance our house at a much lower interest rate, and because that process involves a meeting with other adults and signing 18,000 pieces of paper, Chip and I asked my mom to come up for the day and keep Vivi.  We left the house around 9 a.m. on a Friday, and she said she would keep her all day, so we planned to stay out.  I dressed up.  I wore a skirt and carried a tiny purse (because when do I ever get to do that?) and dried my hair.  After the meeting, we realized we had an entire day with absolutely no plans.  And no nap schedule to adhere to.  And it felt so good.  I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so free.  We stopped at a fancy-ish place and had a delightful lunch, then we went to the mall and Chip bought me a dress just because, then we caught a matinee movie because we could, and we rounded out the night with burgers and fries at a favorite restaurant where we played board games and talked about our dreams and just anything at all that came into our heads.  It was amazing.

The next morning, we had to run to a shop to pick up a mother’s day gift for Chip’s grandmother.  My mom was still in town, so she stayed with Vivi and we ran into this friend.  He’s really more of an acquaintance in the creative world, and we don’t know him super well, but he is one of those people who just knows how to throw out truth when he sees it.  He is discerning and encouraging, and it’s kind of a rare gift to find.  It was a short little interaction, and then a couple of days later, Chip forwarded me the email he received.  This is part of what it said:

I read it and tears sprang up in my eyes.  I thought, “he’s absolutely right!  We are in great love!  This is a fantastic adventure we are living together.  How could I ever possibly forget?”  How good to have someone reiterate it just when I needed to hear it.   I don’t share this to say “look at us, we have it all together” because that isn’t the point, and it’s also not the case.  The point is we took a time out from everything to reconnect, and it obviously made a difference.  It recentered us, reconnected us.   I have saved that note with plans to hang it as a reminder when things feel dry, that we have a great love, and it’s worth reading daily to really look at this precious person that swept me off my feet with fresh eyes unclouded by the daily stuff that dulls the senses.  Just so good.

And it’s also a great reminder to speak truth into the lives of others when we see it.  Sometimes it’s exactly what their heart needs to hear.


Natasha"This is such a sweet post. And I think we all feel exactly how you describe feeling... It is so …"

Brianne Heape"Thank you, Joni! All extra prayers are greatly appreciated. "

Kate"came here from my friend lesley's blog, and just wanted to say i love this post! such a sweet reminder …"

Chrissy"Thanks for sharing. A really touching story. Oh the joys of love "

jonilay"Ahh, yes for sure, Anna! I love your recent post on dating. So good! "

jonilay"Thanks, Meg!! I really appreciate that. "


our bedroom


I am working on updating our bedroom, and it’s nearly done!  Above is a bit of the inspiration.  It is feeling so much fresher and happier than it was before.   It’s so nice to have a (nearly) finished and thoughtful bedroom.  It’s so hard to pay attention to our own space when other places seem to demand more immediate attention, but it’s really paying off!  And, can I just say, those sconces are super dreamy?  We have them on dimmers, and it’s so perfect for reading before bed!  That black and white print is by Vivi, and I have two smaller ones – such fun additions to the space.  I also adore the side cart as an end table.  It works great, and I can also easily move it if needed for entertaining purposes.  Below is a little peek from a post a couple of weeks ago:

master bedroom ideas




jonilay"Thanks, Anna!! "

Anna @ IHOD"It looks dreamy! Can't wait to see more! "

jonilay"Hi Katerina! Thanks so much! I honestly have never thought about it - we have had this headboard …"

Katerina@lexandliv"Hi Joni, beautiful style board, as always! Do you find the metal bed uncomfortable though? I've had one for a few years …"


It’s Friday!  Yay!  I’m so excited it’s the weekend, and it’s a gorgeous day.  (Picture of Vivi in the Home Depot bathroom last night.  Public restrooms are all new territory since we got on the potty train.  Clearly I have been missing out on the adventure that is a sensor hand dryer!  It is good to always have a reminder to find joy in the little things!).  I feel like it’s been one of those weeks when I have gotten everything done and also absolutely nothing done at the same time.  Do you ever feel that way?  I’m constantly busy with the every day tasks, yet if feels like I’m not really making many forward strides.  I’ll blame the time change . . .

A few things from this week:

We are trying out this new budget software, and I am loving it.  That’s a win, for sure.

I’m making some plans to update Vivi’s room a bit.  Check out the pinterest board to see some of the inspiration.

Did you see Lesley’s gorgeous bedroom?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about unplugging.  This book and this book both look inspiring.

I’m starting this study with some girlfriends next week, and I’m excited to dig in.

I also purged, cleaned, painted, and organized my closet this week.  I’m pretty excited to have it done.  It’s such a challenge to organize a closet during this season of life, when you are not pregnant, pregnant, nursing, post baby, and then kind of back to normal.  It feels like I’m never the same!  It felt great to really sort through it all and I look forward to sharing it soon!  


kelsey"We use and love YNAB! So glad you are enjoying it as well. "

Kitty lay"I'm very impressed with your accomplishments! I think the last time I painted a closet was just before we …"

Laura"Mine always says, "I not like that loud air, Mommy." "

Lisa"Sounds to me like you got a ton done! Purging, cleaning, painting—wow. I am always shelving projects, and I only …"