Through the years I have learned that quality people tend to hang out with people just like them. So when I got the call from Sanya and Aaron Ross about designing their son's nursery, they first told me that they were referred by Angela Simmons. I couldn’t get started fast enough! What’s better than a referral from one of your amazing clients?

The end result was an amazing experience and a nursery that I am proud to call one of my portfolio favorites. Here's some behind the scenes details about the process, photos and all of the product info.

One of the questions on my client questionnaire is whether they have a metal of choice. Gold and silver are the most popular (but I do hear everything from rose gold, to steel and everything in between). Well, this time, as soon as I asked it, I laughed at myself. With four Olympic gold medals and two super bowl rings between them, it should have been obvious to me. Palm to the face, Vanessa.

The planning process was seamless. Sanya is so energetic, fun and enthusiastic! Then we got to the installation. Austin was experiencing some unusually high rainfall. You’d think it would be no big deal, except the nursery was part of an addition that was being built from the ground up . This was a bit of a problem. My kids were off from school so all 4 of us were going to Austin to enjoy some family time in between work. I was worried the entire project was going to be postponed and we were already to close to Sanya’s due date. Well, somehow, someway, the rain stopped and we were on our way to Texas.

The Ross’ wanted a modern, serene and sophisticated nursery with cool grays and blues, complemented by unexpected gold. The very first thing they picked was the Nursery Works Novella crib and dresser in white. The design of this crib is one of my all-time favorites. I absolutely love the alternating thickness on the rails. I previously used it in nurseries in the walnut finish and was really looking forward to implementing the white into a design.

I wanted marble to be a focal in this room, so I started the search for a way to showcase it, but didn't want it to be just gray and white. I found the PERFECT marble print wallpaper by Murals Wallpaper. The wallpaper was originally going to cover the entire wall behind the crib, but as all designs go, there’s sometimes 11th hour mishaps, happy mistakes and changes. This was one of those. I'll let you guess which one. At the last minute I suggested we frame it out with molding to give it a more stylized look. Sanya was a little skeptical at first, but she ran it by her also super stylish mom who gave the idea her stamp of approval. Thanks Sanya's Mom!!!


The gorgeous blue covering the other walls of the nursery is a Grasscloth wallpaper by Walls Republic. I had the team paint the moldings in the room, including the doors and frame around the marble mural darker gray. It was the perfect way to glam up the space.

Clearly the electronic recliner by BabyLetto looks good and is a total Dad magnet because during installation Aaron hopped right in to check it out. Men and their gadgets!


The show stopping neon sign by Echo Neon Studio above the changer was a favorite of both parents. It took a super sophisticated design and added the fun factor.


Looking at the photos of the space, I believe that the area rug by Jaipur actually made it. My team and I tested out 6 different rugs in the design before committing to it and I'm so glad we did! I love the color and the modern geometric pattern, so much so that after the install I considered purchasing the same one for my own home.


The shades are by Best Home Fashion and the three cornices above them with silver nail heads trim are by The Shade Store.


The stylish knotted pillow and bumper are by JuJu & Jake. I chose gray and white for this project because they were a perfect match, but I am also completely obsessed with all of the other gorgeous colors these items are available in.


The legs on the crib and dresser are gold and the other two pieces in the room that tie that together are the round bookshelf from Land of Nod and the sunburst light fixture by Lamps Plus.


Mattress and Changing Pad by Nook. How perfect is the Misty Gray in this space?


Not pictured, but totally awesome – Custom Canvas Art by Jerry Titan Art

Usually on the day of photography, I am running around looking for florals and plants. They’re the kind of things that very few people ever truly have in a nursery, but are pretty necessary for a great photo. Sorry if this little insider info ruined your Instagram visions of all the fancifully floral homes. One night I was actually on Instagram and discovered the Roses in the box on the shelf by MLefuers and said “I need this for Every. Single. Nursery”. First, how stunning is that blue color? Second, they last up to a year. Think of all the late nights and early mornings spent in the nursery. While you try to be upbeat and excited while exhausted, sometimes it’s tough. Having pretty flowers definitely brightens the décor and mood. Plus, it makes for great photos 😊


The booked by Imm Living is inspired by Jeff Koons' famous Balloon Dogs.


Now I just hope these two have some more friends just like them!

All Photos by the super talented, Austin-based,i nteriors photographing guru, Andrea Calo


AuthorVanessa Antonelli

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!







AuthorVanessa Antonelli

I’m the half mom. That's my formula. Half of each extreme.

Those hilarious internet videos that talk about the mom who hides from her kids to eat a sandwich in the pantry, that’s half me. The memes about the Pinterest moms who other moms want to run over with their car…sorry, she’s the other half of me. I love throwing elaborate birthday parties. My kids are usually well-dressed, but athleisure-wear is my go-to, often hiding a casualty from breakfast, and there are some days where tears come because I feel like I’d rather get through 21 days on Naked & Afraid than do homework, dinner, bath and bedtime. We’re the family with the amazing holiday card and sometimes my kids eat cereal for dinner. I’m proud that I do my best and have found a balance that I’m ok with and that I’m pretty sure won’t scar my kids for life, even if it's half Bad Mom, half Stepford. You find your own balance. This half and half thing is working for me, even when it feels like it isn’t.

It’s been a summer of traveling, camp, beach weekends, day trips and all sorts of other action-packed things. Summer is always my absolute favorite time of year. Even with the awesomeness, it hasn’t been easy breezy at all. Parenting is HARD. We all know it, but I know enough to know that these are the good 'ole days. Not just because every person over 60 has told me since the birth of my first – even strangers…at Target - but because I can see it myself. We are living amazing family moments and I am soaking them in to the best of my ability (which is short tempered and total chaos half of the time). 

I usually think being a self-proclaimed half-er means I can laugh and relate to all of the parenting articles and jokes. So you can imagine I feel sort of conflicted that I’m cannot relate at all to the the mom joke that's that’s all the rage this month. I see the videos, social media posts and memes of moms high fiving, doing the cha cha and celebrating the return of school and I can’t understand it. I run into people I know and ask how their summer was and they tell me, "The best part is going to be the first day of school, you know what I mean?" I nod politely and give a little smile, but no, no I don't. I have no idea what you mean. Seriously. I’m clearly half a weirdo mom. I feel like it’s some club that I could never be a member of.  

Is it awful that I loathe school? Not the specific school or the teaching profession or anything like that. I respect it and appreciate it all greatly. I just hate the fact that the kids leave me 5 days a week for almost 8 hours a day. They’re without me, more than they’re with me(THAT IS INSANE TO ME) and they have their whole adult life to be without me. I miss them. I also feel guilty. I feel like we are missing adventures and bonding and the things we could be doing together and as if I’ve dumped them into this rigid environment. Now don’t get me wrong – I need me time. I also work, so I can’t spend every second with them and wouldn’t even if I didn’t work. I’m a big believer that my husband and I are better parents because we do devote time to ourselves as often as we can. I’m the first to run for a quick manicure, read a book alone and beg for sitters for a quick couples getaway. I just sort of wish there was the half school thing, which probably isn’t surprising coming from the half mom. Maybe that’s me…a little black and a little white. I wish school was 3 days a week, leaving us 4 days to learn together or have adventures. I wish we could travel more and not be limited to over crowded and absurdly expensive holiday breaks. I wish school absences were respected for more than just sickness because there is a whole world of things that educate and make kids into incredibly well rounded humans beyond school – as long as they are keeping up academically, of course. I wish that homework was done in school, to give us time for all the other activities and experiences that school doesn’t touch. Also because it’s a form of parental torture I’d like to eradicate.

