The nursery has been a labor of love for me. Piece by piece, the room has come together and evolved. The design concept began as an excel spreadsheet with bedding I liked and paint colors and furniture, and then changed slightly as I bought each piece as a result of a good deal or a measurement I needed to stick to or what was available at the moment that I wanted to buy it. The room started as a pink home office, and has been transformed into a calm, cozy blue space perfect for rocking a baby to sleep.
You’ve seen most of the pieces I’ve picked out so far except one thing. THE CHAIR. I searched and searched and searched for the perfect rocking chair. For me, it was the hardest thing to decide on. I knew I wanted something upholstered (Benjamin and I both have totally irrational fears of creaky old wooden rockers — they seem too “Hand that Rocks the Cradle” in our home). And I knew it had to be compact, above all, because our nursery is on our third floor in a converted attic. Let’s just say the two flights of stairs to get there are VERY tight, and we’ve had to nix several pieces of furniture in the past that could not make the corners.
But I had one other stipulation, too — it couldn’t be stupidly expensive! I was shocked when I began my search for the perfect glider and found prices hovering around $1,000. Are you kidding me? Some people swear that they almost never use their rockers anyway, so I was not about to spend that kind of cash on a piece of furniture that might not even get a lot of use.
I LOVE the modern lines of the Nurseryworks Sleepytime rocker… but with a $900 price tag? No thank you!
And the Pottery Barn Dream Rocker seemed like the perfect fit (and even comes in an impressive array of fabrics), but again, the price tag was a huge obstacle ($750 with the cheapest fabric option for the slipcover).
The mid-century modern design lover in me almost pulled the trigger on ordering an Eames molded fiberglass rocker, but when I thought about the reality of sweaty thighs sticking to the seat while rocking a baby to sleep in August, and how uncomfortable those arm rests would be while holding a baby in nursing position, I forced myself to rethink that decision.
I began to think that what I was looking for just didn’t exist. I checked Craigslist every day for new listings, and search eBay relentlessly. Nada. So then I turned to the unexpected source of the rest of my nursery furniture — Walmart! Lo and behold, look at what they have:
An upholstered rocker for $170. You have to buy the slipcover separately, but you get your choice of several colors for only $60, so the whole shebang is about $230. And free shipping right to your door! I read some iffy reviews online, but it sounded like most people were complaining that their slipcovers were not in stock at the time, so they had a chair they couldn’t use. The slipcover I wanted was in stock, so that wasn’t a concern for me. Also, a few people mentioned that it was kind of hard to rock on carpet. I figured I wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny that until I bought it, and probably wasn’t going to be a huge issue for me either.
My review: Walmart came through for me again! The chair is adorable. The chair base and slipcover (I got “butter”, which is somewhere between beige and light yellow) shipped within a few short days of placing my order, and all the parts arrived safe and sound. It was a breeze to put together (although easier with two people, since the pieces are somewhat large), but the fact that it shipped in pieces solved my “how to get this up the stairs” conundrum. Also, the brown wood of the rocker base coordinates perfectly with my crib and changing table without looking too matchy matchy for my taste. One downside: The commenters who said it didn’t rock very well were right — it’s not so easy to rock. However, that may be due to our plush carpet, and might be solved by putting one of those plastic pads down (like people do under a rolling desk chair) or even planing down the rockers so they have a different angle. For now, we’re going to live with it and see if it becomes an issue.
The best part? It didn’t break the bank. And in my opinion, that made up for the fact that maybe it wasn’t the MOST stylish of all the options I considered.