Good taste cannot be learned. But that doesn't mean you can't try. Which is why there are sites like Highsnobiety and Selectism, curated by the experts and always a step ahead of the rest of us when it comes to fashion, style and design. This week--just in time for Father's Day--Highsnobiety and Selectism editor and partner Jeff Carvalho got a brand new project to curate alongside his partner, publicist Leemor Rhodes: a new baby boy.
The cool couple, who met in 2012 through a mutual friend and "have never looked back," recently invited us into their Brooklyn home to show us how they were prepping for their babe. Find out what inspired their nursery design, what they think of “Dad Style," and just how many pairs of sneakers are already in this tiny tastemaker's closet.
Leemor, how did you break the pregnancy news?
I kind of knew I was pregnant even before missing my period and shared my hunch with Jeff. So, we were counting down the days until the test could read the pregnancy. We were both at home at the time.
Jeff, what was your first reaction when you found out?
I was incredibly excited. Having a child was something we both wanted very much. Being on the same page about it, having the same spirit for bringing a new life to the world bonded our love even more.
Leemor, tell us about your pregnancy style.
My pregnancy style doesn't really differ from my pre. I'm actually still wearing most of my regular clothes through the 9th month! I guess the only difference is that I have been repeating the same outfits, whereas before getting pregnant, going into my closet was always an adventure. These days, my focus is on sheer comfort, which was definitely not a priority before. I have been wearing everything from flowing dresses, tunics, button downs, skinny jeans and tons of accessories--scarves, piles of necklaces, hats, bracelets--you name it. My go-to brands are COS pieces, Topshop and Topshop Maternity, Eairth by Vivian Ramsey, BCBG, and Nicholas K.
Jeff, what does “dad style" mean to you? Is there such a thing?
“Dad style" is like “normcore"--a label for a specific sense of style or an indifference to it. I think of ill-fitting denim on guys as being “dad style," but who am I to judge? I will say that being a dad does not mean giving up on your personal style. I don't plan on jumping into wide leg denim anytime soon.
How would you describe your home design style?
Jeff: I like to describe it as “found." So much of what makes our living room are the things we have acquired, much of which is showcased on our leaning shelf wall. Our carpet, for instance, was a remnant from a friend's moving sale.
How have you adapted your apartment for the impending baby?
Leemor: Our son's nursery is now what used to be our guest room. We sold all the furniture in that room (including my dream wrought iron bed frame!) to make space for Baby C's new stuff. Initially I felt a bit restricted by what's "functional" because it's all so new and intimidating. But instead of following what most outlets and resources were preaching as appropriate for the nursery, we let our own taste and intuition guide us. Once we figured out what was truly essential for the nursery (crib, changing table, glider) creating a visually pleasing space was rather easy.
What was your nursery inspiration?
Leemor: The thing I was most excited about was creating this special space for our son. I wanted a room that felt appropriate for a baby but also something he could grow into that felt cohesive with the rest of our home. We have this Woolrich blanket in shades of teal and gray that gave me really good vibes, and I decided that would be my starting point for the color palette.
Do you have a favorite item in baby's room?
Jeff: His room has great posters that I've kept in storage over the years and we custom framed for his space. They are great fits for a boy's room: a colorful KAWS exhibition poster, a Johnny Cupcakes Boston shop opening poster--they just look like they belong.
What are some of your best nursery finds?
Leemor: The idea of furniture, other than the crib, that doesn't grow with the child is super old school and an unnecessary expense. We only bought pieces that we absolutely loved and actually wanted to live in our house, period. I believe that was the key to finding such a harmonious balance. Some great finds include: a mid-century modern inspired West Elm dresser that we absolutely loved, and are utilizing it as a not so traditional "changing table"--I basically secured a changing pad on top of the dresser. I also found a ton of really great pieces on the Urban Outfitters' site--the leaning bookcase with lacquered shelves in gradient hues of blue, Double-Arrow curtains, and map-covered fabric letters that spell out his name. I bought a flokati rug from ABC Carpet that I've always wanted and a super-comfy glider from Babies R Us and a fun yellow ottoman from IKEA that complements and really pops in the room.
Favorite fashion finds for baby so far?
How many pairs of shoes does baby boy have? How many more till he matches daddy's collection?
Jeff: 14 pairs already! Haha! Baby boy still has quite a long ways to go till he matches daddy's, but his shoe game is starting incredibly strong. I never expected to become the dad who would lace up his kid with Jordans, but it was quite difficult for me not to buy a few different sizes in Jordan 4s when I saw them in Portland; I became that dad.
How have the dads you've met through Selectism and Highsnobiety impacted your perception of fatherhood?
Jeff: There is a fatherhood bond that becomes apparent once you realize how many folks in your circles are dads. You understand one another better.
Photography by Jonica Moore Studio.