A photo from one of our adventures this summer, that sums up exactly how I feel

A photo from one of our adventures this summer, that sums up exactly how I feel

The last 2 weeks of summer break are always hard for me. I feel like it’s the end of something I want to hold on to. I get a little melancholy and find myself taking more photos to hold on to it all.  So while most of the moms (or dads)  at the bus stop tomorrow are probably going to throw confetti as the view of the bus fades away, I’m definitely odd mom out. I’ll probably go back inside and cry in my pillow for a few minutes – but after bed time, I’ll definitely meet you for a margarita, that is if I’m not too busy with some odd combo of writing detailed notes in my kids lunches and furiously dialing “The Man” and Santa to report misbehaving children.

What’s your Mom formula?


AuthorVanessa Antonelli

During my first conversation with Peta, I was both happy and nervous to hear that they knew exactly the style and colors they wanted for baby Shai's nursery. I was happy because starting with a direction is fantastic. I was nervous because starting with a direction means you have to live up to the vision that someone already has in their mind and it's my goal to always exceed the vision. HIGH PRESSURE.

They were dreaming of whites, ivory, cream and when given the option, gold was their metal of choice. Maks' lone request? To somehow incorporate elephants into the space. He's a longtime collector of small elephant figurines and wanted to bring that part of his life and their good luck to his little man's space.

The room itself was definitely up there at the top of the list of my career challenges. There is so much that a lens doesn't show - on purpose. Here's where I may go a little off path, but I think it's important to point out that photos capture a moment in time. A moment myself and my team spend a very long time styling and perfecting so it will photograph exactly the way we want it to. We shift and pull and push furniture. Move accessories. Fiddle with drapery and find items around the home to help complete the look. So what you see in a photoshoot for an interior, may not always be exactly what it seems.

The first surprise is that this space is actually a part of the master bedroom. Don't pretend you aren't shocked. Peta wanted to have the baby as close to her as possible. So in many homes this would be used as a sitting room, but they wanted it to become their nursery (for now). It was my job to make that happen. So the wall that you don't see, doesn't exist.

Since it wasn't designed as an actual bedroom, there is no closet in the area. My friends at California Closets made it happen for us! I thought they were going to walk in and say, "Vanessa, here you go being all delusional again. We cannot put a closet in a small little alcove." But, they actually said, "Great, lets pick a style and finish and get this made!". The end product is awesome. It looks like it was meant to be there and is extremely functional as well as beautiful. The other part that is important to mention - or we could not and let it be another elephant in the room, is the fireplace. Yes, there is a gas fireplace in the master bedroom...This is the home they live in. They did not want to do construction and start knocking out or covering their walls. They wanted to leave it. It was my job to make sure that their baby boy would never be able to get his hands on the switch and to design around it. A permanently off and enclosed fireplace is of absolutely no danger to a child (to the woman on Instagram that said it is dangerous even if it doesn't work - this is me sticking my tongue at you :-}. The fine folks at California Closets helped me Houdini that switch deep inside the closet and all was great! 

Since we weren't hiding the fireplace, we decided to use the space above it to celebrate it. What better way to do that than a prized animal head? Totally kidding. Not real. It's a custom made resin elephant with gold tusks by Near and Deer. I was a little nervous it might look a scary to a small child, but turns out that fear was for nothing. It's fun, cute and was made for the room - both literally and figuratively.

When Peta told me she liked traditional cribs with upholstery on them, the only brand that came to mind was Romina Furniture. Anyone who is ever shopping for baby furniture knows that Romina is the end-all. The best. The highest quality, with drawers that are definitively unsurpassed by any other juvenile brand sold in America. Seriously, the crown jewel. The Hermes, Rolls Royce or Harry Winston. Have you gotten the point? Ok great, because once again I've managed to derail my thoughts. Maks and Peta loved the furniture, but the crib is traditionally offered with tufting on the headboard. I felt that with the custom gold paint trim, the tufting would give it a too feminine feel. So I begged and begged and Romina agreed to create the upholstered panel of their Imperio crib in a flat finish.

Next to the crib sits a showstopping rocking chair and ottoman by Rocker Refined. The set was also custom made for Peta and on paper I know the fact that I wanted nail heads, tufting and a patterned fabric probably looked like chaos - In person, it's exactly what I imagined it would be. With a chair like that I'd want my baby to wake up often in the middle of the night. Mmm, then again, I remember those days, so maybe not...

Two of the walls are covered with a safari print by Hygge & West. This wallpaper is subtle, beautiful and adorable all at once. The other wall is covered in a textured cream and gold shimmer wallpaper by Graham and Brown. If you remember the nursery I designed for Ali Fedotowsky - well, this wallpaper is the same, but in a different color. I'm pretty obsessed with it and it's one of my go-tos.

Above the dresser are 3 really unique shelves by Uttermost. I think if you knew how long it took me to decide exactly where they should be placed, you would think I was completely insane. But, the little details are so important to the end result in my eyes.

To the left of the crib there was an open empty space that needed to be filled, but couldn't block the walkway. Like all nursery furniture, I wanted it to be purposeful and functional for the family. The problem was finding something in the correct dimensions. I searched high and low and then discovered the brand Stem Goods. The company produces custom furniture at reasonable prices in America - seriously, does it get any better than that? They whipped up exactly what I needed and then finished it to exactly match the rest of the furniture in the room.

The light fixture is by Currey & Company. It look us a while to find the proper height and also to re-enforce it so that there could never be a falling issue. I know some people thought this home was in an earthquake zone, but that is not the case. It's actually on the east coast. Earthquake free and with tremendous re-enforcement there is no danger whatsoever of being a falling hazard.

I know the room feels very sophisticated, which my clients loved, but I know that isn't for everyone. Keep in mind that my job isn't to design a space for everyone - it's to meet my clients wants and needs for their space. What was very important to me for this nursery is that with all the white the room still felt warm and cozy. I brought all different textures into the room in an effort to make that happen and I think it worked out well.

The two area rugs were part of that plan. The metallic hide on the floor by Kaymanta is covered partially by a faux sheepskin fur rug by Fur Accents. The two pieces are perfect complements to each other.

The woven drapery was also a custom product created by my people at the Shade Store. I call them my people because I spend a large amount of my life calling and emailing them for help with different projects. They have the BEST fabrics and so many styles to choose from. In this case the woven fabric added another texture to the room and brought that unique window to life. If you're wondering, the crib is actually pulled pretty far off of the wall in daily life. No chance of a baby or toddler reaching it or the drapes, but like I was explaining above - for photos we have to style what's best for the lens.

