There’s a common refrain when you have a baby that your space will cease to be your space, and every square inch of your apartment will be filled with unsightly toys and an uncontrollable mess. Guess what? It’s not true. Ok, maybe it happens to some of us (sheepish nod), but a quick glance at Amanda Gluck (aka Fashionable Hostess)’s Instagram feed , and we are reminded that even when you have two kids under 3 years old, you can still live in high-design. We know, we know, life on Instagram isn’t always what it seems. But trust us, Amanda’s the real deal--we’ve visited her NYC apartment, and it looks just as gorgeous in real life as it does on your phone.
This summer, Amanda and her family relocated to Nashville, and while we’re sad to lose this chic NYC mama, we’re ecstatic we get to watch her decorate an entire house! Here, she shows off her son Brooks’ brand new nursery and offers 5 valuable nursery design tips, no matter how much space (or impeccable taste) you have.
How is decorating your space in Nashville different than NYC?
My design aesthetic hasn't really changed, as I have always loved soft colors in a nursery both in our New York apartment and here, but since we owned this time around versus renting I could do some bigger investments such as carpeting, window treatments, and painting the walls and trim.
Tell us about the foundation of the nursery.
I love powder blue walls in a baby boy's nursery so Benjamin Moore's Blue Lace was the perfect fit. Then I'm all about practicality in my decor. Toys make for the best display items. I love a stack of books in an array of blue to match the room or cream-colored teddy bears and stuffed dogs.
How did you stick with a color theme without making it feel over the top?
Blue Lace by Benjamin Moore is a soft blue to start, then by adding in white and grey accents throughout the room, like the animal heads on the wall or my grey rocking chair with white piping make the room calm and sweet. The second you get into richer primary colors you can get into dangerous territory. I also prefer pillows and accents with clean lines or simple patterns, stay away from loud prints.
How does this new room compare with Brooks’ NYC nursery?
It's about three times the size so we had a lot of space to work with, but really we stuck with all the same furniture; the Alex crib and changing table from giggle, a CB2 book shelf, and Buy Buy Baby rocking chair . We finally had space for a night table, which I purchased from Pottery Barn kids, while the lamp is a fun piece from Jonathan Adler . My favorite addition was the white animal heads from Kulture Bomb, hung up on the wall behind the rocker.
What are some of the details that aren't obvious but make a big difference?
Things that make a big difference are “white” blackout shades! We got ours from ShadesOnline.com and had them installed. They match the white trim in the room, and of course are great for helping the baby sleep as much as he/she can (which us mamas can appreciate!). Another not so obvious detail is a great toy chest for storing away any unsightly toys… they look sweet and of course keep the room clean! Plus, it’s great to teach your kids the clean up song and how important it is to pick up their things at the end of the day.
This room is so clean! How do you make sure it stays that way?
I always keep the room looking neat by creating storage space in the closet for the less attractive toys (which you know always seem to be their favorite).
What are a few of your very favorite items in the nursery?
The rocking chair cow from Giggle. It started out as a cute prop and quickly became a fun toy for both kids! Then there’s the large bear stuffed animal, which was a total score at Costco. We bought two, one for our playroom and one for Brooks’ room--Reese (our 2.5-year old girl) named them Charlie and Champ! The best buy for sure was the grey rocking chair from Buy Buy Baby. It has gone from my first child to my second and still is in great condition (minus all the minor spills). I love all the special memories it holds.
Any major splurge items?
I am a sucker for great lighting. I think a chandelier or pendant can make a room, so I love the Restoration Hardware shade we put in the nursery. Then I love the Jonathan Adler Horse lamp we bought for Brooks’ bedside table. It’s fun and adorable all at once.
Give us 5 important tips for any mom designing a nursery.
- Make it comfortable whether it’s adding a super soft area rug or even buying beanbag chairs. You will spend a lot of time in there, especially on the floor!
- Make it a calming space by choosing soft colors. Having a baby can be hectic, so this can help counterbalance the crazy!
- Scotch guard any furniture you don’t want ruined, like your rocking chair or day bed! Babies spit up or spill milk on just about everything.
- Baby wipes are actually the best cleaning solvent. I have to say that baby wipes get out 90% of the spills that occur. Blot your spills with them immediately after occurring.
- Remember this is your space to make memories, so just enjoy your time in there. We placed an ipod speaker in our nursery so we can dance, sing, and silly as a family.
Photography by Lindsey Grace Photography.