Neutral Nursery Design


I've never designed a space for another person before. In fact, that wasn't even the plan for Rennai. You see my dear friend and photographer is pregnant with a beautiful rainbow baby. She has gone through two losses before this pregnancy, and so celebrating this baby is scary and hard and wonderful all at the same time. 

So designing a special space for this baby is party therapy, part scary, part exciting for Rennai. She knew she wanted a rocking chair from Article. She chose the Embrace chair, which completely lives up to its name. It's so beautiful and comfortable. 


With a rocking chair chosen and crib that she already had from her previous kiddos, the room was already taking on a mid-century modern vibe. She doesn't know the gender of this baby, so we tried to keep things fairly gender neutral. Although, it started leaning more boy to the end. That's nothing that a swap of bedding and the art can't fix though.


Whenever you put a rocking chair in a nursery make sure there is a table to set things down next to. You'll need it for bottles or a breast pump or your own water bottle. It's a MUST have. 

After doing this with Rennai it really made me want to help other friends design spaces. I don't know if that's in the cards for me right now, but maybe one day. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


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Levi is officially six months old today. I can't believe it! Time has gone by so quickly. In honor of his half birthday, I am revealing his nursery design done by Oilo Studio. It's the most beautiful and cozy space I think I have ever been in. I love everything about it, and I'm so thankful that I can give this experience to my son.

When we moved in, the original space was painted lime green, had an outdated ceiling fan and window coverings that didn't do much to block out light. We repainted the walls Westhighland White and then painted an accent wall Anchors Aweigh blue provided by Sherwin-Williams. We selected a flat finish and used their low VOC Emerald line. The paint alone was transformational.

To dress up the windows and create more darkness, we hung a gold curtain rod with white sheer curtains from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The window actually has a slight arch to it, so Annalisa Thomas from Oilo had the genius idea of covering the arch with a wooden roman shade to make the window appear rectangular and create clean lines.

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The rug from Lulu & Georgia was the anchoring factor for the room and the inspiration behind the color palette. I wanted something masculine-feeling, and liked the idea of mixing mid-century modern design with traditional elements. (To see a contrasting girl room, check out Elle's big girl room reveal). The round gold mirror makes such a statement too, and is another traditional element that complements the rug. When I pick Levi up after a nap and look at the pair of us in the mirror he always smiles at himself, and, of course, I smile and then want to freeze time forever. Having a mirror in a nursery is not only beautiful, but fun for baby too. Just make sure to secure really, really well and move the crib away from the wall.

The mid-century elements that are in the space are the side table, planter, gray wingback chair, bubble chandelier and credenza. Every single item is so cool and beautiful I would put it in any space in my home. The chair is perfect for me to read stories to both Levi and Elle. Elle particularly loves to take the stool over to Levi's crib so she can talk to him after he wakes up from his nap. It's the cutest!

Having a side table right next to the chair to set his bottles down on after a feeding or set books on after we've finished reading them it very convenient. When I was nursing I was always looking for a place to set my water on or my breast pump on. I highly recommend investing in a comfortable chair and a side table to go with it. The chair and table are both from Joss & Main.

Annalisa found the coolest chandelier on Even though ceiling fans are nice to have they aren't the prettiest. I've taken most of them out of every room in our house and just added a high powered floor fan. My husband wasn't a fan initially, but once he saw the impact of a light fixture and how it elevates a space he became a believer. 

The white crib and the mid-century modern credenza were pieces I had from Elle's nursery. I'm so glad that they worked with this space too. Oilo Studio makes gorgeous, quality bedding for cribs. I have had my eye on this gray and white Zara pattern crib set for a while, and it was such a nice pairing with navy and the traditional pattern in the rug. I wouldn't have put all of these textures and patterns on my own. It really shows you what a designer can do for you. I always end up making things very matchy, matchy.

Living in Arizona, we have cacti all around us. The desert landscape is so beautiful, and I'm so proud to have both of my children be native Arizonans. Annalisa found artwork of a saguaro cactus and prickly pear cactus by WilderCalifornia to breathe Arizona into the space. 

