We’re rolling into Week 2 of the One Room Challenge and we are right on track for the 6-week finish line!
Last week, I introduced you to the room I am designing for my client (and dear friend), so this week I’m sharing the design concept for this mom-to-be’s darling nursery: Baby H’s Charming Transitional Nursery! It’s so darn pretty and has the cozy, calm feeling that my client and her husband had in mind for the room in which they will be spending so much time in the near future.
Pulling together the concept for this space reminded me why I love designing nurseries (and kids spaces in general) so.very.much. There’s just something so special about creating a room for a child. Through the design process, you try to envision all the ways the space will be used and all of the memories that will be made and there’s so much excitement and magic that comes from that.
For my friends, this will be the space where they navigate all the newness and complexity that comes with first-time parenthood… those late nights feeding in a rocker, the surprise and hilariousness that comes from diaper changes atop the dresser and those first nights transitioning from bassinet to crib and rushing in many, MANY times a night to check if baby is ok. This is major adult stuff, guys, and the fact that they have trusted me to help them create a comforting and safe place to raise their darling daughter is kind of the best. I’m pretty certain both me and the beautiful mama-to-be are going to cry on install day…happy tears coming our way very soon!!
Now, let’s dive a little deeper into how we arrived at this Charming Transitional Nursery Design Concept…
BEGINNING THE DESIGN PROCESS: SETTING THE MOOD (BOARD)
When Maria and I first met to talk about what she wanted to see and feel in her nursery, a cozy neutral space was top of the list. We looked at a few inspiration pics and talked about different styles of rockers, rugs and light fixtures. I pulled everything that seemed to speak to her into this mood board…
But! For many of my clients, I also like to do a second mood board that’s a little outside the scope of what we discussed. It’s my little testing ground to show them something they may not have thought about and to help me draw a distinct border around their comfort zone. This second board is where I push the design a little to the edge and their response to it helps me solidify the aesthetic direction we will take. Sometimes, knowing what a client dislikes is more helpful than knowing what they do.
So in this case, I used the second board to throw a little more color and pattern her way. Nurseries are such a great space to do both. You can get away with a little more in a kids space than you sometimes can in a kitchen or family room. It’s half the reason I enjoy dreaming up kids spaces so much!
So, here’s a look at her second option…a little pop of color and pattern, but still cozy and neutral. You see the slight knudge outside just straight neutral?
Purple was my color of choice because it is one of her husband’s favorite colors and I wanted to make this a space he would really enjoy as well. He didn’t want the room to feel overly feminine (which I totally get) and I knew the flower print in the center that I was proposing for the focal wall behind the crib might be a little much, so I was hoping that the purple and gray tones would ease him into the idea... I included the top right and bottom middle inspo pics on the board to show how we could bring a dose of color and pattern to the room, but maintain the overall neutral aesthetic they wanted.
I honestly didn’t have much hope that they would choose this second option, but to my surprise they loved it! I was so excited! Especially since if you know me, then you know I’m mildly obsessed with wallpaper. I have two rooms (this one + this one) decked out in my own house and big plans for a couple of others soon. But there’s only so much wallpaper one house can handle, so I’ll take any chance I can get to live out my wallpaper dreams in other people’s homes. You’re welcome, Maria and Tom. ;)
Here’s a closer look at that pretty purple print that will be our big focal point when you enter the space.
It looks like wallpaper, but it’s actually a wall decal from UrbanWalls which is a perfect fit for them. They are planning on having more kids and if they have a son next, I want them to be able to easily and affordably update the room. The decals are easy to stick on and peel back off. I also like the idea of wallpaper or decals behind a crib because I have a mild fear of hanging art above a crib, but that’s just my own thing that I need to get over eventually…
NEXT STEP: NAILING DOWN THE DESIGN CONCEPT
With a mood board selected, I started nailing down a distinct concept for the space that would incorporate the actual finishes, furnishings, decor and other design details. For a room this small and straightforward, I usually pull all the pieces onto one board and arrange them in a way that reflects the layout of the space. I ended up with this…
Almost everything was a perfect fit, but after looking at the floor lamp a little closer online, her and her husband liked the brass option better. Given their fondness for the warmth that the gold finish brings to the room, I offered up a new ceiling fixture option to coordinate. Once the new fixture was approved, I recommended we change the curtain rod from black to brass.
So with that, we ended on our final design concept, below.
I love the mid-century style of the new flushmount light fixture! They have a lot of other MCM styling in the rest of their house so it’s a double-win because now the room ties even more seamlessly in with the rest of the home, something I usually try to be conscious of when designing a new space. (Although not a necessary approach to designing every home, of course!)
Since then, we’ve been working our way through the ordering process and I can’t wait to see this room come to life!