Entries in nursery (7)


Shhh ... Brooklyn Heights Nursery Sneak Peek

Here's a little taste of a nursery design I'll be sharing in the next few weeks. Full disclosure: While these pics were snapped with an iPhone, they were taken by my photographer extraordinaire, Raquel Langworthy, of Raquel Bianca Creative - so this is just to say that even though they're not the "official" photographs of the room, they're still pretty damn good. 

I'll fill you in on the inspiration and details later on. For now, however, I'll stick to the facts and try not to editorialize:

- The clients: Two lawyers living in Brooklyn Heights expecting their second daughter.

- The space: Like a supermodel. Tall and skinny. Think 9' by 12' at its widest and longest points with 10' ceilings. 

- The big idea: Small space, big personality! 

- Wait, is that a Murphy bed?! Yep, designed and made by Roberto Gil of Casa Kids. He also made all of the other millwork and the crib. He did an amazing job. (Ok, so a little editorializing never hurt anyone.)

Take a look and stay tuned for the full reveal in the next few weeks!




It's Show Time!

Well, autumn is finally in full swing. The kids are back in school (first full week this week - yay!), a lot of new projects are up and running, and I'm back to blogging regularly - or as regularly as possible. As you know, a lot of my summer was spent working on The Nursery for the Cedar Knolls Design Show House in Laurel Hollow, NY. Last week, I received these gorgeous photos by Raquel Langworthy of Raquel Bianca Creative and I could not wait to share them!

The inspiration for this room was the classic children's book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are. This was one of my favorite stories growing up. I couldn't get enough of Sendak's fantastical sketches then and I can't now! As soon as I saw this Fornasetti wallpaper from Cole and Son, I was instantly transported - and I knew that visitors to the show house would be too. To make a big impact, I papered all four walls with the Chiavi Segrete print and used an antique mirror pattern, also from Cole and Son, for the ceiling. Since the room was fairly small, the result was an all-encompassing feeling of coziness, meant to transport the viewer into a fantasy land. 

More practically speaking, however, another goal of this room was to illustrate to people that you can design a gender-neutral nursery that is neither boring nor blah. Yep, this is not a blah room. Just ask this guy.

He lives under the swing and was there to greet the guests when they walked in. Nice touch, I thought. 

Another attraction of the room was the porch swing hanging from the ceiling. Many of my clients these days are opting to forgo a glider or rocker, in favor of a daybed in the nursery. This shows that you can have both! (It really is quite comfortable.)

Another traditional piece of nursery furniture that I find my clients opting out of - with my support - is a changing table. Don't get me wrong, we have not perfected babies to the point that they no longer need diapers (I'm working on it), it's just that a changing table is a somewhat expensive piece of furniture with a limited lifespan. Even the "convertible changing tables" - dressers with a changing table topper - do not fare well with time. (The topper tends to scratch the top of the dresser underneath.) I encourage clients to look for a dresser that they love and then we use a little magic (I'll share my trick for this in another post) to turn it into a safe changing table for baby. Here, I used a small chest of drawers from Brownstone furniture as the changing table.

and from the aligator's point of view...

You can never have too much storage in a nursery. Babies just have a lot of stuff. While people usually gravitate toward floor bins and bookcases, they don't often think of taking advantage of other vertical surfaces in the room - like doors. Here, I installed three hooks on the back of the door and hung embroidered boat totes that I ordered from Land's End. It's easy - Baby wants to play with something? Take down the bag. Baby is done playing with something? Load up the bag and hang it up. Simple as that. 

The other storage item that I used in the room were these custom acrylic towers. Because the room was so small and had so much going on already, I wanted the necessary nursery items - books!! - to seem to float in mid-air. Mission accomplished. Or so says the giraffe...

Speaking of nursery essentials. You can't have a nursery without a crib! (I guess you technically could, but I wouldn't recommend it.) For a special touch and one that would pick up on the garden motif, I used the Martine crib from RH Baby & Child. The bedding is custom from Doodlefish Kids.

Finally, no Play Chic room would be complete without tons of fanciful details. From a handmade mobile (by moi) to a rollerskating giraffe, this room is chock full of wonderful and wacky moments. 

That's all for now! As always, thanks for playing!




Some nursery fun!

It's hard to believe that it's almost August! Where has the summer gone? Well, I've resolved to make work/play balance my priority for August. So while I'm busy with nurseries, apartments, showcases, and trade shows, I will be making a concerted effort to be outside tending to our vegetable garden and playing with the kids at the pool everyday. Yep. Every. Day. I know that shouldn't sound like such a tall order - especially from someone who runs a business centered around kids! - but knowing when to stop working has never been my strong suit. Well, here's to a new leaf! (No more talk of fall, I promise.)

