Well folks, as you know, a couple of months ago we made-over Joy’s nursery/home office. David Tsay shot it for American Baby Magazine and now it’s time for the big reveal. It’s time to show America where Baby Coco Cho is putting her adorable little face. America wants to know and it’s our job to answer. You probably already saw the ‘make0ver plan‘ and yesterday’s ‘mountain mural‘ post and if not, feel free to read it before you proceed. Or just jump right into it if you’re that kind of lady (or man).
Welcome to Joy’s gender neutral, multi-functional, home office and nursery for America’s own Coco Cho. I mean, Coco Cho. That girl will grow up to be either a comedian or a Politican. Coco Cho for Congress, 2024!!
Click through to see the whole makeover
Can’t you see the, ‘who’s this chick?’ expression of Joy’s face? I’ll assume it had to do with the fact that I have now designed almost every single one of Joy’s spaces. Hell, I might even renovate her perfectly good rental kitchen just to assert my power over her.
To recap – here was our nursery inspiration – neutral, modern, with a playful Scandinavian bent. Gray, white, with pops of color and we wanted it to feel really ‘fun’ but not too ‘baby’. Just to be clear – neither Bob nor Joy actually work out of this office during the day – they both have offices outside of the house. This would be where they would email at night, edit photos, pay bills, read my blog, watch my videos, photoshop me into their family photos, etc. Their family has grown but they still need somewhere in the house to get online and file their receipts (I’ve heard of people doing that, but I’m sure it’s an urban legend, like how people also ‘get their oil changed’).
At first we went this neutral:
But then we decided that Baby Coco Cho needed color and spice, not to mention some sort of statement wall treatment … especially since it was going to be in a magazine and all over the interwebs:
So we proposed this mountain mural and started pulling together Target, vintage and custom pieces for the makeover. Here is what it looked like BEFORE we started (but after they started clearing it out, obviously).
It wasn’t really designed, pretty, and just generally not worthy of Joy, Bob, Ruby or America’s baby, Coco Cho. But now, the nursery makeover is all finished and little Coco Cho is in their sleeping through the night (surely) and snuggling with her mama all day (because her mama isn’t busy at all).
Wassup, happy room? Sometimes it’s weird to write these posts and be like ‘look how fun this is!’ because it’s our own work. But, well, just look at how fun that is…. It’s been said that good design either costs a lot of money or a lot of time, and I usually agree. But that mountain mural only cost the amount of paint and tape and only took 1 day by us, not professionals. Had it been more intricate or needed to be very specific measurements then it might have taken longer, but this bad boy was whipped up by me taping it and Brady, Robbie and I painting it.
Blue Mountains: Dutchboy Lapis Enamel. Light Grey Mountains: Dutchboy Iced Cube Silver. Dark Grey Mountains: Dutchboy Handcast Pewter. Bottom Half of Wall: Dutchboy Silver Half Dollar. Sun: Benjamin Moore Sun City
I’m going to do this post in chapters, that way if you aren’t interested in 5 paragraphs about the curtains, you can just skip it, but if you are obsessed with curtains or curious why we did what we did, you’ll get that info.
Now, I’m already predicting your questions: 1. Why didn’t you install shades (that go up and down) instead of curtains (right to left)? and 2. Why not take the curtains all the way to the floor? Well, here’s the answer, it’s a long one and it was a total conundrum, believe me.
Those windows are huge, almost 8′ wide and while custom shades do come that long, they are VERY expensive (like $700- $1000 each), not including the fabric and very heavy (I have 8′ long ones that have broken already, they’ve been repaired, don’t worry). We could have broken it into two different shades per window, but that doesn’t change the cost, only increases it, and that would cause a pretty noticeable gap between the shades once they are down. When it comes to blackout shades and newborn babies, that crack in the middle of the day is a total bummer and could be the difference between a good sleeper and a bad one. I should know because we have them on both sides of Charlie’s room window (because we did inside mount instead of outside mount, which looks better but you know has its issues obviously). We have to shove a blanket in that gap and leave it like that all the time. Its not that big of a deal, but it didn’t seem like a smart move (plus it was out of our budget).
