Have you ever had a really disruptive roommate? They play loud music way too early in the morning, take way too long in the shower, leave dishes piled up in the sink, borrow your things without asking, play YouTube videos on their phone while you’re watching a movie, or even fail to pay utilities on time. If none of this sounds familiar to you, then — I hate to break it to you — there’s a good chance you’ve been that disruptive roommate to someone else.
I (Nathan) have had quite an eclectic array of co-habitants in my life, and we’re not even scratching the surface on some of the comically ridiculous offenses they would commit on occasion. That said, while I’ve lived with folks who wake me up at odd hours of the night, our newborn son is the first roommate whose diaper I’ve ever had to change — although, we did have a close call one time.
Dirty diapers and wakeup calls aside, we couldn’t be happier or more excited to have our new little roommate in our home! A small part of the joy of welcoming him into our home was designing and curating his nursery. While putting together a room for a child so young is admittedly a selfish endeavor, we wanted to create a room he could grow into, an ambience that felt cozy and peaceful, and a space that felt unique to us as a couple and family.
*You can shop the nursery here:
Inspiration and Design
Right out of the gate, we knew we wanted this nursey to feel a bit unorthodox compared to lots of the inspiration we had seen around the web. We had high hopes in this non-traditional, cozy environment to feel a bit more like your grandad’s library than a Fisher Price ad. The inspirations? The Polo Bar, 90s Americana, Aime Leon Dore, regal studies filled with mahogany and leather bound books, and, ultimately, the velvet lined version all things skinned knees and hard-playing boyhood.
We wanted this space to make you feel like lighting up a cigar — please don’t, though — or talking about basketball and vintage SUVs, or like the next great transcendentalist poem is rolling around in your head, or to maybe just make you go: oh wow, would you guys adopt me? The point is, we wanted it to feel grown up, with a strong kick of our little tyke running roughshod across it all.
Someone dm’d us shortly after we shared the nursery and said, “It looks like a grandad’s smoking lounge”, and — although we don’t think they meant it as a compliment — to that we say: thank you.
As far as how we got here, we knew we wanted to add a punch of colors in the form of plaid wallpaper, but we weren’t quite sure how to integrate it — do you do an accent wall, use wall molding with a matching green color inside of it to break up the design, or do you go another route?
After having some success with wallpaper inside of wall molding in our kitchen, we wondered if that would be an option in the nursery. We questioned if it would work with a matching green color all around it, but worried it would visually come across more “mono” than “stereo” — the wrong choice could leave it feeling way less dynamic than we were picturing. After searching for the perfect green color to make it work, we sort of lucked into it one day when walking into Farrow & Ball’s storefront on the Upper East Side. We found the color “Beverly”, which had just come out, and all of the sudden our use of wallpaper became clear.
As you can see now, we opted to use wall molding with the wallpaper inside of it, with Beverly as the color surrounding it to break things up without becoming a wall of indistinguishable blue-green, feeling too dark, or drowning out the design completely. This room, after all, is for an infant-to-toddler aged boy. A small shift in color choice could make things feel more akin to teenage angst, adulthood anxieties, or make you extremely aware of the bags under your eyes, rather than the laid back, rough-around-the-edges boyish library and Little Tykes smoking lounge we had envisioned (and yes, I understand how insane that last sentence sounds).
I’ve gotta say, we’re pretty happy with the results!
This wall carries a lot of meaning for us. For starters, we named Sam after Anna’s dad, who passed away at the end of 2020. He was such a strong presence in our lives, and was someone who we both had a special bond with, so having a reminder of his immense legacy means so much to us! The photo on the top left is of Sam riding a horse back in his college days — the man was, and clearly always had been, a badass.
To the right of dad’s photo is a cross-stitch piece that was made for him years ago. Mom graciously passed it down to go in the nursery, and we love having a couple of pieces to honor Sam’s namesake.
Below the cross-stitch is Anna’s grandfather’s watch — for what it’s worth, it’s a Seiko 5, Automatic, Day Date, which is an awesome watch! He also passed away in 2020, and is someone who would fire off the funniest and most cutting sarcastic remark before pulling you close and reminding you that you were his favorite grandchild / grandchild-in-law (we will go to our graves believing he only said these things to us).
And the horse photo was one we got at the Kentucky derby right after we found out Anna was pregnant (we had the strangest feeling it was a boy from the start)!
Lastly, we wanted to share the original mood board Anna created for the nursery. It’s kind of fun to see where things started and how it actually all came together!
We hope this post offers some insight into our process and some inspo for any home projects you may have coming up! We’re so happy with how this maniacal cocktail coalesced, and we’re equally excited to see what sort of stains, knicks, and dings make this room feel more and more like Sam’s space along the way. Here’s to our new roommate — disruption and all!
*You can shop everything in our nursery using the links below: