Don't let "camel-clad" fool you. Frances' parents are not interested in decorating in themes or overdoing any one idea. What they believe in is avoiding over-coordination to achieve the best sense of style, personality, and ease. Although most nurseries are created quickly and have short lives, we agree with mom, Karen, when she says the rooms that appeal to her are the ones that feel like they've been around forever...full of depth and life and variety. More from Frances and her mom, below:
Inspiration: The nursery was inspired initially by my discovery of the John Robshaw crib linens. I had been searching for something outside the realm of traditional pastels that wasn't by default one of the popular geometric modern designs that had saturated the market. The minute I saw these, I knew I could build the rest of the room around them. The patterns are sophisticated, and the colors are just saturated and offbeat enough.
Favorite Element: The Flensted floating fish mobile above the changing table was a gift from good friends. Not only do I love the way it looks, but Frances never tires of blowing on the fish to make them "swim."
Biggest Challenge: Maintaining the guest bedroom functionality of the room, and making sure the design felt like a natural extension of the rest of the condo. We have lofted ceilings and pocket glass doors (if any) throughout, which means you can stand at one end of either floor of our condo and see straight through to the other end. It was important that the nursery reflect similar design choices to the ones we made throughout the rest of the space.
What Friends Say: Friends who know us well have said that it's a happy and inviting room, and very "us." I'm not sure everyone completely "gets it" right away, but that's probably what I like best - that it's not your typical nursery.
Proudest DIY: Although it wasn't intended for the nursery to begin with, the art above the daybed is a painting I did of the warehouse building we looked out on from the apartment where we last lived in Brooklyn. It was pretty much abandoned and totally run down, but became a beautiful piece of scenery to us during our time there, mainly because of the way the sunrise reflected off the various window panes. I'm not a painter - it was a labor of love as a gift for my husband's 30th birthday, but I'm proud of the way we were able to work it into the room.
Biggest Indulgence: I initially wasn't 100% sold on the need for a super fancy rocking chair, but I'm happy every single day that we decided to buy the Monte glider. It's probably the most comfortable and well-built chair we have in the house.
Best advice: Avoid over-coordination! It's too easy to over-do-it in terms of color scheming and "themes." I understand the appeal, believe me - Once we found the Salvor camel print for above the crib, I found myself picking up camel-this and camel-that here and there when I was out shopping. But I think the personality of a nursery benefits from choices that aren't made all at once and don't always seem to "go" at first. I like a room to feel like it's been around forever, as opposed to having been created in a moment.
Dream source: ABC Carpet & Home in NYC (I have nothing from here in the nursery, but we are talking about a "dream" source, right)?
Resources: DWELL Magazine, Cookie Magazine, Domino Magazine (may it rest in peace), Grow Kids, The Red Balloon Co., Galt Baby, John Robshaw, Gaddie & Tood, Design Within Reach, Nonchalant Mom, and Ohdeedoh of course!