One Artist, Six Nurseries: Dana's Design

Over at 3A, we’ve all found ourselves in the “young children” phase of life, all of us having kids (me with our second on the way). And for this reason, many of our friends and clients are in similar stages of life, making nurseries a big part of our design minds. 

We love working on nurseries for many reasons—partly because bringing together a nursery is more than just creating a new space; it’s setting the stage for a new addition to a family. There’s so much excitement involved! And luckily for us, nurseries all start with the same basic foundation, meaning they all require the same basics: crib, changing table, rocker…you get the idea. The true design aspect comes from blending the client’s personalities with the gender (if known) and our design eye. We love seeing the reaction from expectant parents when they know we’ve created something for their home that’s so much more than they ever could have purchased as part of a package at a department store. Nurseries are so personal—which is another reason why we love them! 

One part of personalizing a nursery is selecting fun artwork for a space. Babies are so visual, so we love bringing in simple, bright, and whimsical pieces. When we discovered Gingiber art prints, we were instantly inspired by her fun animal prints to put in a nursery. Here’s where the cool part comes in: we three all work well together for a cohesive design look. But we all bring individual aspects to the table. So we thought it would be fun for you to see what each of us envisioned, all while being inspired by the same artist. This week we will each present a feminine and masculine nursery to share with you.

The idea is to start with a generally neutral palette and add on masculine or feminine elements as needed. None of us have ever been fans of overly “boy” or “girl” nurseries, and we’d probably argue that as a good rule of thumb for any space. We find it makes an overall more appealing space, more peaceful, and it’s very easy to reuse the elements again for a new baby, or for your growing child.

I decided to keep mine clean and simple: modern pieces accented with a little whimsy in the textiles. I love a fun patterned crib sheet, since it’s mainly what babies will see. And I can’t resist pom-pom trim on anything. 

Anyway, onto my designs:

modern boy nursery moodboard
modern girl nursery moodboard

crib // crib skirt // crib sheet // light fixture // bookcase and storage baskets // rocker // ottoman // sheepskin // flooring // dresser // curtains // paint 

A few notes about the designs:

  1. The curtains are black-outs, which I have now decided are very important in a child’s room. The client I worked for with my very first nursery design insisted on black-outs, and I couldn’t understand why. I always heard (and experienced) that babies were immune to times of day when it came to sleep. That may be true, but what’s also true (as I learned) is that babies turn into toddlers. Toddlers that wake with full energy at the first hint of daylight. So it’s best to delay daylight creeping in for as long as possible!
  2. The rockers are originally known as Eames Shell Rockers. They are one of my all-time favorite chairs (I have a lot of all-time favorite chairs, in case you’re wondering why I say that a lot). The “real” reproduction, or even a vintage original, will cost a lot. But fear not, as there are people out there that make nearly identical knock-offs for a fraction of the cost. I chose to source the original for the boy nursery because of the aqua color. However, there is a knock-off in light blue that you can find here. (In the girl nursery, I went straight for the knock-off in that easily-found orange.)
  3. The flooring I’ve chosen is not a rug, but carpet tiles. These convenient squares not only make it easy to choose a size that’s perfect for your space, but they also make it super easy to remedy any spills or stains that may prove hard to get out. Simply remove and discard the soiled square and replace it with a spare. For this reason, it’s always best to order a few more than what you originally need! 

I never imagined I’d pick pink for a nursery, but I actually like it here for my girl nursery, with the soft, barely pink walls and in the natural linen crib skirt. And it’s always good push your own envelope! Who knows when we may have a client who wants all pink.

I love that there’s still plenty of room for personalization here—in more artwork, toys and shelf knick-knacks, and other personalized items for your baby. It’s always fun to spell out your baby’s name or use his or her initial somehow if you’ve chosen one. Maybe you can use one of these designs for a starting point in your own nursery! 

Or if you’ve started a nursery design and (as it tends to happen) have gotten more and more pregnant and now just want it finished, contact us here for an easy solution to nursery design. We would love to help!

Until next time!