Jun 28, 2006
The "newness" of an infant, the innocence and purity, usually conjures images of crisp white sterile-looking furnishings in the nursery. But there is something about bringing home the next generation of a family that naturally compels us to reflect on our heritage-our ancestors. Because of this, I find comfort in surrounding not only the infant, but also the new mother (and dad) with mementos of yesteryear. Vintage photos, antiques, and family keepsakes becalm the spirit with the promise of continuity and the soothing balm of familiarity.
I am finding a shift in nursery design is taking place: This is in part because many women are waiting longer to have children. These older, more established moms-to-be want the nursery to be sophisticated and flow seamlessly with the style of the rest of the home. Also, chances are good that today's new mom is employed outside of the home. She wants to feel relaxed and at peace in her surroundings when caring for her infant. In these very tiring first few months, the nursery is as much for the mother as it is for the baby, if not more.
This all changes in due time of course. But it's a good six months before the child begins to crawl. Once the baby is crawling, the nursery can be adjusted to keep curious fingers out of harm's way. Once the toddler begins walking, the nursery is again adjusted. A successful nursery evolves, grows and adapts according to the baby's development and changing needs. But in those first few exciting months, the nursery should bring comfort to the new parents as well as to the new baby.
This particular nursery I designed for a show house and was later bought by a wonderful client and friend who has, in my opinion, wonderful taste! This nursery appeared in the national publication, Country Almanac's 2005 Winter's issue. I designed the bedding using humble ticking, and simple cottons. The vintage rocker, dresser and buffet are painted in a distressed black and the walls painted in a puddy gray. The alphabet, painted in faded black paint adorns the door ways and windows. Sound drab? Not the least! Very sophisticated and very sweet. Vintage wire baskets hanging on the wall near the changing dresser, holds essentials such as diapers, powder and lotions. The iron crib converts into a daybed and certainly becomes a family heirloom. As baby grows and commands a more playful room filled with fairies, super heros or unicorns, the rocker is easily transferred to another room along with the dresser and buffet. The furniture is not traditional "baby" furniture, thus, may be used anywhere in the home....and not to be stored in the attic only to be sold at the fraction of its cost in a future garage sale.
I enjoy designing nurseries simply because the challenge is to step outside the traditional box and create a room that soothes a tired mom (or dad) while they soothe our future generation....and that is what it is all about isn't it? Developing a future full of promise, hope, and most of all...peace.
from my house to your house,