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Londoner Gabriella Khalil loved the simplicity of her 3-year-old daughter Grace’s minimalist nursery. The blond furniture, floating shelves, and monochromatic theme were a calm counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of babydom. Then came a stay-at-home order and with it, a change of heart. “I wanted her to be surrounded by color, pattern, and positivity,” the designer mom says. So she boldly dunked the youngster’s room in pink (Grace’s favorite color) and layered on matching accessories that each make a statement.

Khalil’s most captivating addition? The striped Dedar silk that dresses the bed frame, windows, and throw pillows—each one featuring a different colorway. “I loved the fabric so much I wanted to make it the main event,” she explains. Grace’s wall-to-wall mirrored closet opposite the bed doubles the effect of the cheery print (and the sense of space), creating a chic circus vibe. Ahead, we spotlight more fun finds from the room reboot.

Pack in More by Breaking the Rules

Bedside Table, Kartell; Photography Prints, Danielle Levitt and Tahsine Hassane; Curtain, Headboard, and Pillow Upholstery, Dedar; Custom Bed, Robert Langford.

Many designers think pushing all your furniture up against a wall is an impractical use of space, but nuzzling angular pieces into the corners and letting curvier lines shine helped Khalil fit five pieces of furniture (a bed, desk, nightstand, and two chairs) and a play area into the 100-square-foot bedroom. Then she rolled out a welcoming plush rug to tie it all together.

Think Small for Big Impact

Coatrack, Herman Miller; Coffee Table, Coming Soon; Neon Heart, A Little Lovely Company; Mushroom Lamp and Mirror, Edition 94

Khalil used a petite Kartell storage unit, mini Verner Panton chair, and—genius!—a high-gloss, Baughman-style coffee table from Coming Soon to turn one of the bedroom’s corners into a pint-size craft area. Bonus: The plastic pieces are as easy to wipe down as they are attractive (because Grace puts stickers on everything when Mom’s not looking). 

Look to Life’s Little Moments for Inspo

Heart Pillow, Zara Home

At bedtime, the duo cuddle up to read stories and reflect on their day. To make the ritual feel extra special, Khalil traded in her daughter’s standard twin bed for an XL one they can comfortably share, swapped the night-light for a heart-shaped neon sign that casts a calming pink glow, and commissioned nine cushions for her and Grace to burrow into. (Her advice: Don’t hold back on the things you’ll use and enjoy every day.) Plus once it’s lights-out, the pillows act as a cozy bumper against the wall. 

Invest in the Long-Term

Armchair, Pierre Paulin; Rug, ZouZou

“I know there will come a point when Grace says she wants a change,” says Khalil of her mini designer-in-training. And so Mom purposefully invested in a few timeless accents like a Murano glass lamp and vintage Pierre Paul Groovy chair that can effortlessly follow her daughter all the way to the teenage years (some designs are forever cool). Ideally Khalil will simply have to reupholster the bed frame and replace the curtains to refresh the space—with Grace’s input, of course.

The Goods       


Go-to London vintage store: The Peanut Vendor, Edition 94, and Béton Brut.

Go-to online home store: The Conran Shop.

Most affordable thing in the bedroom that gives my daughter the most joy: The pink neon heart ($75) and heart pillow ($20) on her bed.

Fabric store I can’t get enough of: Dedar and Pierre Frey are my favorites.

Item in the nursery that gets the most use: The neon heart; it’s on all the time.

The upholsterer who can do no wrong: London Upholsterers.