It’s been a long hiatus. Sorry everyone! I have so much going on at the moment that blogging has been the thing to fall by the wayside. Today I'm back and sharing a really special project.
When Vanessa and Nick Lachey were expecting their first child 5 years ago, we briefly connected about the possibility of me designing the nursery in Ohio. It didn’t work out at that time, but clearly my lucky number is three. Vanessa and Nick welcomed their third child at the end of 2016, moved to a new home in Los Angeles and reached out to me this past summer about designing the little guy's nursery.
So much of a successful designer/client relationship is how you jive. That’s why I always start a project with a phone call. It gives both parties a sense on whether or not to move forward together. From the very first moment on the phone with Vanessa, I felt like we hit it off. It could be the “Vanessa” thing, but I think it was more Vanessa’s high-energy personality, warmth and how she is a working mom who is clearly devoted to her family first and foremost. I could totally relate.
Vanessa told me that she purchased a mobile for Phoenix when he was born and the design felt strong to her and she felt inspired by it for the rest of the room. Her son was born prematurely and spent a bit of time in the NICU, so to her he was a little fighter. She wanted the nursery to reflect that strength that she saw in him, but to also incorporate some rustic elements and his sweetness. Right then and there this idea of a “Little Mountain Man” nursery was born.
Vanessa really liked a nursery I designed a few years ago that featured a reclaimed wood wall. I strive to make sure all of my designs are as different as possible, while still meeting my clients needs, so I didn’t want to do the same thing for the Lacheys. I wanted to bring her the rustic and modern aesthetic she was attracted to and had the idea to have a tree trunk cut into round pieces and then adhere those to the wall. Perfect! ...Not so much. Apparently this is not “a thing”. Who would have known? If we had more time, I probably would have cut the tree myself, but we were on deadline. Luckily, my longtime go-to for striking wall murals and art came through: Murals Your Way. They made the backdrop for the focal wall into a wallpaper to my exact specifications and it almost looks real. It’s a bold choice and I love that it’s cool and fun and really defines the room.
I discovered the herringbone wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries and fell in love with it. I love the texture, but also the subtle grey. It was exactly what the room needed to keep it calm and modern with such a bold focal wall. Vanessa actually used a different wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries in her oldest son’s nursery (random fact: it’s the exact same wallpaper I have in my own daughter’s nursery). So when I showed the herringbone paper to Vanessa (the other Vanessa) she fell in love with it too, but she one upped me. She said no way are we putting it on one wall. It needs to go on all of the remaining walls!
Then it was time to fill the room with all the furniture fun. Vanessa isn’t afraid of using a little black in her kid’s room and it’s probably 1/10 times that I hear that, so when I do – I jump on it! I was on the hunt for black furniture that had both a little rustic and modern in it. Then I had one of those 'ah-ha' moments where the light bulb went off on top of my head. Why search for something when you can make it? DUH. So I went to my friends at DucDuc and they whipped up this amazing crib and dresser for the project in the perfect shade of bleached walnut and black.
Then I started hunting for a fur glider. I mean who doesn’t want to sit on a cushy, cozy and furry chair with their baby that rocks?! I was really hopeful that this wasn't going to become another thing I made up. That’s when things got weird. I found the chair! And who makes it? DucDuc too! I wasn’t even aware of it until after I chose the furniture.
The black rug by Loiloi is also fur and while I love the idea of fur everywhere, I didn’t want to overdo it so for the ottoman I chose a subtle striped pouf by Best Home Fashion. I love that it’s soft and safe for Phoneix’s siblings to move in case they want to hang out with baby bro or join story time. The stylish fur pillows that sit on the swing are also by Best Home Fashions.
Ah the swing – How have I not mentioned it yet?! The swing is by Serena and Lily. What kid doesn’t want a swing in their room? The way I saw it was that as Phoenix grows up, the glider will likely leave his room and the crib will be replaced by a bed, but the swing could stay as the fun element. Fun now and fun later!