It didn’t make sense to go to the floor because both the dresser and the desks were shoved agains the wall. I thought to myself – can we really do short curtains instead of drapes? Can we pull this off? Do people even say ‘drapes’ anymore? Should we say and should we do curtains? And the answer was, ‘It will save us so much money and it’s actually way more functional, so lets give it a shot’. We priced it out and found a seamstress for $15 a panel. This is EXTRA-ORDINARILY cheap, and unfortunately I can’t share that info, but I found her on Craigslist. Most of the drapery places quoted $80/panel. We called around, got desperate for deals and even dropped Joy and my name like crazy (sometimes we resort to that, yes) and nobody seemed to want to come down on price.
These were 4 double panels (sewn together) so that would have been $360, which wasn’t crazy but we had a super tight budget (trying to keep the room under $2k not including the Target pieces which were gifted). So our lady produced these bad boys (and put them on proper hooks) for $60 total. I know. Oh and curtains are obviously WAY less fabric than long drapes. This fabric wasn’t cheap, like $20/yard and we needed 16 yards so that was already a huge expense. It doesn’t look like you would need that much fabric but in order to go across the whole width of the window and still have some body and volume, they needed to be double width. Generally you add at least a foot for hemming on the top and bottom, too. So I think we needed 4 yards per double panel, so 16 total. By the way in case you are wondering what the not so fun tasks are as a designer, its figuring out EXACTLY how many yards you need without going over or under, and then doing a drawing to show that – which involves not just the total length, but the double hem size (1″ turn them 5″ hem). They only had 15 or 16 yards total so we were worried that we wouldn’t make it, but we had our lady just reduce the hem size. Once we installed them we realized that we weren’t loving the abruptness of the curtains when they WEREN’T pulled shut (in other words on the sides of the dresser when they were open) so we added some white ball fringe with fabric glue. Then we were happy.
About the fabric: We found this fabric at The Fabric Store (it’s silk apparel fabric) and knew that it was our fabric. Joy loved it, Coco did a kick of approval, and even Bob was on board. It really set the color palette for the room. As much as we loved those neutral inspiration photos, life just got more fun after we found that fabric.
Lastly, almost, (geez, are you done hearing about the curtains yet?) we had purchased thick blackout fabric (it comes in fabric, vinyl and other plastic and paper-like forms) at a different fabric store, and I believe it was $6 a yard. We dropped off both the blackout fabric, our patterned fabric and the hooks to the lady and got them in 3 days. Again, this is unusual but if you are resourceful and risky enough you can often get away with finding unknown skillful people on Craigslist who and are just trying to make an extra buck on the weekend. They turned out BEAUTIFULLY made.
Those tops are the simple cheap white lacquer guys from Ikea, and then we got these legs from Pretty Pegs. We debated for hours about whether to do white or black or WHITE AND BLACK mixed together, but ultimately we decided that in order for the desk area to feel a bit more masculine, the black legs were the better choice. Joy and I always ere on the side of ‘white’, but we also ere on the side of babies and balloons, but that doesn’t mean that we sometimes don’t like how grounding black can be. The filing cabinets were also from Ikea (Target doesn’t really have that kind of office furniture) and we tricked them out by installing long handles on them and spray painted them gold. If you want to splurge you could also by the SchoolHouse Electric version of the handles. But, it’s what’s on top that I love – these custom plexi desk blotter.
THE PLEXI BLOTTERS:
(sounds like a controversial dance move) look good, and instagrams well and that’s really all that matters. A desk blotter was traditionally made of leather to help protect the table (plus they are easy to write on). You don’t really need them with this table but I just love the way it really grounds everything. So we had these custom made by our plexi dude (what? you don’t have a plexi dude?).They have 50 colors and we chose gold for Joy, duh, and dark cobalt for Bob to work with the blue of the mountains. We gave them a drawing, to help facilitate the process. These were 36″ wide and 20″ deep, with a return on the front the same thickness as the desk). I believe the price of these were around $100 each. Not nothing, certainly, but man they are just so fun. I am curious how they have held up – I should ask that Joy lady.