The crib mattress, feeding pillow and the changing pad are all by Nook. I think at this point its safe to say that I use Nook products in all of my projects. New parents and parents-to-be usually ask me my opinion on the mattress and I tell them what I use for my own children and how much I love it. That's why they pop up in all of my photos.

On the crib and changing pad is a dreamy, custom bedding set created to match the design by Hug Bug Shop. I'm a lover of custom products. I don't think you should have to design around something - you should be able to find something that can be designed to fit into your vision.  The right bedding is so important to the final look and this set totally got the job done better than anything else could have.

The little touches that make the room come together can't be forgotten! The tiny little lamp on the dresser is by Land of Nod. Everything is so much cuter when its small! Ironically, the GIANT swan is from there too. This is another instance of vanessa-takes-too-long-to-place-everything. That swan must have been moved 100 times before I decided where it could live for the photos. In a few photos, that you will never see, it sort of looked like it was eating the crib. The sweet canvas drums to the side of the dresser are by Pehr Designs. The gold stripe and dots on them were really what sold me on them, plus the fact that I have a similar item I use as a laundry bin in both of my kids rooms, and I knew they would truly get good use out of them. The pom pom blanket and the fur pillow are both by Best Home Fashion (another one of my go-tos).

I absolutely love the way that everything came together and I know my clients did too. I received a ton of questions from people who had seen the space in People Magazine and also on Peta and Maks' social media. Some of these I'll address on my social media. The one I did want to make very clear here is that the room that Shai sleeps in is VERY safe. I am not only exclusively a kids space designer, I am also well versed and educated on child safety. Every design I create keeps that in mind and all of the information safety gets passed on to my clients. The moment in time that these photos were taken are just that - a highly styled moment in time.

All photos are by Alan Barry - a talented photographer with a load of patience and great advice!

For a view of the original computer design, compared to the finished product, check out my Instagram at TheNessaLee

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

There was only one time in my career where during a consultation, my pregnant client told me she would defer to her husband because he’s loaded with design vision and style. This is the story of that time.

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega are child and teenage stars that grew up, stayed in the entertainment industry, and found their way to each other – now living in what I would describe as adorable, perfect for each other, marital bliss. When I first met them they were wrapping up a longtime home renovation and were both equally as excited about the arrival of their little man and his nursery. Alexa’s number one priority was to have a comfortable chair to nurse the baby. She didn’t want too much color in the room and wanted to make sure I understood that Carlos’ input was very important to her because of how much she respects his ideas and eye for things. I won’t lie…I got a little nervous. Sometimes there’s a dad-to-be that’s over the top with spreadsheets and is a little intense forcing his thoughts about the nursery on everyone, forgetting the designer and mom-to-be in the process. I learned quickly, THAT wasn’t Carlos. The way Alexa described him was completely accurate. He has a great eye for style and he dotes on Alexa in the sweetest way possible.

Carlos wanted a little bit of an industrial element in the space and both of them loved the idea of incorporating the beach, but not too much beach. They had already decided that the baby’s name would be Ocean and going too deep on that theme would be too much.

I walked Alexa and Carlos through the ABC Kids Expo, showing them the different strollers, car seats, gear and furniture that would be a great fit for their lifestyle and personal style. As soon as Alexa sat in the Monte Luca glider and ottoman, she told me, “This is the one”. The room started to take shape around the modern clean lines of the chair.

The tall ceilings in their home are absolutely incredible and I wanted to highlight that by choosing a treatment that would utilize the entire wall, as opposed to breaking it up. So I chose Stikwood reclaimed weathered wood wall planks. It is heavy on the white, which is exactly what I was looking for to give it a light, airy and beach feel that contrasted strongly with their walnut floors, moldings and showstopping doors.

Then I added in two XL custom canvases from Murals Your Way. One is a palm tree, which is a nod to both Ocean’s birthplace of California and Hawaii, Carlos and Alexa’s favorite place. The 2nd is …What else, The ocean. These were placed starting close to the ceiling, also to embrace the height. Twos a trend, three’s a theme. Placing them high is exactly what I did with the blackout drapes from The Shade Store as well. I need to add that the fabric I chose for the drapes is one of my all time favorites. Two years ago when I had my own daughter I loved this fabric so much and wanted to use it in her own room, but it didn’t coordinate with some of the other fabrics I had chosen. I am SO happy I finally found the perfect space for it and highly recommend this print in all of the colors it is offered in.

Next we needed some storage for Ocean’s books, shoes and toys. This is where I had my first opportunity to give Carlos the industrial look he was going for – custom shelves by Mintage Designs were made for the space using wood and pipes. Their quality is amazing and the overall look is exactly what we were going for! I also love the fact that when you purchase from Mintage Designs, you are supporting a talented artist who makes their own products in the United States.

The same can be said for their super cool light fixture. Barn Light Electric has been one of my go-tos for years. They were way ahead of the time with their designs and I’m a big fan of trendsetters! The Ellis light fixture in black can be bent in a variety of directions to create different looks. We played with it for a really long time before collectively deciding that we liked each arm horizontal best. The metal is black to tie it together with the pipe shelves curtain rod and lamp by Crate and Barrel.

Then it was time to pick something that would allow the wood wall to shine, but essentially be the centerpiece of the space. I got this idea that I wanted something that has words on it, but words that could be changed like an old movie theater marquee. Then I discovered Metal and Lights and BINGO. It’s the coolest item ever. Made in the US by an incredibly talented artist who can customize it to your exact needs. Carlos and Alexa can easily and regularly change the letters to customize sweet messages to their boy.

However, let me tell you – IT. IS. HEAVY. There was no way in the world that Carlos was putting it up on his son’s wall on his own. It was a two man job. Once it was complete, the dad-to-be actually did pull ups on it. I’m serious. He was hanging from it to make sure it was solid, sturdy and not going anywhere.

In keeping with matching the wood to the existing wood in the room, the Vaxco side table by France and Son was the perfect choice.

Alexa wanted something plush and soft for Ocean to play on and I thought it was important to soften up some of the hard lines of the space with a little plush warmth and texture. The Jaipur Living area rug did the trick!

Then it was time to accessorize the space. When it comes to toys and cool accessories, I love to scour Land of Nod. We found a great wire basket there, a zebra pull toy and the coolest sloth stuffed animal that Carlos had a great time putting little glasses on.

The crib skirt and matching pillows are by Oilo Studio and the mattress, changing pad, playmat and nursing pillow are all by Nook Sleep. These two brands both make grays that coordinate really well with each other (in case you are planning your own space and aren’t sure if they will match – they will!).

The end result is a style I am pretty sure I made up: Industrial Beach. Even if it does sound a bit strange, it looks awesome and meets every one of their needs. So if you too want an industrial beach nursery, now you know it's an actual thing.

