K: One of the things we hear people struggling with is paint colour. What’s your advice for choosing the right one?
N: I get so many questions about that. If I post an image on Instagram and someone say’s, “what is that paint colour,” my answer for that can be kind of infuriating, because what I usually say is that you have to test paint colours, because they will look so different in the room that I shot versus your room, based on the lighting and the windows and the actual items you have in the room that can reflect colour. So, my advice is to get samples and test them. Put them up on the wall in a few different places and look at them and make sure you actually like it. Especially whites. White and neutrals. They will change a lot.
K: So, we actually had a few people write in with questions to get your professional help. One person asked, “Help, I’m in a rental with an incredibly small nursery that has no window.” What would you suggest for them?
N: So, there’s a bit of a layered question there. For a rental, she has to be careful not to do anything super permanent that you can’t take with you when you leave. Removeable wallpaper is awesome for rentals because it makes a huge statement and it will make the room feel really cool, but you can just peel it off when you leave. I love that for rentals. As far as the no window and small room part, that’s a different story. There’s a couple of tricks you can do to make a room feel larger and more open. One of those would be to keep it light—so don’t paint that room a dark colour. Bounce whatever light you have around. You can do that with mirrors. If you have a dresser or changing table, put a nice big mirror over the wall and that will open up the space and sort of bounce around the light that is in the room. It also sort of gives that feel of a window you know, having a large mirror…as long as it’s safely hung! Don’t put it over the crib. And things should be to scale. So, if you have a tiny room, you don’t want to do a huge piece of art or things like that. Keep it kind of on the small side so that when you walk into the room it doesn’t feel like you’re being closed in on. Acrylic is also really great, because you can see though it. It doesn’t take up visual space.
K: Another question that we had was about mixing fashion with function. Specifically, the question was, “who are these parent’s keeping perfect rugs with a newborn?” Do you have any thoughts on textiles and easy-to-clean solutions for the baby’s room?
N: So, there’s a couple of things with rugs. Having a rug with pattern is going to help, because if there’s little spills or stains on it, you’re not going to really see them as much. One thing I love though is layering rugs. There’s one specific one I use all of the time, it’s from this brand called Kroma, and they make machine-washable faux sheepskin rugs. They’re super, super soft and I like throwing those on top of the other regular rug so that if you’re doing tummy time or you’re doing playtime, you can put them on that rug, and if there’s a spill or anything happens you can throw it in the washing machine. You can’t throw an 8x10 rug in the washing machine, so I love those. You can even put them in the living room to protect your other carpet or wherever. Things like that are great, a little layering.
Also, the material of the rug is something to consider— this is a little tricky—because you want the rug to be as non-toxic as possible, which eliminates the polyesters and the synthetics and things like that, that are easier to clean. The cotton rugs and the natural rugs are harder to clean. So that’s definitely a balance that everyone will have to decide—what’s more important to them? Which is why I like the layering!
K: What do you think is your favourite up-and-coming nursery trend?
N: There’s this one style I’ve seen lately. I don’t even know if it has a name. I guess I’d call it something like eclectic modern. Or even sculptural modern. It’s kind of a blend between modern design, that’s got kind of a sculptural, geometric look, with the boho, neutral. So, a lot of boucle textures, fringe, things like that but with this clean, modern style. And plants. But the neutral trend is still around and I expect it to stay for quite awhile, so this is just a little bit of an offshoot of that, with more of the shape involved as well.
K: So, you don’t think that the all white, neutral trend is all over? Neutral is still a big part of design?
N: I haven’t done a lot of all white. Here and there, but most people that I do whites with, there is a little bit of colour or contrast layered in there, even if it’s just other neutrals.
K: So, what about some other trends? What about feature walls? Are they in or are they out?
N: I don’t think they’re over. One of the great things about feature walls in nurseries is that you might not want to make the investment to wallpaper an entire room, or to put wall moulding in an entire room. I think it lends itself really well to nurseries to choose a feature wall. Especially when you have a crib—that’s just the perfect thing to sit in front of a feature wall. So, I think the type of feature wall might change a little bit over time, but I don’t think that the idea is going anywhere.
K: What about bassinets? Do you think that they’re a must-have piece of décor or is it just a waste of time, don’t bother?
N: I think that some type of bassinet or co-sleeper or other spot, aside from the crib to put the baby is definitely a must-have. Especially if you have a two-story home, or if that master, main bedroom is far away from the nursery. It’s good to have another spot that you can just put them if they’ve fallen asleep or if you want to keep them in the kitchen when you’re cooking or whatever. Even a little Moses basket or something.
K: What is your preference? Do you think that vinyl decals for the wall is better, or hand painted murals?
N: There are some great wall decal options now. I know that the word vinyl makes kind of an icky image, but they are so well made now that they look great, some of them even look like they’re made of fabric. So, I think that that’s an amazing option and they peel right off, so they’re great, I love those. Murals are an investment for sure. They’re going to cost a lot more money to have something custom painted. It’s hard to remove, you have to paint over it, which can also be sort of an emotional experience—I’ve heard that from a lot of people. It’s sad to paint over the mural. I do use them sometimes when it’s appropriate, but in general they’re expensive and they’re fairly permanent.
Above Photo by David Casas
K: Recently you shared a really gorgeous dark nursery on your Instagram page when we’re used to seeing light and bright. Do you think for you, would you go light and bright or would you be more likely to choose dark if it were totally your say and the clients gave you full creative freedom?
N: It totally depends on the style of the house and how big it is and how much light there is. My personal design taste is light and bright, that just works better for my mental space, I guess. That room that you’re referring to with the black wall—we just did the one black wall. I would never suggest painting all four walls of a nursery black, I think that might be too dark, but if there’s some sort of mid-tone that feels really nice then that would be fine, depending of course on lighting and windows and all that. I don’t know if I have a firm answer for you on that.
K: You have so many great resources. If anyone is designing a nursery, you have to go to Naomi’s website, littlecrowninteriors.com and sign up for her nursery essentials checklist. You can also find her on Instagram or Pinterest.
I love your book, it’s so beautiful. There’s so much inspiration in it. There’s checklists, budgets, how to define your style and your theme. Are you still taking any new e-design clients?
N: Yes, we are, however I think we’re booked out until about mid-June right now.
K: Do you only do nurseries, or do you do other kid’s spaces like playrooms and older children’s rooms or just nurseries?
N: I do everything up through about teen. The book of course is nursery-specific, but we’ll do nursery, kids, playrooms, teen rooms all that stuff.
If you’d like to watch the interview with Naomi, head on over to our Instagram account! Hope this gave you some great tips and inspiration for designing your own perfect nursery. If you’re designing your own space, be sure to tag us on Instagram @NestintheCity we love seeing your kids’ spaces!