totStuff:  First, we obviously love your nursery!  Will you tell our readers a little about your inspiration and how/why you chose the pieces you did for the space.

Thanks so much! My design process happens very organically. I don’t do too much planning. I tend to amass things that I like and then arrange a rearrange until I find a way that everything fits together well, then I edit. My style tends towards bohemian/worldly/eclectic. I like to mix and match lots of color and patterns. I mix old and new and I’m not afraid to add paint or drape fabrics on top of pretty much anything. When I pick pieces I look for both form and function. Our nursery is very small so I had to take scale into account a lot. It’s a good thing I’m not into minimalism! I love the sleepytime rocker that we got because it feels grandiose without taking up too much floor space. I know I will have a cozy spot to nurse my little one to sleep and it’s very modern, but the wooden rocking legs give it a down-to-earth feel that I love. I have a soft spot for wood. This probably has to do with my passion for vintage and antiques, but I want my little one to play with wooden–not plastic toys. I love the bamboo lion clock and the colorful wooden bauble toy I got. They feel both old-school and modern at the same time. I chose the Dwell Studio sheets and crib skirt because the design felt very 50’s modern to me–I adore prints and textiles from mid-century–but I prefer to go with new sheets as opposed to old ones, for sure. It was also important to me that the items I picked didn’t feel too ‘girly.’  We tried to pick furniture and accessories based on the feeling that we get from the items, as opposed to what would be ‘normal’ for a little girls’ nursery.

totStuff:  This is your first baby, do you have any tips for other new moms on how to navigate nursery design?

What we did (and I think it was a good way to go) was call our to friends and family and let them know that we were taking hand-me-downs. Once we got lots of hand-me-downs–we edited through and kept just what we really loved.  Next we had my sister-in-law (who has two kids of her own) help us go through the hand-me-downs and tell us what kind items we would still absolutely need–from a new organic crib mattress to an air humidifier–and since we had saved so much money already with all of the hand-me-downs, we were able to splurge on really nice versions of things that we really needed. Once we had all of the essentials out of the way, we were able to think about painting the room, accessorizing and making the space cute– which is the fun part. We painted a light, relaxing shade of aqua and upholstered one wall with fun stripey fabric–we added artwork and shaggy rugs and all of the stuff that make the space colorful and fun.

My biggest tip would be to consider well the space that you have–if, like ours, your space is small–use the wall space wisely. Don’t get stubborn about the layout–try lots of different arrangements. Rooms that are designed with a free, fun spirit–tend to carry that kind of energy. Lastly, think about safety and comfort of the child–think about softness, rounded corners, sunlight and cozyness.

totStuff:  Any major “dos & don’ts” come to mind?

Do add some plants to your nursery. They are natural air humidifiers and air filters.

Don’t place the crib so that the baby’s feet will be facing the door. It’s bad Feng Shui.

Do be playful with color and pattern.

Don’t get stuck in a limiting ‘theme.’ Let your imagination run wild, be playful and have fun.



totStuff:  Do you mind sharing your “must have” items?

I’ll probably be able to answer this question a bit better once our little one has lived in the nursery for a while–but right now I am feeling really good about our Sleepytime Rocker, our mobile (don’t you think that mobiles set the tones for the whole nursery?) and crib–which was a hand-me-down–but that we got an organic mattress and amazing Dwell Studio sheets and crib-skirt for.

totStuff:  Finally, if you could pass on one style attribute to your daughter, what would it be? 

If I could pass on one style attribute, it would be the ability to see beauty where others often do not see it.



Obsessed with color, the jungle, travel, creative reuse and thrifting, Justina Blakeney is a design maniac with a bohemian heart. Upon graduation from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures program, Justina moved to Italy and studied design at Polimoda. While in Italy she launched a boutique, a design collective, and a clothing label. She then went on to co-author four design books published by Random House.
Now, back in Los Angeles, Justina provides creative and stylistic consultations with individuals and lifestyle brands. She also curates a popular daily lifestyle blog and is one of the world’s most followed pinners on Pinterest.

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Melissa M. on July 30th, 2012 | 1 Comment -