Name: Ave Rose
Age: 5 months
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Room Size: 12' x 9 1/2'
Leah took a different approach when designing her daughter Ave's nursery. She designed the space to easily transition into Ave's toddler years. Leah also wanted to create a nursery that was minimalist and very organized. It is a small space, so it can easily get cluttered.
Working on a tight budget, Leah had to make compromises and get creative to make the most out of the design. She called in her interior designer friend, Jenika Kurtz, to help select furniture, lighting, and accessories. They were able to put together a beautiful nursery with Ikea and Etsy finds.
What was the inspiration for your nursery decor?
Creating a nursery that was fresh and inviting. I knew my color scheme would be gray, white, and coral from the beginning and based the design on the palette. Browsing online blogs, design magazines, and shopping helped me organize my vision to create a room that was unique and personal.
How did you chose your color scheme for the room?
I sell textiles in the commercial interior design industry and am lucky to spend many hours a day in design libraries. My favorite part of my job is helping interior designers review their designs and select fabrics for color schemes. Gray, white, and coral is a gorgeous palette, also one of my favorites, so it's no surprise I chose these colors for the nursery. I started the design process with the Quatrefoil by Alexander Girard accent fabric for the pillow. My good friend Jenika Kurtz, a talented interior designer in Los Angeles, headed with me to Michael Levine in downtown LA to hunt for the bedding fabric. Pretty much textile heaven! The rest of the room slowly came together as we layered texture upon texture to create an inviting yet cool space.
Kids grow up so fast, so it is important to create a room they can grow into. What did you do to create a room that transitions well into the toddler stage?
We made sure to purchase a crib that transitions from crib to toddler bed. This was definitely easy as there are many options for convertible cribs. I was also careful in selecting patterns that didn't look too "baby" and/or too pastel.
What are your tips for making the most out of a small nursery space?
It's a really small space and I wasn't just concerned with making it feel big. I wanted the room to have character and texture. Keeping a mostly neutral background with accents of color was also helpful. One little tip I learned from Jenika was to extend the curtain rod 12 inches beyond the edge of the window to create the illusion of a larger window and more space.
What was the biggest challenge when designing the nursery?
The biggest challenge was designing a room that would not only look beautiful for Ave, but also function as a small space. I'm a bit of a minimalist and hate clutter, so I was challenged with creating a space that was clean and not busting at the seams with baby gear. The woven cecil baskets are helpful in keeping Ave's smaller items organized and more importantly easy to find.
Can you tell me about how you customized the bookshelf.
The bookcase from IKEA was customized by lining the back with decorative paper. A budget friendly and very easy project! I used a non-toxic glue stick to adhere the paper to the back...the tough part was selecting graphic paper that I wouldn't grow tired of. I originally lined the bookcase with a smaller scale rice paper, but ended up reselecting the paper because the space needed more of a pattern with bold colors. It is a main focal point and inexpensive to create without looking cheap.
What are a few of your dream sources for decorating a baby's room?
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing about the search and finding great deals. I LOVED Etsy.com. I originally selected a Noguchi light fixture and due to a ridiculous back order, I ended up reselecting the IKEA light. Amazing steal at IKEA and the light fixture casts these amazing shadows, which Ave loves!
Images: Bethany Nauert and Savanah Loftus