When Rachel Schultz first saw the 1970s colonial that she now calls home, it was dated and musty, but she saw the potential it had and decided to take on the challenge of renovating it. Her goal was for it to feel fresh and clean, but with a touch of historic, and so far, we think she’s done an amazing job. One room, in particular, stands out to us, and that is her baby’s nursery, which is also used as a guest room. An unlikely combination, the space is a great example of how Rachel is making the best use of the rooms in her home. It’s a sophisticated room with sweet and whimsical details that make it perfect for people young and old. Get ready to learn more about Rachel and her gorgeous home below.
You’re a blogger, a mama and a homemaker. What inspired you to start your blog?
It would be so sad for domestic things to fall out of trend. The home is maybe the most important place in the entire world for our family and for communities. It is where we rest, and most often where we work through failures and problems and then get built back up again. My blog is about what it takes to manage a household and tend to the people in it. It is often quiet labor that takes a sustained grit, but it is a beautiful life well spent. And also because sometimes you just need an answer to the question, what am I making for dinner?
You’re currently renovating your 1970s colonial in Michigan. What inspired you to take on such an undertaking with your home?
The first time we toured our home, it was thoroughly musty and dated, but had just the right classic lines that I knew I could transform it and boost the existing character. I wanted a challenge, and I fell in love. All the bedrooms were mostly plain, yellow-y white boxes, so when starting to decorate, my goal was for it to feel fresh and clean, but with a touch of historic.
We love that you decided to combine your guest room with your nursery. Can you tell us a little bit more about that process?
I really require every space in our home to carry its weight. If we aren’t going in a room often, I need to repurpose it to make the square footage earn its keep so we actually want to be in there. Guest rooms and dining rooms can be so bad at this! Our guest room was used maybe once every other month, which is enough that I didn’t want to get rid of it, but it needed another dose of functionality.
That is when we decided to make it into a combined nursery and guest room. I love being able to have accommodations for someone traveling with a little one, and it lets our older children continue having their own rooms as our third baby just arrived.
Aside from the combined nursery, what influences have your children had on how you decorate your home and the aesthetic you were going for?
I am a little obsessed with sophisticated children’s rooms. This space had to feel mature enough for adults, but with a touch of whimsy for it to be a sweet place to bring our newborn home to. Right now, my accessories are skewing a bit boyish because that is who we currently have in here, but I would tweak accessories for a (hypothetical) future girl.
With the challenge of styling utilitarian kid things (like a changing table), I have found the best strategy is to keep it neutral. It is a hard task to make these type of pieces attractive, so I prefer to have it blend in instead of trying to make wipes and a changing pad seem pretty. Motherhood has changed some of my design choices, but we still insist on creating a home where children and adults feel comfortable and inspired.
We love how light and bright the room feels. What was your inspiration when designing how the room would feel?
Because I always tend to like painting rooms all white, I have learned to make them not feel boring with great architectural details. In here, that meant some installing board and batten and a statement ceiling medallion. When I do interesting structural elements like this, I then prefer to keep the window treatment as a crisp roman shade to let those details take center stage. The combination feels perfectly tailored.
To keep the look feeling effortless and chic, I did just a few really high-style art pieces. The hands print is actually a framed and matted wallpaper sample! It is one of my favorite ways to do art inexpensively.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to create structure and self impose different weekdays for specific things: A laundry day, an errand day, a social day, a cleaning day. For me, forming a rhythm is valuable for a stay-at-home mom or self-employed person who doesn’t necessarily have a schedule required of her. Overall, I spend a typical day taking care of our babies and doing household tasks while they are awake. And then naptime and post bedtime are when I would do blogging, social media-ing or make progress on house projects.
You’re an avid recipe maker and food blogger. What three items are always in your fridge?
- Hard boiled eggs—good for enhancing a breakfast or salad
- Nutella—basic, but true
- Green onions—every dish needs a little green and these are one with a long shelf life, versatile and very inexpensive.
Can you offer one piece of advice to new moms decorating a nursery?
Certainly, there are some essentials you have to have ready as soon as your baby comes home. But for baby gear, I have waited to buy any specific piece until I have found myself mentally reaching for something that provides its function. I didn’t want a bouncy seat until my second. I never used my baby carrier for my first two children, but with my third I do find myself needing it for outings. I still don’t have a baby walker. These examples would be different for your personality and family, but my advice: Take your time on buying baby gear.
What’s the best way to end your day?
We are not ones to demonize screen time. Like many things, it can be used wrongly, but my husband and I love watching movies, so we don’t place different standards on our kids to not like that kind of entertainment. And watching through a television series together is bonding. So my answer—Jeni’s ice cream, a candy bar and movie night!