Elin and Peter turned their second bedroom into their little boy Merrick’s nursery by hardly changing a thing. It made sense to them to work within the style they use in the rest of the house including in their exquisite DIY kitchen renovation: a classic sophisticated design with antique or designer-made furnishings and rugs, oil paintings, and keepsakes from their lives.
The wall color stayed the same as when they used the room as the master bedroom: a sage green in the Donald Kaufman paint collection. And they acquired a hand-me-down crib and changing table, diaper genie, and some toys and clothes.
They also made two deliberate baby-appropriate purchases:
The Himalayan salt nightlight. These beautiful orange lamps may actually purify the air by creating negative ions, and Elin and Peter love the serene glow which is just bright enough for midnight diaper changes.
An old-fashioned mobile by Danish designer, Christian Flensted. Merrick is mesmerized by the dancing black birds. Even when they have the ceiling fan on, the mobile moves rhythmically and never tangles.
Speaking of the ceiling fan, Elin says it is a must in the small second bedrooms in these typical row houses. They tend to be overly warm or cold depending on the season, so circulating the air works wonders for keeping the temperature tolerable. She would also recommend putting mirrors in the space. She has two hung on either side of the window. Not only do they make the room seem larger, Merrick loves to look at himself while she holds him up on the changing table, that is when he’s not hamming for the camera.
My favorite piece in the room is the handsome Eames leather lounge chair. This classic beauty also makes the perfect nursing chair.
Each painting in the room has a story. The one hanging over the bed is a painting by a local artist Ellen Glasgow. Elin says she has had it on loan for quite some time from a good friend. When Merrick starts to reach up high enough to touch the painting, she’ll move down the crib and may eventually swap in a new piece of art.
The painting over the changing table shows St. Andrew’s church in Maine where both sets of Peter’s grandparents got married as well as Peter and Elin. The architect, Henry Vaughan, also designed the chancel of the Washington National Cathedral. The painter happens to be Maurice Day one of the Disney illustrator and photographers. The animals in Bambi were based off his illustrations and photos that he took in Baxter State park, Maine. Can’t you almost picture Thumper hopping by in the snow.
On the opposite wall, they’ve hung a painting by Peter’s grandmother.
Of course, it’s the little sentimental touches that make a nursery so special. A friend sent them the custom blocks that spell out Merrick’s name.
Next to the blocks are two darling red shoes that belonged to Peter when he was a boy.
On the bookshelf, they display the adorable little wolf that Peter cherished as a boy, as well as a carved wooden shark that Elin’s Dad brought home from New Zealand when she was seven and the camel he picked up in Iraq.
Elin also gave Merrick the good luck ceramic cat from her childhood, and a paper star she bought at an outdoor market in Curacao in the Caribbean.
I love that the room would work well for a boy or a girl. It will also be easy to make minor changes as Merrick grows out of his crib and acquires new interests. I look forward to checking back with them in a few years. My advice to Merrick: Don’t ever let go of that Eames chair!