Monday, February 14, 2011

Studio Riga Nursery by Jenny Vorhoff

This nursery is a kick off to real rooms week for Nursery Notations. Rooms posted this week will include a new nursery from a reader, a successful design blogger's nursery, a new project of my own and this lovely nursery by interior designer Jenny Vorhoff of Studio Riga in New York City. Enjoy!

Thank you, Andrika, for asking me to post about Evelyn's nursery design!

In thinking about what type of nursery I wanted, the only consistent thought was how it would 'feel'. It was very important that the space be comfortable, playful and sophisticated. Since there was no particular product (rather too many products) I was in love with, I took the lead from the eclectic nature of the rest of my apartment, the architecture of the space, and my favorite color, yellow.

I have found that a feature color is most often at home when it's an accent. Putting it on the walls is not always the answer! Second from a color theory standpoint the nursery should be bright and cheery but most importantly calming. Enter blue for the walls. After testing every warm shade of blue (so that the yellow was harmonious) I settled on Benjamin Moore Crystal Blue. It's a Tiffany style blue with less green.

People often ask me how to know if a color 'works'. The most important quality to look for is that it makes you feel good. Be sure to look at it during the day and night. Sunlight and lamplight are very different things. It's always beneficial to live with it a day or to before deciding if you like it.

Though there is a lot of yellow bedding in the world, I came up short looking for something that was not pastel yellow but the buttery/ochre shade I was after. I wanted a patterned bumper so it would feel more sophisticated than a graphic or an image. In the end I settled on a fabric from Mally Skok and had one fabricated by my upholsterer. Because the fabric was not inexpensive, I did one side in a solid color linen to compliment.

Any upholsterer can do this for you and the cost is not significantly more than the higher end crib bedding lines. It's also nice to customize it by adding a contrast flange or welt, contrasting sides, style of ties (make them more or less feminine, accent color, etc.) and placement. For instance we had solid ends on our crib so I was able to specify the tie placement since the traditional placement wouldn't have worked for us.

The only existing piece of furniture in the nursery was a white Ikea bookshelf. Because there would be a handful of furnishings in the room, a white or modern crib would have tipped the balance in the room making it more modern than I wanted. I fell for the Georgian crib from Mason Gray because of the substantial classic lines and natural wood finish. This kept the style of room in balance.

I used some small tables I had around in the nursery for the glider and sofa. When we found out she was a girl I added the vintage floral brass lamp. Had she been a boy I would have probably used a wood or more modern masculine lamp. The pink throws also came after the fact. I have a small lamp next to the glider that has a candelabra bulb. It's the perfect amount of light for feeding Evelyn as she goes to bed.

If I didn't have the small lamp, I would have added a dimmer to whatever lamp would have been there. It's nice to have the ability to illuminate the room to different levels. Try to avoid overhead light as it is harsher than lamps.

The upholstery in the room is a glider and sofa. To keep the costs in line I opted to use fabrics from the Lee line. Of their available neutrals they had a summery khaki which I used for the glider and an outdoor taupe colored strie for the sofa. Because the sofa lines were so simple, I had Lee add trim from Samuel Sons to the skirt to make it look more custom and less plain. I had my upholstered make the throw pillows (dry cleaners are also capable of doing this!) which were fabrics that helped pull the scheme together.

As you can see from the pictures, we used a grasscloth covered dresser as the changer. She can use this in future rooms and the scale is perfect for a changer now (34" H).

The Shade Store shade add texture and depth to the airy scheme -- turns out they block a lot of light for nap time. The drapes are very makeshift. I installed drapery hardware and just cut them both from bolts of linen. Each panel is one width, unseamed. Since we live in a loft the rustic unfinished look works on our large scale windows.

Lastly carpet -- our floors are cement and we needed a soft floor so we could play on the ground. Since we rent we did not want to mess up the floors.

The carpet installers made a wall-to-wall looking installation but it's actually just an area rug that they seamed against the wall. When we move I can roll it up, take it with me, and have them cut out a size that works in the next phase.

Designing Evelyn's nursery was very fun. Once I settled on a direction everything flowed smoothly. The thing I'm most pleased with is how comfortable the space feels. As predicted I spent a lot of late nights there early on and it was a pleasant place to be. Now we spend lots of time in the room hanging out with her. My favorite things are the overall feeling of the room and red fire alarm which has thankfully never been painted by a prior tenant. The main thing I would do over is an outdoor fabric on my glider. It's already feeling dingy since it is light in color (dark in color would equally show stains). I look forward to working on another nursery -- the experience has definitely given me more perspective from which I think my clients will appreciate.

Bumper Fabrics: Mally Skok Samode in Taupe / Yellow & Fabricut Fellas 24
Glider & Fabric: Lee Industries 3907-13 Full Sleeper in Dupione Sand & Samuel Sons 977-26001 24
Side Tables: Arteriors Forest Park Silver Iron & Aldwich Tables
Dresser: Bungalow 5 Frances 6 Drawer Dresser
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Crystal Blue 2051-70
Shades: The Shade Store Woven Wood Dark
Lamps: Vintage & Circa Lighting Tiny Terri Lamp in Alabaster

---Jenny Vorhoff, of Studio Riga