adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Knocked Up Abroad: La Chambre de Bonbon

We've spent the last few weekends shopping, building, and organizing Bonbon's bedroom and we're finally done!  When we first talked about the vision we had for the room, we wanted to be very minimalistic, knowing that we could be/probably would be picking up and moving during the first 6-9 months of Bonbon's life.  That definitely ruled out painting (not sure if we're allowed to anyway - the previous tenants/owner have some random and terrible faux finish to the room and I don't think we are supposed to disturb it) and also ruled out making any big investments in artwork or furniture until we get back across the pond.  But I really have to give Michael credit, because he was the one who said that he wanted to make Bonbon's room special and do something to decorate. Thanks to our very generous friends, we were able to borrow most of the big ticket items, like the crib, bassinet, stroller, carseat, and swing.  In the end, we only had to buy a crib mattress, dresser and a small bookcase from Ikea, plus our "rocking chair."  It looks like more of a desk chair, but it reclines, swivels, and has a pouf (love that French word for ottoman) and it was only 200€!  Score! I think her room turned out beautifully!  It's a bright and fresh space where she can sleep and grow and play.  Even though it's not much, I'm excited to share it with you! Here's the left side of the room.  I bought the bunting, made from scrap material, from my favorite vintage shop in Montpellier for only 14€!  The sleep sheep was a gift from my best friend, who just had her baby in July.

In addition to the horrible faux finish paint on the bottom half of the room, the previous tenants/owners glued their kids' names onto the doors and the letters will NOT COME OFF.  At least, not without completely destroying the door.  So, as my friend Jillian so astutely questioned, the Bonbon's name is not Quentin as the door indicates.

We decided to use an owl motif for Bonbon's room, so Marq & Dawn brought us these little guys from Spain!

Here is the right side of the room.  You can see the dresser and bookcase that we got from Ikea, bien sûr!  We already had the little side table for this room, so it is now a diaper station.

Here is a close up of her bookcase, fully stocked with gifts like books, stuffed animals and a piggy bank, all from our generous friends.  Some of her other toys and accessories (like shoes and bows) are stored inside the boxes.

A few months ago, we started collecting owls and other animals from our recent travels.  We've amassed a collection from Prague, Villasimius, Roses, and Arles.

When I took Sophie the Giraffe out of her packaging, I accidentally squeezed her causing her to squeak.  Now Fig thinks she's a toy for him and he can often be found whining in front of this shelf, asking if Sophie can come down to play.

Michael picked up this Bonbon tin at the same vintage shop where we got the bunting.  I just love that place!

She has lots of great books to read too.

Here is her makeshift changing table - an Ikea dresser with a changing pad secured with velcro so that it's stable, but we can move it around to other rooms if necessary.  We brought the owl print from our bedroom into Bonbon's room to add some life to this side of the room.

All the drawers are already full!

I love to walk into her room and just stand there and think adding in the best part - a baby!  Only a few more weeks for her arrival.  We are ready for you, Bonbon!

23 Responses to “Knocked Up Abroad: La Chambre de Bonbon”

  1. Sabbio says:

    Oh Natalie, I love this room, so serene and beautiful! I love owls too, her collection is already fantastic! ♥
    Where’s this little vintage shop you’re mentioning?
    And for the rocking chair and pouf (which can also be a “rude” word, be careful while using it ;P) it’s the most useful one, along with scarf and slings, during the first week ^^

  2. Kristen Bradley says:

    Hi Natalie!
    Her room is perfect! I had a thought reading about Fig with Sophie, as my dog wrestled her from her box and squeaked away! When I had Avery, I had my sister bring home the baby hat they first put on her, in advance of our arrival. By the time I brought Ave home, my pup seemed to know her. I think it worked beautifully to decrease doggie anxiety.
    Good luck on d-day! all three of you will do great!

    • Natalie says:

      Thank you Kristen! That is a great idea for Fig and we will definitely do that. The other night, he got up in the middle of the night and peed in her room – VERY unusual for him!! I think he’s marking his territory since it was near Sophie haha!

      • Kristen Bradley says:

        Since you have baby gear from friends, it could be possible that maybe he smells other pets…or babies! I’ve got an old german shepherd and she has done very, very well. My sister actually just had a baby in June and she brought the hat home for her two cats and it eased the initial return for them as well. Sophie is a pricey dog toy, but maybe worth it if he’s really fired up about it! :)

  3. Natalie Dziubek says:

    The room is absolutely beautiful. I cannot wait for her arrival. She is so lucky to have you two as parents. She will love her gorgeous room. You did such a great job Nat which is definitely challenging to do in France.

  4. Kristina Simpson says:

    Congratulations!!!! What a beautiful room. Can’t wait to hear the news of your little gal. Hang in there for the last stretch.

  5. marq says:

    Love the owls…especially the kitchen timer one. And Sophie might as well get to perch with them as well.

  6. JOANNE MALENE says:

    The room looks adorable, Natalie! You two did a great job. I had to laugh when I saw Sophie – Katie’s Andrew has her and loved her to pieces. Sam and I have been counting our encounters with Sophie as we have traveled these past couple of weeks to Germany, Belgium, Luxenburg and now France – just about every baby has a Sophie!! hugs xoxoxoxox

  7. Mom says:

    Can’t wait to see her room – but more excited to see your little Bon Bon in her room!! Won’t be long now !! Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo : )

  8. Susan Davis says:

    What a lovely room!! Full of love already! I did the same thing with my first baby – after everything was ready I just went in and stood looking at it and fingering the clothes and toys. What a wonderful time for you and Michael! I know your momma is excited! And your Gma too! Rest, rest, rest now!

  9. Laura says:

    The room looks great, it must be so exciting being in there.

    For the name on the door, maybe you could get her name on something and cover it, or a canvas? A canvas might leave enough empty space between the frame in the back to cover it up (if that makes any sense).

    Good luck on the last few weeks!

    • Natalie says:

      Great idea, Laura! Michael’s been trying to figure out a way to cover it and we’ve toyed around with the idea of card stock or a framed pictures, but I think a canvas would be perfect. I’m going to try to find one!

  10. Phylis Keaffaber says:

    I mostly use aylcrics as well. In my limited oil painting experience, I’ve used Grumbacher and Holbein. I really enjoy and prefer Holbein’s paints to Grumbacher because, in my experience, they are much more consistent in what comes out of the tube. Holbein’s paint is always a firm paste that spreads like butter. Grumbacher’s don’t always give me that experience they range from the paste to big oily glops (with most of it being pure transparent oil). As far as brushes, I enjoy the Monarch Mongoose brushes as well. I tried buying the Dick Blick branded Red Sables and had a terrible experience with them the bristles were literally falling out of the ferrule. So, I tend to agree that, with paint brushes, you really get what you pay for.I’d like to see a post about your color pallette at some point.Thanks again for the blog.

  11. Kassandra says:

    The eating hallway, along with helping metal-packaged prepared or toast new bass, provides typical Oaxaca cost including meat and quesadillas.
    If the tent cloth needs patching in the rain, ducttape will hold back the

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