by Audrey Choi
I love nursery design! It’s the one room where even the most conservative person is willing to take a walk on the wild side. Playful patterns, lush textures and bold colors, the nursery is one of my favorite spaces to design and decorate.
Where do you start if you’re not sure what you want? Let one thing inspire you – maybe it’s a favorite color or a cool wallpaper you saw in a magazine. It could be a painting, an old rocking chair, or even a beloved stuffed animal. If you keep that anchor item or color in your mind, other choices should start to fall into line. I once helped put together a nursery inspired by Wes Andersen’s Moonrise Kingdom. The room came together beautifully with neutral colors, artwork and fabrics of woodland creatures and rusticated wood furniture. You don’t need to go too crazy keeping with the theme, but it’s a great jumping off point.
When converting our storage room/office to a nursery, I started with the wall color since it was already painted a bright shade of blue (Benjamin Moore Ash Blue). I knew I wanted a big statement art piece behind the crib and I had always loved the Flensted swallow mobile. With my blue walls and those two things in mind, I started imagining a bird theme. I had a vision of white branches etched on plexiglass that, like a shadowbox, would cast subtle shadows on the wall during the day. And when something gets stuck in my head, I become obsessed! This was my statement art piece and I was determined to make it work. After discovering that printing it would be astronomical, I decided to DIY it with the help of my handy hubby (I was very pregnant at the time). Naturally, he was thrilled to follow my crazy whim! I drew up a tree pattern, ordered a custom decal from Surface Collective which was applied to the back of a giant piece of plexi glass picked up from Canal Plastic. That was a breeze to get home! Then it was anchored to the wall with stainless steel standoffs so that it would appear to be floating. It created the perfect backdrop for our Sundvik IKEA crib, Flensted mobile and feather sheets from Etsy! The rest of the room came together easily with neutral colors, soft pillows and other bird inspired artwork.
I don’t know exactly what it is about nurseries that makes them so different from every other room in the house. Maybe it feels like the first gift we can give our brand new babies or maybe it’s the opportunity for us to fulfill some suppressed desire to have the room we always dreamed of as a kid. In the end, remember that your baby won’t care what the nursery looks like. Design the room to make it your happy place. A calm and cozy place where you will want to spend hours and hours looking at the REAL statement piece – your nursery’s perfectly designed new resident!