One of the projects that has been keeping me busy this summer is a nursery for a client who lives in Brooklyn. When the project is finished, I'll go through all the details, but, for now, let's focus on the space itself. The nursery is going to be for the family's second daughter, who is due in the fall. The room is long and narrow - about 6 feet wide - and kind of oddly shaped. But not to fear! To accommodate these, um, "challenges" we're working with some of my favorite vendors to create a space that will be bright, clean, and brimming with color!

I don't want to give too much of it away just yet, so here are two of the client's initial concept boards. We tweaked them both to come up with the perfect mix for this very lucky little girl. Our final creation is staying secret with me - for now. But I can't wait to share it all with you soon! 

Eclectic Artistry

Bright Bohemian


Sophisticated Fun Nursery


I wanted to share this inspiration board which I recently completed for a client who is due with her first baby in July. We are working quickly to get this nursery ready in time! The client has been a dream to work with so far - she has fabulous taste and she makes decisions quickly. She also had this amazing piece of art, shown in the board above, which was painted for her as a wedding gift. It's a very personal piece, so we decided to make it the jumping off point for a very personal room. The client is not finding out the gender of the baby beforehand, so we're sticking with a white/black/gray color scheme with pops of yellow for now. When the baby arrives, we'll pull in some rich blues or deep purples, depending on the sex. This is going to be one showstopping room for one fabulous baby!


Ikea Malm Dresser Transformation

I would normally call this type of upgrade putting lipstick on a pig, only that would be mean to Ikea. Seriously, I love Ikea. I would marry Ikea. So, Ikea, please don't take this personally.

What I have for you today is my ridiculously easy step by step tutorial for creating a pretty awesome chest of drawers for my daughters' room. 

Just to give you some background, this project was part of the larger task of transitioning my girls' nursery to a kid room. And, kids being kids, they move at their own pace. I mean I would have done this project MONTHS ago, but who knew that, even though they're toilet trained, they would harbor a strangely intense attraction to their changing table. I'm no Freud here, but we can speculate...

Moving on. While the girls' room was not quite "done", in my opinion, it was certainly not neutral. Teal carpet. Chartreuse ceiling. Not an easy combination, but I love it. Here's a shot of part of the room, showing only one of the cribs.


And the ceiling.

I knew that I wanted to wallpaper the wall that the door to the room is on and, since you would not see it until you actually entered the room, I knew I wanted it to be something bold. Something girly, but not too girly. So I tried out a few options. (These samples were up for so long that my kids thought that this was the wallpaper!)

I decided to go with Haze from Cole and Sons.


I was definitely a risk because the scale of the pattern is similar to the one on the ceiling, but I decided to go for it. I also had the doors in the room faux painted to pick up the colors of the paper. It was a luxury; a finishing touch that added to the statement made by the juxtaposition of the two papers. (You can see this some pics at the end of this post.)

Now I needed a chest of drawers. I didn't want anything that would stand out and take away from the wall. I decided on something with an antiqued mirror finish, but everything I found was $1000. Not what I was looking to spend. Then I came across this photo in Elle Decor.



I immediately fell in love with the chest of drawers. When I checked the sources, I found out that it was a good old Ikea Malm dresser - in mirror! It was meant to be. So I went online and ordered myself a mirrored Malm dresser for $299. Easy enough. 


When it arrived, I was pretty pleased. Of course, it's not true mirror, it's a foil finish, but I knew that ahead of time. What concerned me was that this kind of finish can be very fragile, so I breathed a sigh of relief when it came undamaged. But now I needed something to jazz up my plain jane mirrored Malm. I mean, I couldn't just put it in the room next to that gorgeous wallpaper and expect it not to feel badly. We must be nice to our furniture.

Luckily, I remembered reading about a company called O'verlays that makes fretwork panels specifically designed to be compatible with Ikea products. They have tons of options! And the website is filled with inspirational images about what you can do with their products. This is a brilliant idea and it could not have been easier to do. 

I decided to go with three Danika panels for $18.75 apiece. I thought the jagged pattern picked up the gold pattern in the wallpaper and I liked that the idea of fretwork mirrored the motif in the ceiling paper. A few days later, the panels showed up in perfect condition. They're made of some kind of composite and come in white, although they are completely paintable. Here's a shot of one in its raw state.



From here, I sprayed each of the panels with Krylon all purpose primer (2 coats for good measure) and then with two coats of Krylon General Purpose Metallic in Gold (which is really more of a dark, bronzey gold). I was so excited to get my spray on that I did the first coats of primer in the house. It was really cold outside and I wasn't sure if the paint would adhere. [Note to self, DO NOT do this again. The entire lower level of my house was coated in white powder that stuck around for weeks! Not to mention the fumes. We were all a little loopy that night.]

Back to the point, I left everything to dry overnight and used Liquid Nails to apply the panels to the drawers the next day. A little more drying and we were good to go! The total project took under two hours (not including drying time) and cost under $400. Here are some shots of the finished product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. 

Goes to show, never underestimate what a little lipstick can do...