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An Intro to a Nursery at Grandma’s House + Shop The Looks

Hi friends, it’s Mel here. Ginny and I are finishing up a few of our last projects here at EHD, and today I wanted to introduce you to a little nursery we’ve been working on for a lovely grandma who wants to have a room ready to host her grandkids.

To provide some context let’s talk about the house for a second; it’s an incredible Spanish Colonial Revival in South Pasadena complete with a gorgeous backyard and carriage house that’s begging to host parties. The room we were asked to design is right off the kitchen and has a great view of the sunny backyard. Here’s what it looked like when we first stopped by:


Our client had already made the room functional with a crib and glider but a large existing built-in cabinet made the space feel darker and smaller than it is. So the hutch was the first thing to go. We removed it ASAP to make sure we wouldn’t need to replace any of the flooring. Lucky enough everything was in good shape and we were able to move right along with the rest of the design.

When designing a nursery we usually know the gender of the baby-to-be or we’re asked to design a gender neutral space when the parents are opting to be surprised. In this case, our client requested we design a room that feels girly for her granddaughters but could easily be transformed should she have a grandson down the road. We took the existing furniture into account and began to design a space for a baby girl with accessories that could easily be switched out to make it feel more boyish. Here are the two mood boards we sent over:

Girls Nursery

Drapery | Mobile | Crib | Chandelier | Dresser | Lamp | Blue Art | Pink Art | Bookcase | Rug | Pouf | Glider | Crib Sheet | Blanket | Pillow | Cloud Pillow (similar)

Since the girly version had blue elements and didn’t feel too frilly, we felt switching out the bedding and a pouf would transform the space like she had wanted should that grandson come along in the future.

Boys Nursery

Drapery | Mobile | Crib | Chandelier | Dresser | Lamp | Blue Art | Pink Art | Bookcase | Rug | Pouf | Glider | Crib Sheet | Blanket | Pillow (similar) | Sweet Dreams Pillow (similar)

After seeing our design presentation and considering the two plans the client realized she wanted to take things in another direction… an all girls direction. One day if or when a grandson comes along she can easily redesign it if she sees fit, but for now the room will fit her family and be beautiful for her granddaughters.  She also wanted it to be less modern and more traditional, fitting with the style of her beautiful old estate.

We then sent the client an inspiration board highlighting a few different directions our girly nursery could go and asked her to let us know what spoke to her.

Joan Hall Inspiration 052217 2

After discussing the images in depth, we came to the conclusion that the room should be refined, and not too sweet or cutesy. Below you’ll see our mood board that we presented to her, without all the elements, but getting closer:

Emily Henderson Nursery

Drapery | Sheers | Curtain Rods | Bookcase | Planter | Wallpaper | Rug | Crib | Glider | Light Fixture | Dresser | Dresser Paint Color | Lamp | Art | Cloud Pillow (similar) | Stuffed Animal | Crib Sheet |

After spending an afternoon looking through samples at our local Design Center, we designed this room from the textiles up. This Kravet fabric felt perfect for the draperies as it’s fun and yet calming and we combined it with this Pindler pom pom fabric as playful sheers. We’ve actually been dying to use this pom pom fabric for a while now so we were very excited. The tiny striped wallpaper was an easy choice as it’s a nice subtle balance to the draperies. The paper is from a Swedish company named Sandberg and due to a few snafus and international shipping issues, we ended up waiting for it for a few more weeks than we thought we’d have to. Now that it’s been installed, we know the wait was definitely worth it.

To balance the soft fabrics and wall coverings we found a gorgeous vintage dresser on Etsy and had it lacquered in Farrow and Ball Green Smoke to bring in some depth. We put a curvy lamp and some art with complimentary colors above the piece and the room felt even more put together. For lighting we chose a chandelier that felt romantic but informal. To add some verticality to the space we included a taller bookcase from RH Baby and Child that has similar details as the dresser.  Lastly, with bedding that’s not too ‘punchy’ and a very soft rug, we think this room will be really comfortable for Grandma and her family.

The room is almost complete as we’re waiting for a few last details to arrive. There are already some changes to the latest mood board (the dresser is green and the chair is one they already had that we reupholstered). It’s more subtle than the other two designs but works so well with the rest of their house. Stay tuned….

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6 years ago

I’m interested to see this final reveal. I have to admit, I preferred the first two mood boards in a land slide. Where is that pink cloud wallpaper from? It’s the only item not on your board source list.

Megan T
6 years ago
Reply to  Karen

I think it was available from Chasing Paper for a bit, but I do not think it is available anymore. It was part of Rebecca Atwood’s collection for them. But I think it was limited edition and is not on their website anymore. It is really pretty! Too bad it is gone.

6 years ago
Reply to  Megan T

Oh no! It was SOOOO cute in person, too. I was literally like – WHERE CAN I PUT THIS… for a month. The final moodboard doesn’t pop as much as the other two, but its also not totally finished. Its hard to tell but the dresser is that green color but lacquer so it pops a lot more, and the chair is vintage. Its more quiet and traditional but so pretty and works with their house so well. xx

6 years ago

Gah! That tease…

6 years ago

I’m going to miss Mel and Ginny!

6 years ago

I HAVE THAT DRESSER!! It’s not lacquered, it’s still (a darker )wood, but it’s the same dresser and I love it. 🙂

Katie Slonim
6 years ago

I really like the direction this took! I love the idea of having a kid dedicated space that feels a little more refined and grown-up. That Kravet fabric is blowing me away!

Vicki Williams
6 years ago

Where do you get the wallpapers for #4 and #3 of the inspiration board? I have looked all over for something similar and have never come across these.
Love the design process and am looking forward to the reveal. Good luck on your upcoming adventures!

6 years ago

I desperately need to know where the wallpaper in #4 inspiration pic is from!

6 years ago

I am really going to miss these types of posts. Good work Mel (and Ginny)!

6 years ago

I can’t wait to see the reveal!!! It sounds like it will be absolutely elegant, beautiful, and breathable <3

6 years ago

Lots of pretty stuff! But I hope you get a mobile that is oriented to the BABY, not for looking at from across the room. The child should be able to look up from lying in the crib and see interesting sights, not the bottom of things.

6 years ago
Reply to  Caroline

But that wouldn’t look as good in the photos, and that’s what really matters 😉

6 years ago

Beautiful. Calm and sophisticated. But I wonder – what will they use as a changing table?

6 years ago

Will you please share the sources of the inspiration wallpapers? I, too, am interested in #s 3 and 4. Thank you! Can’t wait to see the final reveal of the nursery.

Jerry Corley
6 years ago

Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog.

Jerry Corley
6 years ago

Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog.

6 years ago

Erg, client work. While I certainly don’t fault this grandma for wanting what she wants, it’s so hard to see all the fun, colorful options that will never be. I’m sure you wizards will make it look amazing with accessories.

6 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Agreed, Mary! I know the team will create such a lovely final space as usual, but Grandma’s direction felt like such a downer after those first two delightful moodboards. I’ve never been a fan of formal children’s spaces- they feel like “Yes, this is technically a space for children, but we don’t let them touch the things”. I think you can find a nice balance that appeals to both childlike and adult sensibilities (which I think those first moodboards did quite well!) I am excited to see the lacquered dresser though, I think it will be a stunner!

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