If you’re wondering what other items the PenaVega’s chose when I was working with them at the ABC Expo, then you’ve come to the right place.

For all of the traveling they do and quick ins and outs of their cars, they picked the Doona infant car seat.

For long walks, as their daily stroller and for their other car, they picked the UPPAbaby Vista stroller and Mesa car seat.

My personal favorite diaper bag, was also on their must-have list. I could make you guess and come back next week with the answer, but I’m not that mean. It’s a 7AM Enfant Voyage Diaper bag.

They wanted a safe bassinet for Ocean to sleep in, in their room. I introduced them to the Halo Bassinest and they used it in the early months.

If you read my blogs, then you know I often have wonderful things to say about my clients. I am not the kind of person that is very good at being phony. So if I say it, I mean it.  I am also extremely lucky to be an actively working designer in the juvenile world. So I have the luxury of hand picking the projects I want to work on. If I didn't have warm and fuzzy feelings about someone after meeting, I would and have passed on projects. So when I say these two are totally amazing people, you can trust that I mean it. A total pleasure to work with!

As always, all photos are taken by the extremely talented, Christine Farah. I’m fairly certain that she has magic eyes and a magic lens.

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

During the design process almost every client asks me, "What do you think of it?". Those who know me know that I am never afraid to give my opinion, but I also always explain that I would never design something that I didn't think looked great (obviously) and didn't meet all of their needs - BUT, at the end of the day, the room isn't going in my home. Once I leave the completed space, unless they invite me over for dinner or hire me for the next stage, I will likely never be in it again. I'm not the one who is going to spend sleepless nights or joyous milestones in it.  So, while I am always a big fan of my own two cents, what I personally think in these cases doesn't really matter. All that matters is that the client loves it each and every day after I leave.

However, there are a few times when the stars align perfectly and good 'ole opinionated me isn't afraid to shout out in excitement when that happens. If you've seen my own kids' rooms then you know that my personal style tends to lean to the more modern end of the spectrum. Projects like those don't come around everyday, but when they do, I have just a little more affection for them.

Working with Angela Simmons was one of those projects and it was so much fun. Not only because her baby boy is so stinkin' cute and her personality is laid back and cool - but because we share a modern, bold design style. It took only a few seconds into our very first conversation before the entire room was dancing around in my head, very appropriately to some catchy hip hop song - after all, this is a hip hop Princess we're talking about.

Angela knew she wanted the Nurseryworks Vetro Crib to be a focal in the space. Considering this is the exact same crib I chose for my toddler almost 2 years ago, I'm very familiar with it. The completely acrylic crib speaks volumes on its own, but I wanted to find something equally as striking to exist with it, as opposed to being outdone by it. Around that time I was traveling and saw an art installation using only tape. I was mesmerized by the talent, the art and the way it was created and I remembered that Angela was a big fan of cool and unique art. I knew that was it! This was our focal wall! Angela loved the idea as well and I connected with the extremely talented Eric Klein (known on social media at TapeArtist) about the project. I loved that he had never done anything like it in a nursery before - in fact, I'm pretty sure that Sutton's nursery is probably the first in the world to have tape art. I flip flopped a little between using just white tape on the rich navy backdrop or adding silver and after seeing the finished product, I'm so happy we kept it simple.

Then it was time to add touches of acrylic in the space. I wanted to complement it and not overdo it. My first stop was one of my favorite female-owned, made in the US companies: Lux Holds Ups. Manufactured in Brooklyn, the custom acrylic curtain rods and their stunning hardware are like art in their own right. The rich velvet drapes are by Best Home Fashion.

The acrylic skateboard light fixture by Elk Lighting was something that Angela and her fiance chose and I love the playfulness it adds to the mostly mature space.

By now I'm pretty sure that it's known that I am all Nook all the time. That's the thing about working with me - You get my design vision, but also my product expertise. Most other interior designers can't say they are experts on the baby-related products that go into the space. As a store owner, I immerse myself in the products and curate a selection that meets my own high standards in function and design. I use Nook products for my own kids, my friends' kids, my sister (she has no kids, but lots of Nook pillows), my cousins' kids, my clients' kids -- and well, you get the idea. So, the point to this is that the crib mattress and changing pad are both by Nook and Nook obviously rocks in my world.

Sometimes you go big on the focal wall and the other side feels left out. Not here. If this was the prom and the walls were the people - I'm not entirely sure which side would be crowned King.

Newport Cottages makes all of their furniture custom in southern California. My favorite part about the company is the color options are seriously endless. I know you're probably thinking of all the amazing things that could have been done to this Max dresser and you are absolutely right. However, this wall totally called for white. Some things just pop and shine better with simplicity and this was one of those times.

With a room like this we really could not just paint the "other side". I know sometimes people are afraid to mix several things in a space thinking it will be too much or look mis-matched. This can obviously happen, but when done right, the end result is stellar. The rest of the walls in the room are covered in a gray croc textured wallpaper by Graham and Brown. I love it so much that I want to wall paper every other wall in the world in it at the moment.

Atop that wallpaper is the star of this show - Cookie Monster! But, Cookie got a total makeover by the talented artist who created him especially for Sutton's room. Perego gave Cookie some bling, DJ equipment and a rockin' hat. His overall look is a clear homage to Sutton's Grandpa Rev Run, one of the influential founders of the hip hop group Run DMC. Perego is an amazing artist and if you need custom artwork then I highly suggest connecting with him.

If you have your eye on the chair in the room, you should know there's way more to it than just its good looks. Dutailier has been the longtime leader in nursery gliders and recliners. This piece is from their modern collection and is the most comfortable, maybe ever. What makes it even cooler is the fact that it can recline at the push of a button. No throwing your weight forward to stand = Baby sleeps soundly! It also glides and can be locked when the child is older, making it a great addition to another room one day.

The area rug is actually made of individual carpet squares. Flor is my go-to, especially for playrooms. When kids do their thing, and they will, you just pop one out and replace it with a fresh square. No stress, no tears. Plus, the color and pattern options make it easy to find something to go into any space, but hard to choose just one.

To complete the space I added a navy blue X side table by Inspire Q Home black leather tufted ottoman by Zuri Furniture, acrylic book ledges and a Schylling Speedster. The chic Hermes canister to house toys was sourced by Angela.

Remember what I said in the beginning about never getting to see the room again? Well, I was lucky to be back in Sutton's nursery last week to film an episode of NBC's Open House show. You'll get a full tour of the room, including a first-look at some additions since it was photographed. So definitely keep an eye out for the episode!

All of the amazing photos were taken by the very talented Chris Veith.



