Emerson Kate's Soft, Vintage-Feel Nursery

My Room

Name: Emerson Kate
Location: Alexandria, VA

Our goal was to create a bright and creative space with touches of warmth, nostalgia and subtle femininity. We knew we wanted a mix of patterns, but the challenge was finding a good combination that wasn't too overwhelming. We used pops of bright turquoise and orange running throughout the room to bring the mix of patterns together. The lamp shade from Anthropologie served as the inspiration piece of the mix of patterns and fabrics.

We have a small space (our 1930s flat is less than 800 square feet with limited closet space), so we had to be creative with how we stored Emerson's belongings. We found a small dresser that was refinished by Cassie Bustamante at Primitive and Proper. The drawers allowed for storage for changing table supplies, as well as blankets, burp clothes, towels, and wash clothes. Baskets underneath the changing table are cute and practical - they hold bath toys, extra diapers, and wipes.

Because my husband Tim uses the already-tiny closet in Emerson's room, we needed a dresser to hold her clothes. We found the dresser at an antique shop between Washington, DC and Richmond, which we painted as the dominant turquoise element in the room.

We had a big challenge with furniture placement because there are three doors in the room (main door, closet door, and door to a sunroom/office), as well as a long radiator under the window. We didn't have a lot of space for furniture, although we needed it for storage.

Drawing on inspiration from a kid's room tour on Apartment Therapy, we made a bird mobile in which our close friends made fabric birds that now hang over the changing table. We covered a bird house in fabric scraps and found a branch on a walk around our neighborhood. This has been one of Emerson's favorite elements in the room.

We pulled in vintage pieces to give the room a nostalgic feel. We picked up the whale plank at the Eastern Market flea on Capitol Hill. We found the vintage Pooh books at a yard sale, and spotted the wooden duck at an antique store in our neighborhood of Del Ray. The colors in the LOVE print from Made by Girl fit so well with the room that we decided to use that over the dresser.

Thankfully, our work paid off! This is one of Emerson's favorite rooms in our flat. The soft shag rug gives her a nice break from our hardwood floors and she finds great amusement in pulling the items out of the storage baskets under her changing table! We wanted to find pieces that could grow with her from infancy to childhood, and perhaps to her teenage years. We think we've achieved that with a lot of the pieces in the room.

Thanks Jessica! Readers, say hello at Jessica's blog, Silhouette.

(Images: Timothy and Jessica Mancari)

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.