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Bambino’s Nursery Plan

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog for the last few months, you know that we’re expecting a baby this February (!!) and we’re having a boy who we affectionately refer to as Bambino. I’m resisting the temptation to be all Baby Town over here, but I’m sure you can imagine how excited I am to design Bambino’s nursery. And I promised I would dish once we got some details squared away, so today I’m sharing The Plan for the baby’s room. Here goes…

THE SPACE:

Here’s a rough sketch of the room’s floor plan and how I’m imaging the furniture layout:

raised by design nursery design floorplan

The room is separated by a sort of invisible corridor created by the door to enter the room off the living room and the external door that leads out to the driveway. In the original floor plan, this room was the eat-in kitchen which is why there is an exit. (Until we created an exit off the new kitchen to the backyard, this door functioned as the back door.) We left the door in place because we weren’t sure how we would use the room long term. For now, we’ve placed furniture in front of it so that it functions more like a window.

I wrote here about how the West side of the room is my office space, which will stay that way for as long as I can manage.

The East side of the room will be Bambino Territory. There is plenty of space for a crib, a large dresser that we’ll use as a changing table, a bookcase and a glider.

LOGISTICS:

There are a few challenges in converting this space to a nursery:

  • The scary-steep basement stairs right off the room. We will need a serious Alcatraz-style baby gate there some day. The tricky part is that Roxy’s litter box is down there so we always keep the door cracked for her. Eff. Do they make baby gates with pet doors? Somebody get on that and become a millionaire.
  • The counter-height outlets leftover from the kitchen layout. DANGIT! In some ways these are great because they’re out of reach when baby is crawling on the floor. But they are perfectly within reach when baby is on the changing table or in the crib. To solve this one we’ll be hanging artwork over the one above the changing table and we’ll be putting the crib on the wall without an outlet under the windows.
  • It’s chilly in this room. Probably because of the drafty door but also because this room stays pretty shaded by the house next door during the day. Having the crib under the window may not work well if it’s too cold so we may have to rethink the layout.
  • There isn’t a closet. The one you see in the floor plan is actually our front hall/coat closet and we haven’t figured out how that’s going to work yet. We currently stash our coats, vacuum, ironing board, drying rack and umbrellas there. Where will we store all of our impending baby gear and huge packages of diapers? Our solution to that problem is to wing it until a solution presents itself.

FURNITURE:

For the most part, we have tried to repurpose furniture and decor that we already own or use things endowed to us by our families in their timely effort to downsize. But we will need to buy a new crib and a chair for rocking baby to sleep.

We have our eye on the Midcentury Crib in Natural from Dwell Studio. There are a bazillion cribs out there that we like, but this one is our favorite because of the killer x-shaped base and gold-toed legs.

DwellStudio-Mid-Century-Natural-Crib

For cuddling up with Bambino and late night feedings, we are going with the Graham Glider from West Elm in Lagoon. The deep blue faux-velvet is a bold choice that will give the room a good jolt of personality. I’m kind of obsessed with it. The chair has a nice high wingback shape – which means Mommy and Daddy can rest their weary heads while rocking fusspants to sleep.

I’m holding off on getting the matching ottoman until I can say for sure that the room can fit one. If we have the room, I may look for something fun from a different maker to mix things up.

West Elm Graham Glider in Lagoon

Next to the glider, we are keeping the brass/walnut bar cart in front of the door as an end table. I found that guy about 7 years ago at a thrift store in Roslindale, MA years ago for $40. It’s kick ass. I’m happy it can hang in the nursery.

raised by design - bar cart styling in office

We are (happily) taking my little sis’s orphaned Hemnes 8-drawer dresser from IKEA to use as Bambino’s dresser/changing table. This big guy didn’t make the cut when she moved into her studio apartment but its only a few years old and is incredibly versatile. The Hemnes is the perfect height to use as a changing table and the 8 gliding drawers should be enough storage to house diaper changing supplies, clothes, crib bedding and maybe a few toys.

hemnes--drawer-dresser__30435_PE118674_S4

Speaking of toys, for the majority of Bambino’s prized possessions we are planning to use two hand-me-downs from my parents: an extra large braided basket from Mexico and an antique bookcase with adjustable shelves. The basket will be a catch-all for easy cleanups and the bookcase will house books and things we want to have on display.

raised by design - honeymoon woven mexican basket

Once we settled on the pieces we would be bringing into the space – all basics for the most part – I started to brainstorm ‘themes’ to round out the decor. OH BOY! That’s where the fun starts.