AuthorVanessa Antonelli

Two kids and three businesses makes for a very chaotic life. We are always rushing, never sleeping and usually living by the ding of our calendar notifications. I don’t need to tell you that though – no matter the job or child situation, everyone has their own level of mayhem in their lives and can likely relate. I envision you nodding your head at me right now. If you’re anything like me, when someone tells you about a trick or a new service that can save you time or aggravation, your ears perk up. Isn’t time the unicorn we are all searching for, and not the Starbucks kind. So, I admit I am totally guilty of receiving boxes at my front door on some days because ordering online is something I can do during naps or at unGodly hours when real stores are closed. BUT, owning a small business keeps me somewhat in check on that front. I remind myself each day that shopping in my own community, at independent stores when possible, is what keeps the community going and what makes it the type of place I want my children to grow up in. I also want to teach my children that there will always be a value to human interaction and being treated as an individual, rather than a number is important. There is no better way to do that than practicing what I preach.


My Reasons To Support Small Business

- The relationships you can build with the in-person interactions awards you tailored advice from people who are experts in their field. For example, you could go online and read every review about car seats or strollers, but when you step into NessaLee Baby, the sales associate asks you questions about your own life to match the product best to you. You also get to test them hands on. That is not something that could ever be done online. It saves you on time, aggravation, wasted money and disappointment. There are thousands of other types of businesses just like that where brick and mortar is simply better. Plus, if you try it somewhere, that’s where you should buy it as part of the whole be an appreciative and good person thing…

- When you shop local, those business owners tend to also use professionals like attorneys, sign fabricators, accountants etc in the community. This means the money is continuously flowing through multiple local families creating a healthier and stronger community.

- Non-profits receive a very large portion of their donations from local business owners. Think of those hometown events you go to where auctions baskets and gift cards are donated by small businesses, well it includes dollars too and that's how they keep going.

- The more you buy locally the less trucks and planes are running it to your front door and no one needs further explanation on what a difference that makes for the environment.

- If local businesses are not occupying the local real estate and they remain empty, it leads to the possibility that the owners of those buildings or centers may not be able to pay their property taxes or maintain the buildings. I definitely don’t want to live in an area that looks a decaying ghost town, plus that trickles down to my own property value.

- I can never assume that someone else will shop local and everything will be ok. That attitude tends to spread like a disease and before you know it...there could be no stores left.

Like I said in the beginning, I get it. Life is tough. Sometimes it seems easier to swipe your phone than get in your car. But, if you absolutely have to do that, consider finding out if your local businesses offer a click or call to pick up option. You may be surprised to find how many also deliver. With a toddler in my backseat who was screaming that we forgot her baby doll at home (Note: There were 3 other baby dolls IN the car. Just not the right one), I was so excited that my local independent coffee shop - shout out to Rook - let me call in my order and quickly pick it up.


AuthorVanessa Antonelli

I spend my days creating show-stopping, functional spaces for tiny humans, so it should be no surprise when I say that I love beautiful and stylish baby gear. Some people insist that playroom or nursery décor should be bright or primary colored for stimulation. I’m here to put that archaic notion into perspective. Even if you commit to not purchasing items for your child that are a Crayola explosion, someone will. It’s a fact. You can fight it, but likely will not succeed. My personal and professional experience says that friends and family are incredibly generous when it comes to gifts for little ones and  those gifts will usually rival a bag of Skittles – all over your home. You'll be "tasting the rainbow" with your eyes...all day long. Then of course, there are the books that I often talk about. Book are important in a child’s life, but they (along with their not so distant cousins, the stuffed animals) multiply at an alarming rate. Have you ever seen children's books? Bright and stimulating covers galore! With that in mind, I am a huge fan of creating clean and modern spaces and I don't think they have to be filled with colorful decor if you don't want it. So don’t stress it if your own style for decorating and for larger gear items is in the more neutral fam, despite the comments you may hear from others. Everyone has an opinion on parenting - right down to what YOUR house should look like. The only person you should listen to is you, well and me too since this is what I do. Your child will be fine with a more grown up or neutral backdrop and there will be plenty of opportunities for them to develop and see all the colors the world and their toys have to offer.

If you're looking to create a sophisticated and modern space for your little one, check out some of my favorite baby items that will seamlessly blend into the home you probably worked really hard to decorate and rest-assured, it is ok to want that.

1.     This ball pit is pretty much a playroom dream. Perfect size for the tiniest of tots and great for storing bigger kids toys and gear in the future. Misioo Handmade totally jives with me. Their products are actually offered in both neutrals and colors with sleek and sophisticated designs that may make you want to host every play date at your house.

2.  I don't know if my passion for acrylic will ever get old. I love how striking it looks in any space and also allows the pieces around it or in this case, on it, to really shine. This brand new book cart by BabyLetto is also priced right. I'm thinking I might need my living room.    

3. During hurricane Sandy my family lost a home that was on the beach. The situation was horrible and stressful for so many reasons, but the silver lining was how much I enjoyed being able to start from scratch with the interior. The end result is a modern and beachy space with extremely hard tile on top of concrete. I needed a solution to soften it up for my on-the-go baby and in searching high and low, I discovered these interlocking playmats by Tadpoles. Safe for my baby and not painful on the grown-up eyes.

4. Black has finally gone mainstream for kids spaces and I couldn't be happier! Up until now it was so difficult to find a kids play table and chairs with black details without customizing it and that can get pricey. I love how this Little Seeds set is on the trend and priced well.

5. Those ginormous activity centers we buy for our kiddos when they can sit up have always offended my senses. The mama in me is so happy their little baby is playing and moving and having a good time. The designer in me dreams of shoving it in a closet. Now I don't need to have violent thoughts and my babies can still have a rockin' good time because of the Three Pears Bobbin. Is it weird that I kind of wish I could climb inside this thing and maybe work on my laptop or something?



AuthorVanessa Antonelli

Right after I graduated from college I was completely fascinated by the then emerging world of e-commerce. If you've read my history then you know it all began with a pair of Uggs, while waiting on line at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (if not, that's a story for another day). From there I became an online selling machine, sourcing the latest and greatest in “as seen on” celebrity clothing and accessories. What most people don’t know is that the very beginning of my career started with an adorable home office in my basement. If we were in the Pinterest or Instagram era, it would have made for lots of shares and likes.

I used to wake up each morning, get showered and dressed, have breakfast and “go to work” for the day. It was a very structured routine for me, despite the fact that I was only two flights of stairs from my bed. What I didn’t know at that time, but found out years later, was that I was the running joke in my family. They thought it was hilarious that I would put on makeup, do my hair and wear nice shoes and jewelry to work in a home office. My parents would say, “Vanessa puts on her pearls to go to the basement” in reference to my large collection of statement necklaces. I was and still am a big believer in dressing the part and that obviously includes accessories (duh mom and dad!).


While my days of working in a basement are long gone, one thing has not changed – my necklaces! I don’t actually wear pearls, but the idea of "putting on my pearls" with most outfits is going strong. Even on some of my most casual days in t-shirts and plaids, I can often be seen sporting a statement necklace. Years later and a mom now, wearing a statement necklace when I'm dressed down is also one of my tricks to make me feel prettier, pulled together and more like my younger basement working self.

Here are my top 5 current picks for statement necklaces:

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

Throughout my career, I've worked with different celebrities on their nurseries, playrooms and kid spaces. I don't approach those projects any differently than I do for a client who isn't famous. After all, celebrities are just like us, right?

