Michael’s Playful Room To Grow

updated May 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Michael
Location: Venice, CA
Room Size: 10 ft x 12 ft

Stylist Emily Henderson is no stranger to fun, eclectic and whimsical design. When I was asked to photograph this adorable nursery with her, I immediately felt how strong the aesthetic was and wanted to share it in a tour. Turning Michael’s family’s design wishes into fruition she has created a gorgeous space that he will continue to grow into.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Situated in a modern loft blocks from Venice Beach, Michael and his family get to rise and shine every morning to the view of the gorgeous water. This is an ideal setting or backdrop to any baby nursery. You can see the calming blues and greens of the view had a direct influence on the palette of the room, which is already mature enough for a toddler or a teenager. One aspect I love is the little bed nook near the window, which shows how the room can be re-shaped once Michael no longer needs to sleep in a crib.

Emily had an inspired vision for this nursery which I believe she brought to life effortlessly. I really also love the picture frame wallpaper and the changing table which is just a vintage dresser converted with some paint.


A few questions for Emily, the designer of Michael’s nursery:

What was your inspiration for the room?
The loft is by the ocean so we wanted it to feel airy, open, happy, fresh, young, not-too baby but totally youthful. I’m a massive fan of nurseries feeling comfortable and young but also reflecting the parents’ personal style because its the parents that spend so much time in it the first few years. And these parents are young and hip so I wanted it to reflect that.

What is your favorite element in the room?
The frame wallpaper from Graham and Brown is perfect in this space. I’ve seen it around forever, but sometimes it just doesn’t work and sometimes it totally does. Here, it works. Pictures of family can be taped up and added to for years and years. Plus it’s just begging to be colored and drawn on. So it becomes something very personal – like a living gallery of the family and the baby’s childhood.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Before starting, what did you know you wanted to include, for sure?
The parents loved this color palette that they saw in a friend’s house, so it was our jumping off point – this aqua, charcoal, grey and we added the pops of yellow.

What was your proudest DIY?
While spray-painting is hardly a genius move, that bike lamp was once boring black wire that I got at a thrift store, which would be great in more of a grownup space, but for this nursery we wanted it to pop and feel more whimsical. I want it for me and to hoard it for my future child.

What was your biggest indulgence?
The nursing chair. The homeowners wanted it to be crazy comfortable and totally baby-friendly. Something that you could sleep in if you needed to. So it was a bit of a splurge, but it’s totally the right piece for them. They love it.

Any advice for other people starting this process?
The trick to a nursery not looking too ‘baby’ is to start with a consistent color palette of not too ‘baby’ colors. This aqua paint is definitely whimsical but the grey and charcoal keep it more grown up.

If money was no object, what would your dream source be?
ABC Carpet and Home. I mean, everything in that store is beautiful.


(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Thanks, Emily. Also, a big thanks to baby Michael’s parents!