Nursery Tour: Koko's Free-Spirited Space

Nursery Tour: Koko's Free-Spirited Space

Tammy Everts
Feb 4, 2009

Child's name and age: Dakota, aka "Koko", 2 1/2
Location: Oakland, CA

Koko's dad, Emil, is a scientist, and mom, Kat, is an artist (check out her Etsy shop), so it's no surprise that her room is a mix of both elements, particularly embodied in her gorgeous terrarium collection. Filled with original artwork that is displayed simply among pieces of furniture handed down through generations, Koko's room is a thoughtful reminder that a child's room doesn't necessarily have to be childish.

What was your inspiration behind this room?

A bit about Koko (short for Dakota): When people ask us, "Oh, is her name 'Coco like Coco Chanel...?" we tell them, "No, Koko, like the gorilla" (who speaks sign language). That statement pretty much embodies who she is. She is a free spirit, already calling herself an artist at 2 and a 1/2. We tried to have her room reflect her big personality by filling it with big pieces of art. We also wanted her to grow up with a love of plants and flowers (like us) and encourage her to read with the decor in her room, hence the book page mobile and art.

Were there any design challenges? How did you overcome them?

We recently moved from a very urban loft to the hills of Oakland. The construction of our current home is quite plain jane. We attempted to make this room more visually stimulating by using lots of contrast and bold colors in the art.

Tell us about your favorite pieces in Koko's room.

All of the art and terrariums in Koko's room were lovingly made by Kat. At a recent art show, someone tried to purchase the piece above Koko's white book shelf, entitled "Tree of Life". Koko firmly told us "NO!"

Also, the two pine dressers pictured belonged to Koko's great-grandfather, grandfather, then Kat when she was young.

Thank you to Kat, Emil, and of course Koko for sharing your inspiring space!

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