I really wanted to have real cacti in the room as well, but they are obviously dangerous for children. Instead, I found these modern, brass hanging planters and put tiny little cacti in them. I also planted a fuzzy cactus in a small pot and placed it at the top of Levi's bookshelf. Modernica makes high quality, modern planters, and I was able to find a needless cactus to keep beside his crib. It looks perfect with the modern planter. Fiddled fig trees are all over Pinterest, but I don't have a green thumb. Cacti is as close as I get. I was able to find a faux fig tree at Home Goods, and then I placed it in a woven basket, which I also found at Home Goods.

Of course, there has to be some kid elements in the space. The Land of Nod has some of the cutest trinkets and toys for kids. I love this hippo, these gradient blocks, and these soft blocks so much I wanted to display them as much as have Levi play with them. This gold music ball from Design Life Kids was a modern take on a classic childhood toy. I displayed them all on this unique modern bookshelf from Joss & Main. You can style it a million different ways, but I have kept it pretty minimal for now. Elle is hoarding all of the baby books in her room right now. haha.

It's such a joy to walk into this room every day whether it's to change a diaper, feed him at 2am or play with him on the floor. I don't take these luxuries lightly, and I know how much even having a dedicated room for a baby is is a luxury in and of itself. I can't thank Oilo Studio enough for all of your hard work and vision. If you're interested in learning more about the design process for Levi's nursery, be sure to check out Oilo's blog.

Elle's Nursery

Earlier this year I had a list of home improvement goals, and for the first couple of months I was doing great at attacking them. Then along came baby and a baby room became number one priority. I had SOOOO much fun conceptualizing her nursery, pinning things on Pinterest, putting together her inspiration board, and of course, shopping for all of the decor. I even found my inner-DIY girl, and created a rad polka dot wall. WOOT!

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 7.58.18 PM

I wish I had been better at taking before photos, but I will say I have some pretty awesome after photos taken by my friend Mike Olbinski.

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 7.58.51 PM

I had a lot of help from friends and family in creating this space for Elle. And having the hands of people that I love help create a room for my baby girl makes me love the nursery even more. My friends painted the walls and a cute growth stick.

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 8.22.46 PM

My father-in-law repainted my cedar hope chest that I had when I was a little girl.

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 7.56.12 PM

My sister-in-law created a mobile, the pennant you see on the crib, and these SUPER cool balls of string.

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 7.55.16 PM

The nursery has a couple of second-hand pieces. I found an old rocking chair at a thrift store and had it reupholstered. I also found a colorful oriental rug at a consignment store in Sedona. And my favorite find, was a mid-century modern credenza that I'm using as a changing table for now, but can't wait to put it in my living-room one day. =)

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 8.00.06 PM

I was so excited about putting the nursery together I completed it about two months before she was born. And up until I went into labor I would sit in her rocking chair and just dream about what it was going to be like to meet her. Now that she is here, I look forward to spending time with her in this happy room, and I think she is going to love growing up in it.

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Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 7.56.33 PM

My advice to people creating a nursery, make it a special, happy place because you're going to spend MANY hours there.

Baby Room Inspiration

Happy Friday! I'm officially six months pregnant today, and that means it's definitely time to start working on my baby room starting this weekend! This was definitely not one of my 2012 Home Decor Goals, but hopefully, that won't stop me from doing some other home improvements too.

So, of course, fashion is always influencing me, and I've decided to follow the summer color trends by designing her room in coral and a minty teal with metallic accents. Thanks to the fabulous technology of, I can show you an inspiration board. I think I would be lost without this step for any creative project.

We have already found our crib, a mid-century credenza for a changing table, a rocking chair that is being reupholstered, curtains and picked out paint. Now, it's just down to putting it all together.

Wish me luck! Can't wait to show you pics when it's done! And, feel free to follow my nursery finds on Pinterest! I couldn't resist creating a baby board.