Well, this time around that thought didn't hold true. My beautiful client Lacey Chabert, who is best known for her role on Party of Five and as Gretchen Weiners in the iconic Mean Girls, is nothing like anyone else I have experienced in my career or maybe in life in general. She's the sweetest, kindest, nicest and just an all around exceptional person.

During the installation of her daughter's nursery, some things didn't go exactly as planned. While on location, I needed to call in for reinforcements: my husband. So with him came my 4-year old son and 11-month daughter. The gangs all the middle of Lacey's home. While we worked, Lacey carried my daughter around and prepared snacks and drinks for my son in front of her tv. Clearly an amazing mom in the making.

Lacey's parents have 4 grandsons, so there was even extra excitement surrounding the birth of the family's first baby girl. Lacey knew she wanted this room to embrace that and for there to be no question when you look at it - it belongs to a girl. 

We started with the wallpaper by Tempaper. Though it's a very filled pattern, it's still soft and the colors are inviting and set the tone for the rest of the space. From there the entire design quickly progressed.

The gray moldings and silver nailhead trim around the top and bottom of the entire room made it less shabby chic and a little more updated and modern.

The molding around the frames on the focal wall gave the wall extra dimension and was easily achieved by going to my favorite glam makers - the gals at MyOverlays. 

The macaroon, perfume bottle and cotton candy artwork by Lezlee Elliot are so sweet and the stark white frames added the perfect pop of brightness to the monochromatic wall / molding combo.

The crib and dresser are by Franklin & Ben. The upholstered Everly crib is paired with the Amelia dresser in the same distressed white finish.

The sophisticated faux fur acrylic stool by Best Home Fashion doubles as an ottoman and is one of those pieces that most people have looked at and said, "I need that" usually with no care about where they'd actually put it. It's that cute.

The beautiful bedding, drapes, pillows and purple ruffled blanket were made by Bella Notte linens. If you're in love with it, but aren't in the market for baby items - they have a full range for adults as well.

Lacey's little girl definitely won't be at a loss for gorgeous blankets. The gray cable knit is by Butterscotch Blankees and the cream cashmere with the pink moon is by One Moon.

The versatile mirror above the changing pad is from Target because even us designers love practical

The mattress and changing pad are both by Nook Sleep and those adorable plush guys, pouf, unicorn and pink wall mirrors are from Land of Nod.

The silver chandelier gives the room some extra girlie glam and the furry gray rug by Rugs USA adds an additional texture and warmth to the space.

Lacey wanted to see the crib without the bumpers because that is how it will look once the baby is sleeping in the crib. For now while guests are visiting and she's showing off her nursery, the velvet bumpers will be a show piece.


The comfy glider is by Delta Children and that knit pink blanket is courtesy of Lacey's own grandmother.

Lacey's daughter's name is Julia and she didn't want it to be a focal of the room. The beautiful yarn wrapped J handmade by Aaliyah's Letters is a perfect match in style and scale. It sits inside the pink floral mirror. It wasn't in the first set of photos because the baby's name was a secret before she was born.

How adorbs is the wooden doll stroller by Haba? This time next year, it'll be a big hit with Julia, for sure!

When Christine Farah is taking the photos I always emerge from behind the scenes knowing somehow, someway, her magic eyes will see me through her lens looking far lovelier than I do and click so I have something to post showing I actually exist. Thank you Christine for being the best photographer ever!

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

As a designer, I'd like to think each project is better than the last and when you look at your portfolio over the course of your career, you see the evolution. The problem is, I'm not sure if in the world of nurseries it can really get much better than this floral perfection. Sometimes things just come together in a perfect way and work better than you dreamed - this is one of those times. 

If you're trying to figure out what is going on on that wall, let me help you out. There are FOUR THOUSAND hand made flowers by The Flower Wall Company. Recently people said to me, "That's so cute, did you choose roses because Ali was The Bachelorette?" It probably isn't as newsworthy, but the answer to that is absolutely not. It actually never occurred to me and probably should have. I was focused on designing a room that Ali and Kevin would love for their baby girl and thought the flowers would be visually spectacular. The wall is made of different sections mounted on a grid, so it's extremely safe. Before you chime in - I've seen your comments on Instagram and Facebook already, so I know the burning question, "How do you clean that?" Grab that long skinny vacuum attachment, pop it on and dust it over the flowers. Clean and dust-free in seconds. Yup, that's what that attachment can be used for.

The room was originally a guest room, so after creating the design, I decided the existing closet felt like it was better for short term overnight guests and could be improved upon for full time usage and of course, beautified. I called my friend Lisa Adams at LA Closet Design because...the baby girl needed a closet to match her room! If you have never heard of Lisa, then you must not have a lot of shoes because she isa wizard. Seriously, the closet version of Harry Potter and women like me dream of what her skills could do for their storage and happiness each morning. On the wall is a rose gold mirror, the hardware on each drawer is little bunnies and those acrylic rods go perfectly with the acrylic details in the room.

To the left of the closet is one of the most personal details in the room. Petal Lane (one of my favorite family-owned companies) created artwork for the space. The center piece says "ENDURE" which is something that Ali's late grandmother would say and it's written in her handwriting. It's the personal details in each room that make them truly special for their little inhabitants.

Hello, Gorgeous Crib. When Ali and I first met she told me that she wanted a crib with a high back. We had already agreed on the flower wall and I was very concerned that a convertible crib would cover too much and take away from the wall. So, I went to the drawing board in search of something that would properly fit the design, but make the parents-to-be happy. Immediately I remembered the New York crib by Romina Furniture. Romina is like the Chanel of baby furniture. Impeccable quality, reputation and design. The problem was that the crib on its own was way too mid century and not enough girlie, cotton candy, lullabies goodness. So, I kindly asked the good folks at Romina if they could put some tufted upholstery on the sides of the crib. The end result was exactly what the room needed. It turned out so well that you can now purchase this style crib in any of their many colors with upholstery. They really should call it The Vanessa. Just saying...


If you have to ask what mattress that is, then you must be new to my designs. Where there's a nursery, there's a Nook. Nook Sleep is what I use in both of my kids rooms and I recommend it to anyone who will listen and probably some who are trying to escape me as well.

The custom bumpers, drapes and crib skirt are all by Carousel Designs. I love being able to perfectly match bedding and window fabric and they have so many options. Please keep in mind that Ali's baby is sleeping in a Halo Bassinest for the first few months so the nursery is for show at the moment. Once she is ready to transition to the crib they will speak with their pediatrician about the bumpers.

Most nurseries have a lot of "stuff" in them and that "stuff" tends to swallow up the space quickly, so my best friend is acrylic. Utilizing pieces in clear makes the room feel less crowded. The airy little trick worked perfectly in Ali's nursery. Both the bookcase by Land Of Nod and side table by LexMod are acrylic.

