Designer Touch – Practical Indulgences
Save and splurge your way to a chic, gender-neutral nursery
By Rebecca Hay • Photography By Stephani Buchman
Babies are precious and of course, deserve to have it all. However, while our bundles of joy are worthy of a beautifully designed space, it’s easy to get carried away splurging on every detail. After all, it’s the parents who’ll be spending many sleepless nights here, too. You don’t have to break the bank to get the designer look you crave. Here’s how I kept my budget in check while still creating the chic nursery I dreamed of for my own little babe.
GENDER- & BUDGET-FRIENDLY
I’m particularly proud of this nursery, which was designed with some extra love for our first baby. Since we didn’t know the baby’s gender, I opted for a neutral theme and colour palette. Navy is one of my favourite neutrals, providing a sophisticated backdrop that’s ageless and pairs well with a variety of colours. I wanted a space that felt contemporary yet timeless, with some traditional elements. The strategy was splurge and save.
WHERE TO SAVE
For these purposes, keeping the redesign simple and cost-effective was key. To finish the walls, I originally wanted wallpaper, which can be pricey. We changed tracks and opted for the navy painted wall with gold decals to achieve that “papered” look without the effort, commitment or cost. I invited the grandma-to-be to help with the stickers (placed at random) and we turned this fun project into a party!
NAVY IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE NEUTRALS , PROVIDING A SOPHISTICATED BACKDROP THAT’S AGELESS AND PAIRS WELL WITH A VARIETY OF COLOURS .
Another save was the chest of drawers. By customizing this affordable piece of furniture, we made it one-of-a-kind. I dressed up the Ikea dresser with pretty square, gold knobs from Anthropologie. What a find! These gold knobs add a touch of sophistication to an otherwise simple, practical piece of furniture.
Art is another easy save. The adorable baby animal photographs were purchased online and put into inexpensive box store frames. The cost? Minimal. The look? Too cute for words and suited to any boy or girl!
Get this LOOK:
I used Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy HC-154 as my neutral of choice, and a great alternative to the ever-popular grey palette. This bold blue is fresh and classic. It makes the gold accents pop and complements the coral and yellow accents. Colours befitting any child, no matter their gender.
WHERE TO SPLURGE
Then there’s the “splurge” part of the decorating strategy. Some of the furnishings came at a greater cost, but in my opinion were well worth the spend. The crib is a solid-wood piece from New Zealand, classic by design with a slight nod to mid-century modern. Not too girly or too masculine. The modern rocking chair too was a splurge, but again, worth it for its comfort and lovely wood base.
My favourite element is the custom drapery, which also lands in the “splurge” column. I love using fabric as an accent in a room, to bring in interest, texture and colour. The best part is the ball fringe, which adds a playful detail. A bit of a risky move but miraculously, only a single pom has been plucked off by little fingers…so far!
Underfoot, the wool broadloom carpet is soft and cosy, and adds warmth to the space. The light carpet and white wainscotting detail help to balance the dark-blue walls and brighten a rather dark room.
Remember when decorating a nursery, or any room for that matter, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and lose sight of the real goal—a harmonious space that makes its inhabitants feel comfortable, relaxed and right at home.
We made this nursery a space that any little baby can grow into. It’s a nursery that my little boy has thoroughly enjoyed. By thinking in terms of gender-neutral palettes and smart investments, this nursery has been an easy hand-medown to a new baby sister! As your kids grow and develop their own specific likes (and dislikes), the accessories will be easy and economical to update and add. You don’t have to overdo a theme, or break the bank doing it.
SOURCES CRIB & ROCKING CHAIR: Nursery Works DRAWERS: Ikea KNOBS ON DRAWERS: Anthropologie ANIMAL PRINTS: Etsy PAINT: Hale Navy HC-154, Benjamin Moore GOLD STAR DECALS: Etsy LAMP, YELLOW CLOCK, CEILING LIGHT: Ikea DRAPERY: Tonic Living SIDE TABLE: West Elm
Designer Rebecca Hay, Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., is a Toronto-based boutique design firm offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties for over a decade. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic, livable spaces that reflect the homeowner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, the GTA and Canada. rebeccahaydesigns.com