I'm very excited to introduce Megan Carty~ a graphic designer and mom from Massachusetts.
She is absolutely lovely. She created a drop dead gorgeous room for her first baby, Paige. Below, she tells us in perfect words how she did it. Grab a pen and paper, and take notes!
Megan, what inspired you to create this room?
My main goal was to create a unique space that didn't look like it came “from a box” or too “matchy-matchy.” I wanted to do something that wasn't too girly (a.k.a. pink and frilly), even though I knew I was having a girl. And finally, it was important to me that the space feel cheerful; one that we would feel happy to be in. I decided I liked a modern and creative look that wasn't too traditional. I built the room from there.
What was your favorite part of the design process?
My favorite part was going out on the internet to find photos of furniture, decor, colors, etc. that I like and saving them to a folder on my computer. This helped me to define what I like most out there, and I started to see a design aesthetic take shape. It was most satisfying to see the look come together before we even bought anything. My other favorite part of the process was finding the artwork for the walls. It's fun to “think outside the box” and use colorful objects, banners and fabric instead of just framed prints in a baby theme.
What was the most challenging part?
The most challenging part was actually deciding what to purchase for real! I wanted to make sure everything would fit in the room, so I made a mock-up room on the computer in scale to make sure. I was also scared that some of the items and colors wouldn't work together once in the actual space and I'd have to start over. I had to know when to stop when it came to colors and textures. I'd originally planned for a very colorful rug, (the colors of the room were pulled from this rug!) but once the rug was in the room, well, everything looked crazy! Too much color and pattern. So, as much as I loved the rug itself, I had to return it and put in a white shag rug in it's place. Much more calming!
What tips would you give to moms who want to design a fabulous nursery and have no idea where to start?
I would first peruse online catalogs and gather images of things you like. Cribs, dressers, art, rugs, lighting, curtains … Just go out and find things that you most love. Put together a little idea file and take your time. Then, once you've gathered it all together, see if you can find a design “look” that grabs at you. A dresser will relate to a crib, and then a lamp will call out to you that seems to go well with the look of the furniture, and soon a piece of artwork will call out that seems to match the look of those other things and so forth. It's just like a puzzle.
From there, I suggest deciding on the main wall color, which then dictates the dominating accent color (which then leads to the colors of the curtains, shades, rug, crib, bedding, etc). In my case, I decided that yellow would be a fun choice if I was having a girl. I came to this by holding paint chips next to the wall color I'd chosen as I tried to find a dynamic-looking pair. Once I chose colors I liked, I set out to find items that matched the theme with the right prices for me.
Let one thing be the dominating item in the room. In my case, I picked the crib and rug first and let everything else go with it. If you have a favorite rug you've found, then build your decisions around it and let the rug be the hero of the room. Don't choose too many “heroes” for the space–you won't know where to look first and it will look crazy. The eye needs breathing room.
Another tip would be to choose objects that aren't necessarily for babies. Most of the things I chose for the space were things that would work for any age and were things I wanted for myself to use in the future (in my office, for example). I didn't want to waste money on items that would only be used for a few years.
And my final tip would be to not buy sets of everything to match. A crib, dressing, and changing table don't all have to be from the same line, but should at least relate to each other. Build the room as you would an outfit and take your time! If you give yourself the time to discover just what it is you really want, then you'll be thrilled with your results.
If you would like to submit pictures to have your child's room featured, or know someone who does, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.