The blanket on the chair is striped and by Butterscotch Blankees. I love how you can put the baby's name, initials or monogram on their blankets. I put one in many of my designs because they are useful and look amazing placed in the room as well.

Since the floor is hardwood, Ali wanted a comfy and soft rug for her baby girl to play on, but still something easy to clean. I was drawn to this rug from Rugs USA because of the simple and subtle gray lines that complemented the space. Sometimes rugs can become the focal and it was important to find one that didn't mind being a supporting cast member :-)

How cute are those little blocks? I love the way you can choose your colors and letters. Ali & Kevin got both Mookie (her nickname) and Molly for when she was born. They're by Crafted Pine Company.  They make some other great items that are also nursery-friendly and unique and they are small and independently owned. Things made with love are my favorite to include in nursery designs!

This is probably the best photo for you to see the wallpaper by Graham & Brown. It's white textured and speckled with silver and on every wall (except the Flower Wall). It's pretty much the prettiest wallpaper ever in person.

I have a lot of favorites in this room. In fact, when I talk about them, I probably sound extremely repetitive and lacking diversified adjectives. For some reason everything comes out as cute and beautiful. Below is "beautiful". I have LOVED Blueberry Glitter's custom artwork for so long, so when this room started to come together, she was the first artist that came to my mind. I gave her the colors to use, but not much more direction than that. I believe that trusting an artist to do their own thing leads to the best results.

The stunning dresser below is another A-MAZ-ING Romina Furniture creation. I love how this dresser has a clean, modern, squared off design but the finishes can transform the overall look. The drawer fronts are scraped with flecks of metallic in the paint and those knobs are T.D.F.

Nook doesn't offer a Blush Lily Pad playmat as a standard choice, but with enough begging, I was able to score one as a finishing touch for Ali's nursery. And look, there's more acrylic. It's a play gym (also by Land of Nod) sitting on top with handmade toys, that are perfection by August Lace Designs. August Lace also makes a really cool play gym. It was not the right fit for the colors of this room, but it's definitely going into my mental tool box.

When I first saw the swatch by Best Home Furnishings that is on the glider and ottoman, I knew I needed to find a room to put it in. I do that often. I fall in love with fabrics, swatches or items and sometimes are inspired to build a room around them.

Everyone loves a furry anything. This room totally called for a pillow to tie it all together. I found this one from Odd Little Birdie and loved the size and color.

One of the hardest parts about designing a room is that I get attached to it. Seeing it come to life is extremely exciting and watching the people who the room belongs to fall in love with it makes me so happy. At the end though, it's almost hard to leave. It's what I imagine it would feel like to be a surrogate. Or maybe not at all since they are rooms filled with stuff and that's a real tiny living human - it's not at all the same, but you know what I mean.

The person who is able to capture the work for me, making it a little easier to leave and a whole lot easier to share with all of you is the incredible talented Christine Farah. She has a way of looking through the lens and not only capturing it, but making it look magical.

Since Ali & Kevin planned to use a Halo Bassinest for the first few months with Molly, the nursery is going to initially be more of a showpiece. Guests coming to visit will undoubtedly want to see the new baby's room, so it was set up like you saw above. However, once they feel Molly is ready to sleep in her crib, Ali & Kevin plan to speak with their pediatrician to make the decision on whether the bumpers stay or go. So the photos below were taken to show you what the crib will look like bumperless and I think we can all agree it's still amazing! The simplicity of the white crib skirt with 1 blush stripe by Carousel Bedding really lets the wall shine.

It was wonderful working with these two adorable lovebirds. I loved seeing glimpses of their relationship while setting up the room. They really take care of each other and listen to one another. Molly is lucky to get such a great team as her parents and I was lucky to work with them!

You can get more details about the room and see some of my other projects on Houzz. Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat at TheNessaLee for a behind the scenes look at what I am working on.

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

If you follow me in other places, then you know that I am the broken record of the baby industry when it comes to telling people to travel with their kids. I love sharing my family’s adventures, tips and the gear that made it all easier in hopes that it will help other families have even more enjoyable family travels.

A Pipa, Voyage Bag and Bee all walked into an airport...

A Pipa, Voyage Bag and Bee all walked into an airport...

I was in Los Angeles for work recently and decided to bring the entire family. Even me, the family travel pusher, thought this was ambitious because during the days my husband had both kids and we spent the evenings together. I have to give him a public hug for this one because all of us know that spending the entire day with kids can be incredibly difficult at home. Now throw in a hotel room and less toys than they're used to and it can get crazier. But, he did it, didn't complain and the kids had an amazing time. As usual, I consider myself incredibly lucky.

Part of the reason why I have so many different strollers and gear items is so I can test them myself in real-life situations. That gives me the ability to talk about the products first-hand to help customers make the absolute best educated decision for their own lifestyle.

Earlier this year on a family beach trip. My favorite of our strollers for the beach is always the Cameleon 3.

Earlier this year on a family beach trip. My favorite of our strollers for the beach is always the Cameleon 3.

Over the years we usually take our Bugaboo Cameleon or Orbit G3 on trips. Between the ages of 2 and 3, we used a Mamas & Papas Armadillo stroller for our son when we traveled. Our daughter is only a year and we absolutely love all 3 of the above strollers, but we wanted to try something new. Plus, if I’m being completely honest – I straight up had to have the Diesel Rock Studded Bugaboo Bee3. I seriously coveted it the way I would an amazing purse or shoes. I'm just happy I have a child of stroller age because I'd look pretty silly pushing nothing around town.

And THAT is why I had to have it. Even Mr NessaLee calls it "hot".

And THAT is why I had to have it. Even Mr NessaLee calls it "hot".

Clearly my obsession with the aesthetic is not unusual because over the course of the week, 5 different people stopped us to ask about the stroller and wondered if it was custom.

My first experience with the Bee 3 was great! It is incredibly easy to open, close and put in and out of the car. Our Nuna Pipa snapped on with the adapters without a hitch. There was plenty of storage in the basket and as long as the baby was in the stroller, the bag hung well on the handlebar without tipping. Since our diaper bags are packed to the max, we're those dingbats that take our kids out and as we lift, the stroller flips eliciting shrieks of panic from passerbys, until they realize the baby is in our arms.

My daughter loved how upright she was able to sit and the fact that she could see everything with the more open sides. The Comfort Wheeled Board snapped on and off with ease for my son when his little legs got tired.

We have the Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag for our Cameleon 3, but we wanted to try the lighter and smaller Compact Travel Bag for the Bee3. When I travel again by plane, I’ll take the Comfort Transport bag instead. In the airport we like to put the car seat on the stroller and put the seat in the bag. When we get to the gate we put the frame inside, check it and bring our car seat on board. The Compact Travel Bag is not structured (so it definitely cannot be luggage checked) and it also does not have its own wheels (it uses the stroller wheels when the frame is in the bag) and it isn’t a backpack. So going through the airport was somewhat challenging for us since it just had to be carried. The Comfort Transport Bag has its own wheels, is more padded and structured, so it makes more sense for the way that we travel. If you are deciding which to purchase, consider what your trips will look like before making that decision.