I’m going to share the Mood Board with you later this week so you can see what we’re doing to fun the place up for Bambino.

Stay tuned!

Loveyoubye, Magoo.

Jo and Joe’s Tribeca High Rise

Today I’m excited to give you a peek at an e-design consult I’m currently working on.

Joanna and Joe are moving into a fabulous high rise apartment in TriBeCa next month and they’re in the process of defining their style as a couple as they merge the contents of their respective bachelor and bachelorette pads. Always a fun exercise.

Joe is a music/tech entrepreneur and Joanna is in finance and active in the NYC theater community. They’re both live music junkies and fell in love shredding fresh powder and building bon fires at a ski house they share with friends in Vermont.

In their Manhattan pad we’re pulling together a palette that will feel cozy in the winter and breezy in the summer. Grays, blues and whites anchor the living room, paired with warming wood surfaces and leaving room to introduce city-chic feminine details and layered masculine textures. 

Here’s the mood board I put together:

Raised by Design - Jo + Joe's Tribeca Highrise - Wintery Palette Mood Board

Our first step was to establish some basics in the space – they needed help putting together their living area starting with a new couch, area rug and end tables. Most of the furniture they’re bringing into the space, including their coffee table, is darkest brown wood so we wanted to lighten things up a bit.

I sent them to shop for couches at Room & Board‘s SoHo showroom, my favorite source for big ‘All Growns Up’ furniture purchases. Everything at R&B is American Made with high quality craftsmanship. Their pieces are gorgeous and it’s a great place to make that first investment purchase for your home. The Jo(e)s ended up going with the super versatile Metro Sofa in a custom L-shape with cement-gray upholstery.

roomandboard-metro

Next we chose an area rug from West Elm – the Andes Wool Rug in Dusty Blue. Rugs are tricky and Joanna was leaning towards a playful chevron pattern but we agreed that chevron is a well-worn trend and she’d be sick of it in a matter of weeks. We settled on this more sophisticated, subtle iteration of a chevron in a wool blend that will stand up to high traffic but still feel soft under bare feet.

WE-andes-dusty-blueWith these anchor pieces locked in our next thing to tackle was end tables. Here’s where things got fun. I try to avoid anything too matchy-matchy or strictly symmetric in my designs – although the eye likes symmetry it can sometimes feel too rigid or bossy.

I think living spaces should make people feel inspired, calmed and comforted. The best way to achieve a relaxed vibe is to establish a balance while maintaining an ‘undone’ or organic feeling.

So to start down that path, I recommended that we go with two different end tables that will bring asymmetry into the space but play well with each other.

Joe and Joanna describe their style is ‘classic’ and didn’t want anything too ‘crazy, art deco or modern’. I turned down the funk and stayed away from anything too artistic, abstract, vintage or bohemian and tried to choose pieces that were simple and clean lined without being boring.

Here are some of the options we’re considering:

Raised by Design - Joanna and Joe's Tribeca Highrise - End Table Roundup

  1. Distressed Metal End Table from Target – $83
  2. Safavieh Wynton Table from Target – $136
  3. Allard End Table from Room & Board – 429
  4. Wicker Drum from Pottery Barn – $149
  5. Eden Table from World Market – $70
  6. Driftwood Side Table from Crate & Barrel – $399
  7. Martini Side Table from West Elm – $119
  8. Oslo End Table from Target – $129
  9. Safavieh Josef Table from Target – $229

The Jo(e)s are leaning towards the Driftwood Table from Crate & Barrel so I’m encouraging them to bring a new material into the mix. I’m loving the balance that a steel or bronze piece would bring into the picture. What do you think?

Loveyoubye! Maggie