Sometimes I look around and realize…everyone I know is pregnant! It has been slowly gathering steam in the last five or so years of my life, but now I am at the stage where it is a full blown pandemic. Where are we going to put all of these new people? I’ll tell you. In well-designed amazingly sweet nurseries, and that's when I step into the picture.
I really enjoy designing nurseries and kids rooms. These spaces are shaped for little people with playful sensibilities, and the normal rules and restrictions imposed by other spaces are easier to bend and break. I can get away with hanging things from the ceiling, and go a bit crazier with color and pattern. All is fair and acceptable when it comes to designing spaces specifically meant for children.
The nursery design I’m going to share with you today is not one of those bright and bold kid spaces. It’s a transitional room with a mix of soft and soothing layers. The furniture and scheme isn’t a revolutionary design, but it's stylish and easily attainable for most homeowners. It was an e-design submission I developed that never came to fruition, so I’m going to share it here instead.
We begin with inspiration. I ask that all of my clients submit images that reflect the aesthetic or feeling they are hoping to achieve in their completed space. I quickly browse through the images to pick up themes and ensure that we are on the same page. For instance, if I notice a lot of the images have dramatic chandeliers then I make a mental note that it could be an option for the space.
From there, I start to do my own research and pull together a conceptual image (sometimes in my head, sometimes in Photoshop) using photographs and products. I use it as a reference point to check that my design is staying within the parameters of my original intention. It can of course shift and change, but it’s nice to have a self-imposed guide.
In looking at these photos you can see some of the ideas that stuck:
-Light walls with a subtle patterned wallpaper.
-Blue, gray, and white scheme with one or two accent colors.
-Animal artwork and a pouf. Apparently these two are prerequisites for any successful nursery design.
-Contemporary and impactful lighting.
I love some of these so much that I would gladly use them as my own bedroom, specifically number 3 and 5. Those daybeds are both killer in different ways. I also like that each of these rooms have a borderline grownup aesthetic, and many of the pieces could easily transition to any room.
Now that I’ve dissected the inspiration images it’s time to discuss the design at hand. Nurseries always have the same basics: crib, changing table, storage, and comfy chair. Functionality is the first priority for this type of space. I immediately knew that I wanted to keep the crib white and simple in shape. I also wanted to make the wallpaper, lighting, and artwork the center of attention. In real life those two bookcases would be styled to the max and the bedding would add layers and depth to the crib, so I didn’t want to over do it with the actual piece of furniture. The space has existing molding breaking the walls into large panels. I proposed insetting the scalloped wallpaper into these panels to create a subtle pattern backdrop for the furniture.The scallops are repeated in one of my favorite light fixtures, which would be centered in the room.
The artwork is a series of prints done by talented artist, Lulie Wallace, and helps to tie all of the colors together. My favorite navy campaign dresser easily transitions into a changing station with the help of its sidekick, Ellie the Hamper (sourced from Home Depot of all places). Many of these furnishings are items that I specify regularly in non-baby rooms, ensuring that the owners can use them for more than a couple of years. Always a plus with quickly growing children.