Nursery Tour: Beachfront Nursery

Nursery Tour: Beachfront Nursery

Janel Laban
Dec 22, 2006

(Here is one more from Kris, one of the finalists vying for a blogging position at the upcoming AT:The Nursery. Comment away.)

Room: Nursery
Location: Bowie, Maryland

When Whitney Dail's brother wanted to do something different for his son's nursery, he turned to his sister for help. He knew that he wanted the room to have a nautical theme, and Whitney, along with mother Merrie Dail, was happy to oblige.

Whitney, who will graduate this spring from The Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Arts in Sequential Art, used photos she found online as inspiration for the walls in this nursery. The mural, which took them two months to complete, wraps around all four walls of the room.

One of the trickiest aspects of nursery design is that the furniture and textiles designed for these rooms aren't meant to be used for more than a year or two. As a soon-to-be new parent, it surprises me how often cribs and crib linens are used as the focal point of nursery design, because within a few years most babies are transitioning out of those cribs into toddler beds. Why is it then that so many nursery designs feature beautiful baby furnishings against the bland backdrop of plain walls?

It is never too early to expose children to art, and what better way to do so than to immerse them in it, every day? In a small room, a wall mural can sometimes be overwhelming, but the proportions of the design in this room start the mural a third of the way up the wall leaving room for wood wainscoting below, which keeps the mural from overpowering the room. Above, the blue sky melts into the blue of the ceiling, making the room seem airy and open.

It is the details in the mural that make this nursery shine. I am particularly fond of the rowboats dragged up on the beach, and the flowers growing on the slope of the lighthouse hill. These two details, along with the execution of the two racing sailboats evoke memories of a great summer vacation at the shore.

These peaceful and soothing walls work well for a nursery, but the timelessness of the subject and the subtle range of color mean that this room design will continue to be relevant as this baby becomes a little boy. While we are not all lucky enough to have an artist or two in the family, this mural has inspired me to look beyond the furniture when designing my own nursery. More examples of Whitney's design work can be seen in her portfolio.

Photo Credit: all photos, Whitney Dail


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