How does this stroller look on me?

How does this stroller look on me?

Something I love about Bugaboo is that they have an accessory for every situation that you could possible need or want. You can see we have not 1, but 2 cup holders on both of our strollers. We're also huge fans of the mosquito net (not shown in our photos) - for bug protection and to keep nosy strangers at bay.

Wherever your family adventures take you, I hope they are all safe, happy, fun and of course, in style.



AuthorVanessa Antonelli

If you’re looking to create a fun, on -point nursery, but want it to feel fresh and new – ditch the overused trends and check out the below for some tips on what’s up and coming.

1.      Zoo Animals. I get it, animals are always going to be a thing when it comes to kids. But, I think we’ve all seen enough Zebras, Elephants and Giraffes to last a lifetime.

Still want to add some 4-legged friends to the design? Try some new pals like dogs, horses and polar bears to change it up a little.

Photo: Lauren Rubinstein

Photo: Lauren Rubinstein

2.      Wood walls in the nursery – I won’t lie, I still love them. Heck, when it comes to nurseries, I practically invented them, but so many copycats over the last 2 years have really worn out this trend’s welcome.

Photo: Ricky Stern Photography Room: Vanessa Antonelli

Photo: Ricky Stern Photography Room: Vanessa Antonelli

If you want an impactful focal wall try one of the newcomers: flowers, mirrors, glitter (yes a whole wall of it in paint!), metallics, astro turf or faux moss.

3.      Streamers and garland. I’m not entirely sure I ever really understood what they were doing in the nursery, but a lot of people clearly felt they belonged (take a quick tour of Pinterest if you don’t believe me). I’d like to be responsible for kicking this bizarre trend to the curb. Save it for a birthday party!

If you’re looking for whimsy bring in some unicorns, cotton candy or even pineapples. They’re fun and fabulous and don’t belong on a piñata.

Pineapple wallpaper

Pineapple wallpaper

4.      Not every nursery needs a white tiny faux fur flokati rug. It’s like that episode of Oprah where she gave cars to everyone, “A mini animal rug for everyone!”.

Looking to bring warmth or texture to a space? Layer curtains, bring in fabrics elsewhere like velvet, cable knit, or tulle. Still dreaming of fur? Try a throw blanket, stool or chair pillow.

Photo: Handy Little Me

Photo: Handy Little Me

AuthorVanessa Antonelli

Since my son was born 4 years ago, I’ve struggled with how to handle the world of social media and my children. I never posted a birth announcement or his newborn photos on Facebook, because I view the majority of my 600 'friends' more as acquaintances and figure those handful or so who are regularly in my life would hear and see it directly from me. Since then I've done a pretty good job keeping their full faces off of the internet. If you have followed me over the years, you now know it's intentional. I've even become that annoying parent politely asking other people not to post my kids on social media at birthday parties, playdates and school events. This is hard sometimes. Really hard. Social media is part of the norm for most people, so I usually get the side eye.

As someone whose career is in the baby industry, I realize it’s a little strange considering these little people are the ones who give me so much of my inspiration, opinions and ultimately are responsible for the first hand advice I dispense. I’m constantly talking about products I use with my children and showing pictures and videos of them in use in my daily life and travels.  In no way am I judging people who choose to post their children on public accounts. Each family has to do what’s right for them.  I personally feel like it’s not my decision to expose my children's faces to the world because I worry it could somehow make it more difficult for them as they grow into adults. With the way the world is constantly changing and social media is evolving, I’m just not sure and don't want to make the wrong decision. Plus I often wonder that if I were to post something, whose benefit would that be for? I would get a lot of likes and feel good about my offspring or adorable clothing choices for them, but I'm not sure it benefits them in any way. Is it my decision to make for them? Once I put them out there, I can’t take it back and that's why I've been so cautious with it. The same lesson I want to teach them as they get older, is one I have to remind myself over and over on their behalf: Be careful what you post on the internet.

Sometimes I think it makes it more difficult to elevate my public persona in my industry, but I’m a mom first. My kids will always be my first priority and I choose them over me. For now I will continue to keep them out of the spotlight and share those full face photos via email or text with loved ones.

Maybe down the road things will change. Maybe I'll realize I was being a little crazy or overly cautious, but until then, all you’ll see is sides and backs of heads.   

Is this something anyone else has struggled with?



AuthorVanessa Antonelli
 Check out all of the celebri-kids and babies that love Nook in their rooms! Nook is a NLB favorite because of its, soft plushy feel, water resistant feature, modern design and organic properties.

Kendra Wilkinson chose a Cloud White full size mattress for Hank Junior and a beautiful pale yellow custom color mattress for baby Alijah

Kourtney Kardashian's Nook in cloud is ready for her third baby (that's a doll shown in it)

Spotted: Ashley and JP's changing pad in Misty Gray for baby boy Fordham
and a changing pad in Danielle and Kevin Jonas's navy and white playroom for daughter Alena

Rosie Pope's mixture of gold and a soft pink color is the perfect color combination for baby girl Bridget

Tori Spelling with husband Dean and the cute little munchkin Finn pose for a perfect picture in this bold giraffe themed nursery. The mattress and changing pad featured in the color Poppy really finish the look of this nursery.

Nook is available for purchase at NessaLee Baby stores or online at 

When Gwen Stefani isn't judging people on their singing ability, she is showing off her cool mom skills while out with her boys in Cali. The trio was seen taking a trip to Toys 'R' Us and while Kingston was goofing around mom was looking stylish while wearing baby Apollo in her Ergobaby 360 carrier. This multiple position carrier allows mom to be hands free while still keeping baby close!

The Ergobaby 360 Carrier is available at NessaLee Baby or online at
The Kardashian/West Krew have been spotted repeatedly pushing the Mama's and Papa's Urbo2. Hailing from the UK, the Urbo2 has a chrome frame with a leather handle and bumper bar that will match dad's (Kanye) pants any day of the week. Sleek, stylish and comfy with a full flat recline. Do you really expect anything less for beautiful baby North?

The Urbo2 and all Mama's & Papa's products can be purchased in-store, at NessaLee Baby or online at

Mamas + Papas did it again. At the 2014 ABC Kids Expo they gave us the scoop on the newest member of the Armadillo family. Introducing The Armadillo Flip. It has a reversible seat and can be folded with the seat in either direction. Also, let's not forget the super-sized canopy, huge basket and awesome fabric. It doesn't get better than this just doesn't. Check out our YouTube video for the full scoop. Call us to Pre-order your Armadillo flip today, which will be arriving in November for $499 ($599 for XT Model).


All Mamas + Papas can be purchased in-store or online at
At the 2014 Kids Expo Nuna showed a prototype of yet another amazing accessory. The Nuna Wind attachment for your Leaf will keep your baby moving without your help! Going and going and going. Nuna = Winning. Coming Spring / Summer 2015! Call us 732-431-0008 or email to be on the waiting list now. 


                       All Nuna Products can be purchased in-store or online at