EM's Loteria-Inspired Nursery

My Room

Name: EM (8 weeks)
Location: Wilshire Center, Los Angeles, CA

We wanted the nursery to flow seamlessly with the rest of our home décor (no arresting shock of entering "babyland"). However, we also wanted to ensure the room was playful and stimulating for a child. My overall style is "Polished Eclectic," with a strong leaning to 30s Modernism (including French Art Deco) and Urban Ethnic (specifically New Moroccan & Mexican-Southwest)...all of this on a shoestring.

While the baby furniture selection was limited by functionality and cost, I think the room meshes well with the house, while creating a fantastical and stimulating retreat.

If the room has a theme, it is loosely based upon the Mexican Bingo game Loteria. We were inspired by the game's darkly whimsical imagery, as well as other animal imagery with just the right amount of macabre. The two key colors in the room are blue (my own favorite) and orange (my husband's favorite and the color of his father's '76 Chevy pickup). All of the bold colors found in Loteria (essentially the rest of the color wheel) work as accents in the room, making it toy friendly--so it will hold up in the long run. The walls are gray, like much of our home.

My favorite element in the room is the rug - I LOVE it! It was a flea market find that I nearly had a meltdown over. I paid full price ($70) because I couldn't maintain my poker face--can you believe how perfectly it fits our color palette?!! (Rugs are my weakness.)

The biggest challenge in the room was storage (we have a small home). I had wanted all the shelves to be child accessible, but had to put some fragile/dangerous items up high and had to store blankets and diapers somewhere, so they ended up in higher bins.

My proudest DIY project in the room is the Moroccan table. While we did not build it, it only came in a sloppily painted white. My husband painstakingly sanded it down, painted it with four coats of a color I had to mix myself, and then coated it seven times with varnish. Also, the glider. While a great Craigslist deal at $200, it began locking up once we got it home. The maker is no longer in business, so, with the help of friends and family, I tracked down new needle bearings and bolts (all parts were metric!) and my husband rebuilt it. It now glides like new!

My biggest indulgence was the ottoman which I bought for $100! I have had my eye on those at Etsy for a few years. I finally splurged and got one!

Source List:


  • Moroccan Table: Wisteria catalog

  • Loteria Card Prints: HammerPress in Missouri

  • Arcade Fire European Tour Print: Burlesque of North America

  • Crib: Dutailier via Craigslist

  • Dresser/Changer: World Market via Craigslist

  • Rug: Afghanistan via Long Beach Flea Market

  • Moroccan Lanterns: Craigslist

  • Glider: Nurseryworks via Craigslist

  • Shelves: IKEA Expedit

  • Ottoman/Pouf: aletafae on Etsy

  • Pinata Bull Head: Amazing Pinatas in LA's downtown "piñata district" (custom job)

  • Carved Horse Head: trip to India

  • Prof. Rabbit Pigelphant Head: AICreatures on Etsy

  • Metal Lamp: Pier One

  • Orange Linens: Carousel Designs from Baby Bedding.com

  • Orange and blue throw Pillow: Anna Paftika on Etsy

  • Paint: Behr; 1:1 mix of Skyline Steel and Iron Wood

  • Other art: personal collection

  • Ferris Wheel: my father's toy from the 1930s

  • Orange Humidifier: Crane

  • Blue Tissue Ball: MollaSpace Paper Pot Tissue Holder

  • Rocking Horse painting: Ford Ruthling, represented by Nedra Matteucci Galleries

Thanks Natalie - well done!

(Images: reader Natalie)

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Main, Family, Los Angeles, My Room, Nursery & Kids

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.

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