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Client Project: Modern Feminine Nursery in Michigan

Welcome to Michigan, baby! My latest client project has taken me to a small room in a modern house in Ann Arbor that is being converted into a nursery in time for a baby girl to arrive by early January. And you know how I am always talking about how important rugs are? Well, this nursery design grew out of a beautiful rug and incorporates soft colors, modern design and feminine touches to become a beautiful little space. I’ve dubbed this client project #Michiganbaby. Ready to see?

 

The #Michiganbaby project is to turn a room that is about 8.5’x11′ and being used as an office into a nursery. The setup is tight because of two doorways (door to room and closet) and two windows. The benefit is that there is a lot of natural light. Here are some before photos:

 

As I mentioned, the room design all started with a rug. The client’s mother wanted to give her a 5′ x 8’6″ rug that the client had when she was a girl. The rug is an interpretation of the Tree of Life. She asked me if she should take the rug for the room or just leave it at her parents’ house. My response was swift: I said it was stunning  and that she just had to keep it. I love that the rug was in her bedroom when she was a kid and now will be in her daughter’s room. I also love the colors and that it isn’t too girly, as in it wouldn’t be an obvious choice for a baby girl’s room.

The client also already had or was about to receive a few key pieces:

This is what she said she still needed or wanted:
  • A dresser/changing table
  • A side table for the chair
  • A reading lamp for next to the chair
  • A creative solution for a lot of kids books that won’t take up too much room
  • Pillows for the glider and other accents that tie the room together
  • A paint color for the wall


She wouldn’t mind touches of pink but wanted the wall color to be neutral and didn’t want the room to be too girly. She said their general home style was Mid-Century Modern meets comfy catalogue style meets Room and Board meets Pottery Barn meets art and Oriental rugs. She likes furniture and pieces with a style that ages well since she’s unlikely to redecorate in the near future. Here is some of her inspiration:

 

 

My initial thought was that the color scheme should be light pink and green to play off the accent colors in the rug, and have white, natural wood and light gray as the neutrals. With that, I pulled together three different design options with items that I thought were most important: mostly pieces of furniture that she can keep for a long time, either for her daughter or for herself; side tables for the glider that can hold books; and modern design that feels right for a baby girl’s room. I also really wanted to use the walls to help draw the eye up since it’s a small room and leave space on the floor. I did this by suggesting shelving for the walls above the crib and dresser and curtains hung high.

 

Option 1:
This one is the most neutral in color but not in design as all the curves in the furniture and decor are really feminine without being too girly. I think this one also has a bit of a glam vibe. I love the dresser and end table and I’ve had my eye on that curtain rod for a long long time.

 

 

Option 2:
Option 2 has a slight boho touch with more natural woods and patterns, and a variety of textures with the metal shelving and bubble glass of the table lamp. I suggested just one piece of artwork here since the curtains have a strong pattern on them (same butterfly print as Option 1) and kept the mobile from Option 1 since I love how modern and lightweight it is visually. Yes, I know, the paint is pink, but it’s a super soft pink which can read as a neutral depending on how it’s balanced out.

 

 

Option 3:
I think Option 3 has a lightweight feel. Even though I suggested a color for the walls, the white furniture helps the room breathe, as do the sheer curtains. That hummingbird print is pretty, the shelving is cool and that lamp is gorgeous. I brought back the curtain rod from Option 1 since I really like it and I think it ties into the shelving and provides a modern edge.

 

 

What did she end up loving the most? Option 3. She thought the sheer pink blinds were beautiful and added the right amount of “girly,” balanced by the curtain rods. She said the hexagon-shaped shelves are cool and add a modern feel. She said the alphabet artwork isn’t exactly what she would choose, but both pieces of art are spot on in terms of color. In fact, her mother-in-law is actually making a needlepoint to frame and hang in the exact same colors as the hummingbird. I love this idea because I love art that is personal and, not even knowing what the needlepoint will look like, I just have the feeling it will be fantastic.

 

The only thing she wasn’t in love with was the wall color. She said she can see how it draws out the colors in the rug, but it is a bit too colorful for her. So I recommended three additional colors, all gray neutrals but with a touch of green in them. Also, after buying the lamp, we realized that the scale of the lamp was too big for that bookshelf side table so I found others. That lamp is beautiful, though, so, out of the two things – lamp and table – I’m glad the lamp stayed.

 

Three new paint options to consider for the nursery design direction she chose.
 As a replacement, I suggested this white end table from Target and this one from Land of Nod that is the companion piece to the dresser she chose. Both have storage options and a shelf for books. While the one from Land of Nod would make sense to get considering she was getting the dresser, I don’t think it’s worth the money. The one from Target has a drawer and pull that echo that of the Land of Nod dresser and is a much better deal.

 

So, what do you think of the #Michiganbaby project? Which option would you have chose?

 

To see other client projects, visit here and here and here.

 

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