Like Dôen—the effortlessly Cali-cool clothing line she cofounded with her sister, Katherine—Margaret Kleveland makes everything look easy, even construction. “I just had to switch the door and a window,” she says of transforming her Hollywood Hills home’s den into a nursery for her 5-month-old daughter, Georgina. Granted this wasn’t her first time nesting. Kleveland had welcomed son Julian six years earlier. As he grew, she held onto essentials (and occasionally picked up a special piece or two) with the knowledge she would someday add one to their party of two.
By the time she was pregnant with Georgina, the entrepreneurial mom was very ready to get down to business. “It was the only room in the house that had maintained its über–mid-century details. They were nice but could feel very masculine,” she says. Meanwhile, Julian’s room was going to need to accommodate another twin bed so that visiting grandparents would have a place to cozy up. Here is how Kleveland made both spaces reflect her family’s style.
Everything All Tucked In
“I really believe that having a dedicated place for everything helps to maintain order,” says Kleveland, who sketched and designed the built-in cabinet system that frames the entrance door. “I started by asking: What do we need and where is it going to live?” Orienting the smaller cabinets and drawers to open toward the door instead of into the room itself allowed her to maximize the depth of the actual space. And the addition of triangular shelving under the sloping roofline adds function to what would otherwise have been an awkward, unused area. Similarly the closet in Julian’s room fits a mini rainbow-hued dresser, so everything can be tucked away out of sight, while rolling wood crates under his bed are another smart take on now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t storage that he can access himself.
Think: Big Kid
Not everything in a nursery has to be child-approved, just kid-friendly. For Georgina, Kleveland brought in an antique English pine hutch that would typically store dishware and serving pieces, but instead acts as a display for sentimental gifts from family and friends—papier-mâché animal masks, vintage dolls, and a few finds from favorite L.A. toy store Merci Milo—with plenty of toy storage below. Julian’s dresser is a vintage Paul McCobb Planner Group piece scored at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. “One of my best finds!” says Kleveland, and something that will truly never go out of style (even during the picky teenage years).
Stay True to the Era—But Add Your Own Twist
“I wanted to make the room soothing and feminine, while still adding details that were true to the 1950s ranch-house style,” says Kleveland. To check all those boxes, she went for hardware with a softer side: scallop-edge sconces and drawer pulls, Japanese sand-cast switch plates, and antique doorknobs—all in brass to stay in step with the era and create glowing warmth. For Julian, a nod to mid-century comes through in the butterscotch and brass reading lights over his bed, a raffia pendant lamp, and a maple-wood dresser, while Kleveland opted to brighten up the room overall with a fresh coat of walls-to-rafters white paint.
Zzzz Best of Both Worlds
Blackout shades can sometimes make a small space feel more cave-like than cozy, so Kleveland went with a floral-print roman shade that works in tandem with a dusty pink canopy draped around baby Georgina’s crib to block out light during nap time. Kleveland also keeps quilted linen sleeping bags and a kapok-filled mattress close by for play time on the carpeted floor. “With Julian, I really learned that babies need to be on the floor with their parents to develop their independence,” she says. “We spend a lot of time in Georgie’s room so she can form a good association with her own space.”
While Julian didn’t want to share that he would be a big brother when he first heard the news, that all changed once Georgina showed up. “He has taken on a very protective and almost expert older sibling role with her. I am exhausted all the time, and he seems to understand and is generous about it—for a kid!” says Kleveland. “That has been an example of one of those things in life that you worry about that end up being a total nonissue.” Relaxed confidence might be her signature look.
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