Rosa's Pretty Patterned Dutch Nursery

Rosa's Pretty Patterned Dutch Nursery

Danielle Thompson
Apr 27, 2011

Name: Rosa
Age: 4 months old
Location: Den Bosch, the Netherlands
Room Size: about 6 square meters

I've been a big fan of Nina Van de Goor's vibrantly beautiful and unique pottery for a couple years now. Her talent for combining bold colors and graphic shapes with vintage finds never fails to impress. With the recent birth of her sweet Rosa, she has designed a gorgeous nursery showcasing her signature knack for pairing fun retro patterns with vintage finds.

We're thrilled to have Nina share with us her inspiration and solutions for baby Rosa's nursery.

How would you describe the look and feel of this room? What styles and/or inspirations do you feel it draws from? It's a colorful, personal room with a lot of vintage and handmade items. I think a children's room should be colorful and comfortable, a cozy place where my baby can feel happy and at ease. Rosa's room is very small, so we really had to stick to the basics. But the room has all the necessary things, and I regularly change the toys and clothes that are on display. I think many children's rooms are these boring 'sets' of matching furniture that leave so little to your own imagination and inspiration, so I chose for a mix & match style that to me is more interesting and cheerful.

What is your favorite piece or element? I really like the vintage children's bed, that we painted light blue. I love to make the bed with all kinds of colorful bed linen, and when I see my baby smiling cheerfully in her super cheerful bed (she has the biggest possible smile just after waking up... not particularly how I feel when I've just woken up! ;)) I feel so super lucky!

As an artist and designer you create lots of things, including ceramics and art prints for your Etsy shop. How did this influence your nursery decor? Was adding handmade items a priority for you? It wasn't necessarily a priority, but it's so much part of who I am and what I like that I incline towards handmade items without even thinking about it. Rosa has lots of handmade toys and dolls in her room, and I also make lots of clothes for her that I like to display in her room. And a little to my surprise (I knew they were beautiful, but were they also nice and practical to play and cuddle with?) so far Rosa cuddles and plays all the time with her handmade dolls and plush animals, so they aren't just a treat for the eye.

What was the biggest challenge decorating this room? It's a super small room! If we wanted to keep things at least a little spacious, we only had room for her bed, a dresser/changing table and a chair. So we don't have room for a closet for Rosa's clothes, which is kind of a problem since she has so many clothes! Now her clothes are in the drawers of the dresser (only the current size clothes) and in some large IKEA boxes under her bed (the bigger sizes that she'll wear in the near future).

A love of Dutch design is obviously shown in this room. What are some quintessential Dutch design influences that you knew would be a part of your daughter's room? Oh, that's a tough one! I guess that at least ninety percent of the Dutch parents buy their baby an in my view uninspiring 13 in a dozen complete room from a baby dump store, so to a lot of people here that would be the typical Dutch nursery design (usually a white room with a few accents in just one color like blue, pink or lime, or with all the accessories matching a certain 'theme' from some children's cartoon). So I wouldn't say my design influences are typically Dutch, to me it feels more like my style matches a more international style of mix & match, combining vintage, new and handmade.

What I do think is sort of Dutch is that we are used to relatively small pieces of furniture, because most of us don't live in super big homes. When I see an American home, the rooms and furniture to me often seem so large and 'kingsize'! The baby bed is also a very typical European/Dutch design from the 1950s, these beds can still be found very easily through auctions and in thrift shops, because everyone had similar beds back in the day.

The "Terlenka" elephant is an item that I always associate with you because I've seen it in your Flickr stream and in other images of your's. What is the story behind it and what does "Terlenka" mean? It's wonderful. Yes, it's quite a beloved find! I once found it in a second hand shop, it was pretty expensive but I just couldn't get it out of my head again after I saw it for the first time. It just had to be mine, and no matter how many emails I receive from people who want to buy it, I think it'll never leave the family (at least that's what I hope!). It used to be in our living room, but I thought it would be such a joyful thing for Rosa to look at and play with once she's a bit older (maybe she can even sit on it? ;)) that I moved it to her room. Terlenka used to be a certain type of fabric that was made in the Netherlands in the 1950s/1960s, this elephant was their logo and this big one was used as an advertorial object.

If money were no object, what's your dream source? I don't know really, it's not that I had all kinds of super expensive things on my wishlist that we couldn't buy. I just looked for the things I liked and found them within our budget. For example I found the bed for free many years ago (long before we had our baby, in fact I was even in a different relationship at that time!), I could pick it up for free somewhere and kept it all those years on my father's attic for a baby to come someday. When I was pregnant we painted it, so that was the only cost we had for the bed. But if it were more expensive, I would probably still have bought a similar bed since I like these beds so much! Same thing goes for the drawer, that wasn't super expensive either: I would also have wanted something like this if it were more expensive.

I guess if I had infinite resources, maybe I would have spent more on beautiful accessories (like from Ferm Living, I love all their stuff!) or on some more expensive curtains and bed linen. But I'm happy with what we have right now... So though I could definitely come up with some more expensive stuff that I would also like, it's fine the way it is now. Oh, I know one thing: maybe some beautiful artwork! Like a screenprint from Guusjes appeltaart.

Vintage flower wallpaper: De bonte kamer
Bed: vintage
Green cloud blanket: Farg & form Sweden
Dresser: vintage
Little red-yellow-blue wall cupboard: vintage
Yellow chair: Vintage Thonet chair
Deer coat rack: Pakhuis Oost
Little chair: Vintage gift (from England)
Crocheted blanket: Wood & Wool Stool
Scrapwood name plate: Wood & Wool stool
Toys: most vintage
Plush animals: etsy

Thanks, Nina!

(Images: Ninainvorm)

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