before & after: 1 nursery, 2 babies!
Published May 17, 2016 6:00 AM
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RUG Wayfair CRIB Ikea
text by SHANI SILVER photography by CLARA JUNG
Any time we can see the transformation of a small space into something smart and super-functional (not to mention #SOdomino), we’re totally in. Clara Jung, Principal/Designer at Banner Day, recently sent us before and after shots of a seriously impressive nursery in Oakland, CA. The small space is home to two young children, and while a double nursery for twins might be pretty common, two kiddos in cribs of different ages is another story altogether, but Clara made it work, beautifully. Read on to find out how she took one small, underused space and turned it into a cozy, stylish nursery for two very lucky little ones!
SCONCE Rejuvenation BOOKCASE Ikea
THIS WAS A BIG CHANGE FOR A SMALL SPACE. WHAT PROMPTED THIS ROOM REDESIGN? My clients were expecting their second child, another boy. To maintain a guest room for visiting family, it was necessary to have the kids share a room. Because the needs of a toddler and a baby are quite different, they realized they needed help transforming the room to make sure that the look of the room remained cohesive but each child would have his needs met.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PLANNING THIS PROJECT? WHERE SHOULD A READER HOPING TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR BEGIN? I started with a floor plan. With two young tots in one room, you are often dealing with two cribs, a changing area, a play area, a reading/nursing area, etc. Make a floor plan ahead of time and play around with the furniture setup. With two tiny humans who have a variety of needs, the room needs to be versatile and spaced out properly.
We also did a clean out of existing toys, clothes, etc. The addition of a new baby to a nursery means you’ll be adding all of the numerous things that a baby requires. The last thing you’ll need is to endlessly pick up clutter while you’re sleep deprived.
For a shared nursery, I knew it was important for the nursery to have separate zones for each activity while maintaining a cohesive and natural flow. Even for a smaller room, dedicate distinct sections to each activity that a nursery demands. For example, create a play area with all the toys consolidated into one area of the room. In another area of the room, you can create the reading/nursing nook with a chair and books. The placement of items in each area signals the purpose of that zone.
CURTAINS Overstock CURTAIN RODS West Elm DRESSER Ikea
WHAT WAS YOUR MAIN GOAL FOR THIS PROJECT? Since hiring a designer is an investment for any family, I wanted to make a lasting impact and make sure that this was a room that the kids would grow into with minimal change. To further this goal, I decided to forgo a themed nursery. Instead, I designed a nursery that is neutral yet playful in its décor. And, if you have a girl and a boy in this shared nursery, the décor will work for everyone.
CHAIR Room and Board SIDE TABLE Target
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? The floor plan was particularly difficult. Every single wall had windows and/or doors, making furniture placement problematic. Both cribs had to be placed out of reach of curtains and windows. A sitting area was a must for reading. And of course, a changing table was a necessity for when the newest member of the family arrives. Although it was a challenge, we did find a place for each piece of furniture and activity.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THIS DESIGN PROCESS? During installation, the soon-to-be big brother brought out his toy tool kit to help us with the hanging, measuring and decorating.
DID ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PROJECT SURPRISE YOU? Yes! While there is a lot going on in this room, I am surprised that we were able to maintain a minimalist airy feeling. Since being a big brother is a very important job, I wanted to make sure that my youngest client felt special. So I love that we were able to infuse the room with what he loves most, animals and books.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT IN THE ROOM? No hesitation, the rug. This rug was actually the backup rug. The rug we originally ordered was delayed so I purchased this bookmark rug for my photos. The clients and I both agreed that this rug was perfect and cancelled the other one. The graphic quality works for both kids and adults. It’s also really thick, hopefully ensuring that future roughhousing in the space will result in fewer bruises and scrapes.
AND THE TOUGHEST CRITICS, HOW ARE THE KIDDOS ENJOYING THEIR NEW SPACE? I’ve been getting updates and the soon-to-be big brother is absolutely loving the space. He loves spending time in his room now and especially loves camping in the middle of his room with his dad. The newest addition to the family is expected to arrive any day now. Fingers crossed that baby boy no. 2 also approves of his new home!