Phoenix’s crib mattress is by Nook because Nook is my favorite and I would never want to deprive any of my nursery babies of its cushy cloudy softness and breathability.
The crib skirt is by Olli and Lime. I’ve been a long time lover of their clean, modern designs and have always wanted to find the right project to use them. The gray is perfect in this space.
The drapes are by Carousel Designs. I need to set the scene on this. There is a patio right off of Phoenix’s bedroom and the two doors to outside bring the only outdoor light into the room. Vanessa and I are both experienced Moms and know that blackout was on the must-have list. Everything I kept finding was either too solid, too printed or not long enough. It was like a case of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Carousel Bedding was able to take two of their fabrics and have it made into drapery panels that were exactly the right size. I love that the bottom of the panels are a different, but coordinating fabric.
I’ve been a longtime fan of Bannor Toys. I love their story and their quality. I know I often speak about how important it is to me to use products made by family-owned companies in my designs and this is a perfect example. There are probably dozens of other brands of wooden toys on the market, but how many are made with such love and creativity as Bannor? When it comes to kids I love bringing that to them and hopefully teaching them about the importance of supporting businesses like these when they get a little older. I love every piece they created and I can’t get enough of the custom engraving on some of them! They also made some pieces for Phoenix’s older siblings so they didn’t feel left out which was so sweet…I can assure you that no one packing the shipments at Amazon would think to do that 😉
Speaking of family owned…I know you’ve probably been eyeing that light. It’s pretty much the first place every eye goes in these photos. I can say with absolute certainty that the room would not have the same effect at all if it wasn’t for that light. The incredible husband and wife team at Fama Creations not only hand made it using re-claimed wood, they actually go on journeys to physically pick up so much of the wood they use in their handmade creations. They were able to customize it for the space knowing the ceiling was lower than they would normally have with that particular design, which was great because now I don’t have to lose sleep at night wondering if Nick's going to be knocked out putting the baby to sleep.
Then it was time to add the décor. I had this idea in my mind of what I wanted, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Then I met Amanda Larrinaga, graphic design extraordinaire. I explained that I was looking for 3 sets of coordinates printed on burlap with locations that were special to Vanessa and Nick. They chose Necker Island (where they were married), Cincinnati (Nick’s hometown) and Los Angeles (Phoenix’s birth place). I also wanted something larger above the changer. I had seen vintage patents somewhere and thought it would be neat to do one of a tent to keep with the Little Mountain Man theme. Hidden inside the artwork is Nick and Vanessa’s anniversary and Phoenix’s birthday. All of the art was framed in record time by the team at Framebridge.
Another really cool item that is in the nursery and totally makes the subtle theme work is the rock pillows. They are super soft so as Phoenix grows he can safely play with them and they just look super cool. Sometimes there isn't much more to it. They were probably the one item I wanted to source and would not give up on through the process. It was my must have to make the space and I was pretty much high fiving myself when I found them from Tache Home Fashion, extremely close to install day. These are the moments I am most thankful for expedited shipping.
This BabyLetto tree bookcase is one of my go-tos. I’m a big believer in making sure nurseries have plenty of space to store books and on top of that the Lacheys are a big time reading family, so it was even more important. Sometimes though you don’t want the standard bookshelf and that’s when the Spruce is perfect. Now add that to the entire woodsy motif going on and you’d think it was actually made for the room.
I mentioned earlier that off of Phoenix's bedroom is a patio. I wanted to do something to make it feel more like it belongs with this little person's room. A place where the Lachey kids could play (with parental supervision, of course). I found this fantastic pint-sized patio set from Kid Kraft and paired it with an outdoor rug by Jaipur and then styled it with some of my own Mommy Must-Haves by Zo-Li and topped it off with the fun stuff - a whole bunch of toys by Haba. The whole scene will make any adult wish there were about two feet smaller.
All photos were taken by Christine Farah Photography ,who beautifies the world one click at a time.
That's a wrap on another fun project with amazing clients!