Location: Northern Germany in Hannover
Room Size: 4.7 x 3.2 meters (15 x 10 feet)
I'm a long-time fan of the work of Holly Becker of Decor8, so I was thrilled to find out she was pregnant and working on a nursery. By choosing the main focal points first, like the stunning Kite wallpaper by Ferm Living and the gorgeous crib by Oeuf, Holly was able to work from there to create a dreamy and cohesive gender-neutral space for baby Aidan.
How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
A happy yet peaceful space for our baby, gender neutral, no specific theme, filled with gifts from family and friends as well as personal things from our childhoods. Nature and handmade elements are a focus. The baby’s window faces the huge (1,600 acre) Eilenriede forest, which is located in the center of our city, and we have lots of natural light in our apartment, which is in a 1900 Jugendstil building with 220m² (or 2,368 square feet) of living space. We really love it here – we just moved in January 9th!
What is your favorite piece or element?
I love all of the furniture from Oeuf, Olli Ella, Oliver Furniture, and Car-Möbel because it’s wood and well made, which means it will last and can be painted easily as the years go by. Also, the Oeuf Sparrow bed can convert into a toddler bed later on. The changing top on the dresser from Oliver Furniture can be removed easily. Even the nursing chair from Olli Ella can be used in another room, since the glider hardware on the bottom can be removed and new legs installed so we can reupholster and place it in any room in our home.
I like having furniture that can grow with our child and that is sturdy. My parents bought only a few complete sets of furniture for me when I was growing up. I always valued what I had as a result of them stressing to me how they weren’t replacing anything – they were always very firm with me and as a result, I treated my furniture with respect (and my toys too!). They were not the type to just go out and buy new things. I want my little boy to learn how to take care of his furniture and toys, and we want to teach him how to value what he has as my husband and I were taught growing up.
What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
It needed to be renovated, so all of the wallpaper was removed, walls smoothed, trim work painted, door painted, new wallpaper around the window, walls painted, flooring removed (vinyl wood was there before), flooring leveled out and sound-proofed, and eco-friendly plank oak flooring installed. After renovations, furniture started to arrive and everything was put into place in about four weeks.
The room design began late October, renovations began after Thanksgiving, furniture arrived by Christmas, and the room was decorated by January 15th. We also had to move into this new space — we lived in a different space before January 9th, so we had to design the nursery around our move and also around renovation work for the rest of the space, as all of the rooms needed work. Fortunately, we hired out for the labor, which significantly reduced our stress level. We would have done some of it, but with such a tough deadline and being pregnant it was better to just hire help.
What do your friends say about the room?
Everyone who walks in falls in love. Even babies who have visited, like the one-year-old niece of my husband, instantly start playing on the rug and looking at everything with big, excited eyes. It’s a space children seem to really feel comfortable in, which makes me so happy. I can’t wait for our baby boy to arrive because I know he’ll have such a nice time in there exploring and later adding his own favorite things.
Do you have any advice for parents creating a room for their child?
Yes, create a mood board first or a Pinterest board to collect your ideas, as I talk about in this post. It may seem silly, but it’s the only way I can begin any project because I often have a very hard time deciding and seem to love lots of things at once, so I often have a hard time sorting through everything without a mood board or Pinboard to keep me on track. Also, use a spreadsheet. My background as a project manager made me a bit of a spreadsheet fanatic, but I swear by them. I used Excel and listed EVERYTHING that I needed to do with notes and due dates, people I spoke to, costs, everything! If I had left all of this in my head or scribbled around on notes, I would not have finished this project on time.
If money were no object, what's your dream source?
ABC Carpet + Home for furniture, rugs and bedding, John Derian and Liberty London for textiles and accessories, and Astier de Villatte for ceramics.
How do you plan for the room to change as your little one grows?
We have a custom roman shade being made for the window currently. Our baby will sleep in a bassinet in our bedroom for the first 4-6 months, so we didn’t rush to get the shade finished. Also, the chart above the crib is lightweight and installed very securely to the wall and nearly impossible to pull down (we tried!). The felt bunting on the wall will be heightened once the baby is walking so he cannot reach it. The stuffed animals and bedding will be removed from the crib when the baby begins sleeping there.
Regarding the rug, Flokati can shed, but we’ll lay down a play blanket so he can get cozy on the rug and feel safe and warm – it’s definitely not a long term rug for a child’s room, so I will use it in my guest bedroom eventually and when he’s about a year old, we’ll get a flat weave rug so the surface is stable and flat so he can race little cars and play with his blocks, Legos, etc. You can’t race matchbox cars on a Flokati!
Crib: Oeuf NYC
Bookcase: Oeuf NYC
Nursing Chair: Olli Ella
Changing Table & Dresser: Oliver Furniture
Two-door Closet: Car-Möbel
Eames Molded Plastic Rocker: Design Within Reach
Paint: Farrow & Ball “Cabbage White”
Wallpaper: Ferm Living “Kite”
Flokati Rug: Easy Carpet
Round Felt Rug: “Gumball” Olli Ella, custom
Set of 3 Storage Boxes with Faces: Ferm Living
Raffia Toy Box: “Airport” by RIC
Bunny Night Light on Windowsill: Fridolin's
Wooden Task Light on Bookcase: “TAF Architects Wood Lamp” by Muuto
Ceramic Owl Lamp on Changing Table: West Wing Home
Vintage Star Wars R2D2 + C3PO characters framed: DIY by my husband Thorsten Becker
Vintage paper plane advertisement (right of window): framed by my husband Thorsten Becker
Oak Plank “Eco” Flooring: Weitzer Parkett Austria
Animal prints on wall: Zensi Design Germany
Wooden Anteater with pull string: Zensi Design Germany
Paper Mache Fox above changing table: Abigail Brown London
Bear quilt hanging on crib: Ferm Living
Vintage German school chart over crib: found at a flea market in Hannover, Germany
Paper Pendant Light: “Paris” from HKLiving
Triangle Blanket on Chair: “Remix Blanket” Ferm Living
Lightning Bolt Pillow on Chair: Ferm Living
Storage Boxes on wall above changing table: Ferm Living
Giraffe above changing table: Wren Handmade
Thanks, Holly! Readers, to see more of Holly's work, you can check out her blog, Decor8, or one of her best selling books, Decorate and Decorate Workshop. Plus, Holly has a new book, Decorate with Flowers, which will be released in May in the U.S. by Chronicle Books, and is available now for pre-order.
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(Image credits: Thorsten Becker; Holly Becker)