Maisonette’s Founders Know How to Design a Great Nursery
Here are their top tips for expectant parents.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:58 AM
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Before launching Maisonette—the website that Vogue named the “Net-a-Porter for kids”—Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza de Roccia were still figuring out the whole motherhood thing. “Being a new mother can be the most terrifying and anxiety-ridden experience, but the more hurdles you tackle, the more you’ll realize you’ve got the situation under control,” says Durrett. She is now an expert at all things birthday parties, baby showers, and nursery decor—and her colorful Brooklyn home is a testament to her great taste. The same goes for de Roccia and her Washington, D.C., abode.
Both women worked at Vogue before their Maisonette days—de Roccia as accessories editor and Durrett as director of special projects. But as young moms (they each have three children), they quickly identified a hole in the marketplace for chic children’s wear and home accessories. Naturally, we had to ask them about their best nursery decor tips—especially since they just launched their baby registry service earlier this summer. Here’s what they had to say:
Buy Storage Bins, Then Buy Some More
“I underestimated the amount of stuff that comes along with a new baby,” Durrett recalls. “You can never have enough storage bins, so you may as well make them pretty.” She would know; the mom filled her children’s bedrooms with plenty of baskets from Maisonette.
Don’t Overdo It With the Baby Stuff
Nursery design is exciting for parents-to-be, but de Roccia warns against going overboard. “It can be tempting to buy too much,” she admits. “Everything is so cute!” But instead, she suggests nailing down a theme or even just one or two focal points to help guide your design process and end up with a space that looks cohesive and streamlined.
Multitask With a Bouncer
Both moms have go-to gifts for expectant parents, things they claim will change their lives. Among them, the BabyBjörn bouncer: “It’s a lifesaver, especially if you have another child at home,” says de Roccia. “You can place the baby in there when you need to be hands-free for a moment, or drag it into the bathroom while you hop in and out of the shower.”
Invest in a Shusher (for Your Own Peace of Mind!)
For Durrett, the one item worth the investment is a shusher (aka a sound machine for babies). “This battery-operated shusher is truly amazing, as it lets you take a rest from doing the shushing yourself, and it automatically turns off after 15 or 30 minutes, so your baby doesn’t get used to sleeping with a constant stream of noise.”
Look Beyond the Early Years
Nursery furniture can be fleeting when kids grow so fast, but Ward has one trick to get the most out of investment pieces: “I think it’s important to choose a crib that will last, and I particularly like those that convert to toddler beds so you get the most bang for your buck.”
Create a Cozy Nursing Nook
The nursery is a space often designed with baby in mind, but don’t forget your own well-being: “A comfortable chair is key,” says de Roccia. “I like a deep one with arms to nestle into—it’s a lifesaver for your back. I also love a soft night-light, so you don’t disturb your baby too much, and a nursing pillow, which is helpful even if you’re bottle feeding.”
Discover more children-friendly spaces we love: This Kid’s Bedroom Features a Sneaky DIY—Can You Spot It? Did Drew Barrymore Just Design the Chicest Kids’ Beds Ever? This Little Boy’s Bedroom Casually Has a Two-Story Slide