There is a mixture of excitement and trepidation when preparing for a new baby’s arrival. You’re excited to see this little person but nervous about how you will manage the birth and everything once you return home. In a world full of uncertainty, it’s helpful to have some constants in your life that help you stay grounded and calm. This is our nursery. It’s a place you will both spend a lot of time in, so make it something that you enjoy.
Kimberly Lapides, Eat Wear, wanted to create a nursery that didn’t feel like a typical nursery. She worked with interior designer Anne Sage to create a room that was warm and welcoming, the perfect place to welcome baby Otis into the world. But it also had to “meet Kim’s style and design standards.” It was also important that the nursery could grow with Otis and not feel babyish after a few years.
See how this creative team created a beautiful gender-neutral nursery at Huntington Beach in California. Then shop for the look.
Otis’s nursery has a small space, so it was hard to fit anything else. So, they had to stick with the basics: a dresser and crib. They also found ways to reuse items. Kim doesn’t need a separate changing table. She sticks a pad on top of her dresser.
Lapides also didn’t want to have a themed nursery. Her ( bedroom and dining/living room were #goals. She adds, “I wanted to give the room a sophisticated look even though it was a room for a newborn.” This way, he can grow into the room.”
They did not do any major renovations, but they did install new hardwired lights. “This is one of my favorite low-effort/high-impact tweaks to make to any room, as it’s a cost-effective way to customize a space,” says Sage. I even recommend it to clients who rent out their homes.” “In Kim’s case, I had a Mitzi pendant lamp left over from a previous job, and I knew that the warm brass finish would be a charming upgrade to the lackluster fixture which had been there previously.”
Sage’s signature design style of ‘livable luxury’ is evident in this nursery. She says, “I want to create richly layered spaces, well-thought-out and inviting but not overly precious.” This is why Kim and I get along so well. She has an excellent eye for design and fashion, but she is also down-to-earth and approachable. The spaces they created for Lapides Home are modern, and sumptuous and include some stunning investment pieces. They also have a beachy and airy feel, reflecting her love of the SoCal sun and shores.
This room has a modern feel but is also very relaxed. Lapides, who lives by the sea, loves to incorporate contemporary elements in her space. “Nothing is more unsettling than a starkly modern space, so having a modern design that works is important to me.”
The white window treatments were left in place, even though the rest of the room had been updated. Sage says Kim and Blake, who own the home, purchased simple but high-quality white window treatments and did not want to change them in the nursery. If it isn’t broken, why fix it?
Sage was sure that the nursery would be gender-neutral because both Sage and her mother prefer neutrals to any color scheme. Lapides attracted to the bright, light neutrals of modern Scandinavian design, chose to go with many earthy textures over colors. She says, “We used ash, teak, and beech woods and then added tactile linen, suede, and burnished brass. We also added plush wool and sheepskin.” The space feels rich and layered, even though it is a very tonal design.
Sage loves the shelves on the wall just inside the room’s door. These are IKEA spice racks that can be used for displaying books, artwork, and small clothes when hung upside down. She says that they anchored the shelves using a pair of dip-dyed chairs on the floor below. The whole vignette allows you to change the style with new books and toys. It’s a great way to make a basic layout feel fresh.
Lapides said the closet was “horrible,” with old carpet and needing a redesign. She worked with California Closets to create a space accommodating Otis’s clothes and toys. It blends seamlessly into the design of the other parts of the room.”
Lapides prioritizes a clean and serene space. The neutral color palette also helped create this zen-like atmosphere. She says that when she moved into her nursery, she wanted to extend the room’s design using the same color scheme as the rest of her home.
Lapides’ most significant challenge was to find pieces that were both beautiful and functional. She says, “I think the design is important, but usability is crucial.” Both of those things must go together. Everything in the nursery is there for a reason. The dresser is used for storage. The chair provides warmth and texture while also rocking the baby. And the shelves can be used as display areas for toys and books.