Avery’s Cozy Alcove

published Sep 17, 2014
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(Image credit: Lauren Zerbey)

Name: Avery
Location: Seattle, Washington
Room Size: 9.5 x 13

I have a special place in my heart for nurseries with dark walls. When I was designing my first-born’s space, I was terrified to go dark, but my husband was really into the idea. After we did it, the space immediately felt so cozy and restful. So when I came across Avery’s nursery, I was head over heels. I also love the simple, yet playful design and that Avery’s parents chose to have her nursery in a non-traditional space within their home. Read on to find out more about this unique, cozy alcove…

(Image credit: Lauren Zerbey)

How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
I would describe this room as being modern but cozy, feminine but not too girly. The space is highly visible from the main living area so it was important to make it feel like it meshed with the rest of the house. We have white walls almost everywhere else, so the use of dark walls helps to make it feel like a cozy alcove.

What is your favorite piece or element?
I love the toy cubes that we built for Avery’s first birthday. They can be rearranged and reconfigured as our needs and space requirements change. They’re simple boxes, but the colors are playful and match other elements in the room. (The cubes are held together on the backside with clips.)

I also love the paper collage above the dresser/changing table. My husband Kyle had this commissioned by an artist friend when Avery was born. The older wallpaper pieces are scraps we saved while remodeling our 1910 fixer-upper and the brighter, solid colors are paint chips of the various colors we’ve used throughout the house. It’s meant to represent a new life emerging (both with the birth of our daughter and the re-birth of our 100+ year-old house.)

I also love the rug which is a new addition. We designed it using Flor carpet tiles. We wanted something that was smooth enough to play on but could also be easily cleaned if spills or accidents happened. Instead of doing a solid color we had a few colorful squares custom-cut on the diagonal to create a playful pattern that could be rearranged if we wanted to change things up down the road.

What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
I think originally we wanted to have more decoration but quickly realized that the various toys and books we’d acquire along the way could serve that purpose and that it didn’t need to look 100% complete before she was born. Another challenge was that we only really had three walls to work with (due to the two big sliding doors) which limited furniture placement. However, because the nursery is off the living area, it’s nice to be able to open the doors during the day and let the space serve as a play area that is both visible and within earshot of the other main areas of the house.

(Image credit: Lauren Zerbey)

What do your friends say about the room?
Our friends like that we created a playful nursery that doesn’t scream “nursery”. We often have people over after she goes to bed and can listen to music and talk without waking her up, so it’s a very functional set-up for us.

Do you have any advice for parents creating a room for their child?
While it’s easy to focus on the newborn stage, if it’s a room you think your child will be in for a while I’d advise creating a space that can grow with him or her — both from a functional and aesthetic standpoint. Also, you can never have enough storage! We’ve been impressed with just how much our single wardrobe can hold. We carved the room out from where our old living room used to be, so it never had a true closet, and we are now re-configuring it again to accommodate gear and clothes for baby number two.

If money were no object, what’s your dream source?
I couldn’t justify the cost this time around, but I love a lot of the furniture from Oeuf. We’re expecting another little girl in September and I’ve been eyeing their Perch bunk bed. (We plan on eventually having both girls share a room.)

(Image credit: Lauren Zerbey)

Source List:

Thanks, Lauren! Readers, you can see more of Lauren at Studio Zerbey and chezerbey.