P.S. that is a very good lamp, there. The desk chairs are similar to the ones that we have in our studio that we recovered in a fun pattern, and they are strangely comfortable, modern and ergonomic. Non-comfortable or adjustable chairs weren’t an option for Bob, so I couldn’t really go the vintage route, but these are strangely fantastic for $69.99.
This guy as a vintage find from West Coast modern (an awesome vintage joint in LA). We looked at a few dressers that were around $700 (news flash, DRESSERS ARE EXPENSIVE), but we bought it for $500 (a discount for the crediting and link love). Yes, that is brass on the drawers. Its 80’s and wonderful. Much like The Lion King, that dresser is like the Simba of the 80’s, held up high by Mufasa, over the valley of the disgusting 80’s generic/cheap furniture. It’s/he’s the beacon of good things in a bad generation. Just go with it.
We put pretty photos below the window and we love it. The reason is: sometimes things look good in random places. Joy had these pretty photos, they were meaningful to her, so why not showcase them in the space that highlighted them the most, right?
Joy already had that glider from DwellStudio but it was in super oatmeal-y tone, see original here. And that just wouldn’t work with our design. So we bought this pretty gray linen and had it reupholstered. This was not in the budget but it was one of those things that I HAD to do for my own personal, emotional relationship with the world. I think it cost $300 for that satisfaction, and I just paid for it. In this room a brown-taupe-gray tweed would have looked dirty and dingy and sad, even though in another room it would have looked great. Maybe if this wasn’t for a press project I would have just let it be, but this would be in doctors offices and in homes of new moms across America and possibly even the world. That chair needed to be gray. I remember when we brought it back from the upholsterer and revealed the new fabric to them. Bob was totally bewildered. Surely this was the same chair, he thought. Maybe the whole world would have been bewildered, but I was very happy and relieved to know that the room would look pulled together.
THE CHANGING TABLE:
This was one of those pieces that I was like, Nice job, Target. Good on you. It’s a good scale. It’s a good height. Its transitionable (take off the changing table top and its just a dresser) and its a good modern shape and color, plus at $399 its not bad at all for a piece you can have for most of your kids childhood.
*Resources: Light Grey Benjamin Moore Iced Cube Silver 2121-50 | Medium Grey Paint Benjamin Moore Silver Half Dollar 2121-40 | Dark Grey Benjamin Moore Pewter 2121-30 | Blue Paint Dutch Boy Lapis Enamel E22-1 | Pink Paint | Yellow Paint Benjamin Moore Limon 334 | Laundry hamper Clever Spaces
I LOVE THAT CRIB:
In fact I love that crib enough that I now have that crib, as well (long story, but you’ll see it when it comes out in a magazine in March). It is low so you don’t have too reach too far, plus it has a drawer at the bottom where we keep all the extra sheets. The mattress height is adjustable, don’t worry, we just have it raised for little Coco as a newborn. The bookcase is a simple bookcase that holds anything from bottles, to breast pump stuff, to clocks, to books and pretty objects. It’s one of those things that I didn’t realize were so important until you have a kid. When you have a newborn you are seeking cold water and a table to put it on all day long. So while this bookcase was styled out here, we know that its there for whatever Joy needs.
Such a quick post!!!
Naturally we shot a video of the whole process, too, for your viewing pleasure.
Thanks, American Baby, and a BIG thanks to my David Tsay, who captured all of these beautiful images for your viewing pleasure. He is a master, and never ceases to impress me with how magical the rooms look in his photos.
1. Desk chair | 2. Desk legs | 3. Desk top |4. Wall sconce | 5. Paper planes artwork | 6. Drawer unit | 7. Gold stapler | 8. Pencil pouch | 9. White lamp Drum lamp shade | 10. Max Wanger Splash | 11. Max Wanger Tulum | 12. Drawer pulls
1. Mobile 2. Blanket | 3. Changing pad cover | 4. Crib | 5. Ceramic table lamp | 6. Changer dresser | 7. Security blanket | 8. Standing lamp | 9. Heart pillow | 10. Dots crib sheet | 11. Hello Rug | 12. Glider | 13. Laundry hamper | 14. Pouf | 15. White shelf