Tuesday, August 3, 2010

...about a nursery.

Margie and her husband (who's currently serving in the Armed Forces) are expecting their first child, and converting a bedroom in their new home to the baby's room. Since they don't know if they are expecting a boy or a girl, Margie is a little stumped on where to start, but knows she doesn't want the minty-madness currently covering the room. And while she knows, color-wise, what she doesn't like, she is (like many) confounded by all the choices when faced with a paint deck.

So, where to start? Ditch the swatches, and start with art.

Specifically, the artwork of illustrator Matte Stephens. The happy palette of earthy citrus colors and purply-grays in his "Augustus the Lion" is the perfect jumping off point that's gender neutral, upbeat but also not overly juvenile... so the room's decor can grow up right along with the little inhabitant. From there, bursts of CB2's "grellow" (in wall-hung Hyde storage units that also double as display shelving, Geisha lamps and a City Slicker side table), dove gray (Oeuf crib and Dwellstudio bedding and Serena and Lilly fabrics), and fresh white provide the basic color structure that's a surprisingly neutral starting point.

And since there's no better place for color-fun than a nursery, I'd do a randomly striped (in various widths) accent wall of multiple colors from Mythic Paints, available at Land of Nod. Their sunny apple yellow ("Golden Delicious") on the remaining walls, over a base of Land of Nod's paintable textured wall covering, would give the room a buoyant lift.

Mythic Paint's non-toxic and zero VOC "Golden Delicious" from Land of Nod

The lion print also gets an animated animal theme going, and the modern, textured shapes of Jonathan Adler's ceramic menagerie and giraffe sconces, along with Dwellstudio's elephant book shelf, create a look that's one part zoo, one part circus, one part animal crackers, sure to spark the imagination of a young lion tamer, budding zoologist or jungle explorer for years to come. To up the fun, I'd have custom shades made from Serena and Lily's Diamond fabric for the sconces.

Jonathan Adler's Ceramic Elephant

The room stays energetic with a mix of modern geometrics-- perfect for stimulating little eyes, and learning shapes-- throughout. As a base for the room with a long life ahead of it, I'd do blackout Roman shades made from Serena and Lily's Diamond pattern in Fog, a Zig-Zag rug from Jonathan Adler, and the textured wallpaper from Land of Nod that also plays off the tone-on-tone textures of Adler's animals.

Land of Nod's "Squared Up" Paintable Wallcovering

Grown-up seating in a nursery is key... and should be a combination of options for the new mom, proud pop and various visitors. Serena and Lily's "Presidio" glider, in fresh white with a custom band of color, is a great option. New moms, don't go pale: it's a hardworking and easily laundered slipcover. Or consider Jonathan Adler's swanky but functional "Mr. Godfrey" chair, with its low arms and high back perfectly suited to singing lullabies and stealing catnaps. There's also ample room for a sleek Eames rocker (or without rockers as side chairs), also another opportunity for either a dose of color or a breather of fresh white. Knitted poufs from CB2 provide feet-up comfort for adults now, the perfect pull-up for a toddler a little later.

CB2's Knitted Poufs

And who says you have to shop in the nursery section for furnishings? Consider CB2's small-scale but hardworking Swig bar... a perfect multi-purpose piece, clean lined and neutral, that can be used as a changing table, with loads of storage.
CB2's Swig Bar

CB2's modern wire Orbit mobile is a fresh spin on the norm, and repeats the geometric theme, while easily moved Pablo side tables are functional and fun dots of color. Dwellstudio's organic "Circles" bedding, mixed with their Dove Gray "Squares," provides a great bedding base that's both energetic and calm.

Dwellstudio's Machine Washable Organic Knit Blanket

In all, it's a cohesive and vibrant plan that takes a walk on the Wild side, giving lots of visual and tactile interest to the home's newest little inhabitant. And a room that will make the parents almost as proud as the occupant happily residing in happily within it.


  1. Hello Patrick! Wow! I just can't get enough of your designs... fabulous! Love the Union Square re-do and I'm so ready to make some changes in my home (almost the same lay-out as that apartment except for an angled fireplace wall...) What should I do? Thanks for being such a great inspiration! Vanessa

  2. Vanessa! You made my day... snap some pics and email them to me at hatrickdesign@aim.com and I will give you any and all ideas I have!

    Thanks for asking patrick!

  3. LOVE your ideas!!!! Soon as things settle I can't wait to put some of this into action!

  4. You are so clever. Love these ideas! Remember me when you are on HGTV.

  5. THANK YOU, Serena and Lily, and Dwellstudio, for actually donating product for Margie!

    Not so lucky with Jonathan Adler or CB2, though!

  6. Can you share source for the rug? Beautiful nursery. I saved it immediately. Coolest nursery I have seen!

  7. Stacey-- That rug is from Jonathan Adler. Try also CB2's ZigZag rug... same color scheme, slightly more active, irregular pattern.

  8. Stunning!! Lucky baby!!
    Let's have Margie post some pictures after the Nursery is done!!