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E-Design Gender Neutral Nursery Project

Thanks to Covid so many of us - big and small businesses alike - have had to pivot our business models to accommodate these unprecedented times. Prior to the pandemic, I had done a few e-design projects but now more than ever both thanks to being forced to be apart from people and also thanks to the power of Instagram, my work has expanded outside of the local area. Working remotely definitely poses more challenges than if I am working proximate to clients but with good communication and flexibility great things can still happen!

I was contacted by a dear friend in Washington, DC about a couple they were friends with who were expecting their long awaited first child. She asked if I would be willing to help them remotely as she thought my style would mesh with theirs and the couple had a general idea of what they wanted but were having trouble finalizing decisions. As we all know, decorating your own home can be hard but no space more so than the nursery of your first child. You just want everything to be perfect (and at the same time don't exactly know what you need or what to expect). I had a phone call with the clients to get a sense of what they were looking for to see if I could help. It turns out they lived in a very similar house style as we did when we lived in DC so that helped that I was very familiar with their home layout and style.

Here is the room when we started:

My clients were not finding out the gender so the guidance I got from them was that they wanted a gender neutral nursery with a LOOSE woodland theme. After talking to them, hearing their budget and lists of wants, this was the design plan I put together for them:

They were very much on board with the plan and the first order of business was the wallpaper so that we could determine the other colors in the room. I narrowed down some pretty green grasscloth options for them and they decided via pictures which they preferred. It was also a little more challenging doing this from afar because I didn't have my normal vendors to help them and in general everything was more expensive in DC than in NC. Thanks to the power of networking via social media, I was able to find a great wallpaper installer for them in the DC area. We ended up deciding to paper two of the walls and then to paint the other two walls a light neutral and carried that same color onto the arched low ceiling to help it feel seamless.

The dresser was the next biggest challenge. The couple felt strongly that they wanted a good quality piece of furniture that would last them for many years. They shopped and shopped locally and online and weren't enthused about the things they were finding and if they did find something, a lot of the newer pieces either wouldn't have arrived in time for the baby's debut or the quality just wasn't there. I was able to negotiate with some colleagues here to see if they could help with a dresser and have it lacquered in time and get it shipped to DC and my friends at Rail and Stile came through for me. We lacquered the vintage dresser in a beautiful Benjamin Moore color called Indian River and it was the perfect gender neutral choice that I think can be used in the baby's room for many years or elsewhere in their home down the road.

To help on budget, my clients had an existing shelf that was great style-wise but the wood tone wasn't working so great in the space so I helped them select a color to paint it and we repurposed it for the baby's room. The next order of business were new window treatments. Thankfully the window sizes were standard enough that we were able to get blackout roman shades purchased retail that would fit the window. It was a big upgrade from a style standpoint but also offered much better room darkening for the sleeping baby than the old existing blinds did.

Here was a picture they snapped for me of the final nursery just before their sweet son was born - he is a beautiful healthy and happy little guy!


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