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I connected with celebrity stylist ElShane through a national community for working moms like myself called HeyMama. Our early communication was a bit shaky. You see ElShane had one little girl already and has an amazing larger than life personal style. So why would she need a nursery designer?
She admitted it was hard to trust another person with the creation of such a personal space, even a design professional. On our first calls I shared my initial thoughts on how she could get all the functionality in the tiny space she was having to carve out of her New York City rental and I walked her through the convenient e-design process – she ultimately realized the YouthfulNest virtual expert service was exactly what her busy schedule needed.
This shining star of a nursery is the true meaning of good things come in small packages.
A Story to tell
What is so awesome about doing a sponsored collaboration like this one, is that we get to learn so much more about our client since they're willing to share more personal details with the public. That might be details of their pre-mom life or the ups and downs of getting pregnant.
For example this was ElShane's second pregnancy, she lovingly referred to it as "science baby" because she and her husband went through the stressful process of IVF. She shares all those details on her blog in this post.
Before I saw one room photo or room inspiration image I totally stalked ElShane on Instagram, her website and yep, Googled her. (Since she is somewhat of a public figure I didn't think this was too creepy!) What I learned was everything I would need to know to approach this design.
For example, when your client designs her own shimmering silver wedding dress paired with a crystal studded slave bracelet, you know you are up for a design challenge of serious magnitude. No pressure.
GIVE IT UP
Now besides knowing that I had a tremendous design challenge upon me I learned that there was not an actual nursery room to design. Well, not yet anyway. ElShane and her family were on a short stint working/living in NYC having left their home back in LA..
Their two bedroom apartment was already filled to the brim so ElShane was trying to carve out a nook for the nursery using a temporary wall. Ok, I thought that's typical for a New York City apartment. But simply putting up a temporary wall can be met with lots of push back from the building management. In this situation they pushed her out of her original nursery location forcing her to give up her office to make room for baby number two
First things first
After our initial consult call where we talked through her design questionnaire responses, ElShane and I both agreed that we need to nail the wallpaper and that everything else would fall in place around it.
The one description ElShane had for her room look was "galaxy girl". Before I searched my favorite wallpaper brands I scrolled through her Instagram account again and immediately evaluated her style to be bold, eclectic, colorful, and bright. And a world where anything goes!
She loved layering colors and patterns in a way that looked effortless, but I knew was not easy to do. That style is actually harder to pull off than most others.
As I started hitting my usual wallpaper brands I knew right away that there wasn't going to be anything usual about this design. I landed on the Rebel Walls site where there were dozens and dozens of galaxy images in the most beautiful and bold colors. I pulled my sparkly favorite that had a bit of every color from orange to purple to black and added it to her style board.
Because the apartment that ElShane and family are living in is a temporary location she needed a temporary way to mount this traditional wallpaper. One that wouldn't damage her wall. After researching mounting options ElShane found this technique on the website that used painters tape, layered with double sided tape that made an adhesive surface for applying the wallpaper.
The Brilliant Design
After landing on the wallpaper most of the other furnishing and décor items fell into place. But doing the math became an essential part of selecting every piece for this tiny space. The actual floor space was only 5'x10' or 50 square feet total, the size of a walk-in closet or kitchen pantry.
The stars were aligned and we found so many amazing pieces that worked for her small space. After a few rounds of back-and-forth we nailed down the final favorites and started shopping!
Check out how we tackled the nursery trifecta, crib, changing area and glider.
"you are SO good. I'm really freaking out. I'm this close to kicking Sunday out of her room and shoving HER in the fake corner and making Sunday's big room the new nursery after seeing all of these beautiful options! WOW!" –ElShane
SLEEP Under the Stars
Picking the mini crib from Project Nursery was a pretty easy choice. It was the color that caused some discussion, should we go pink, white, black, blue – the Babyletto Origami came in all the colors. We agreed on the black to add some more depth and balance out all the color in the galaxy wallpaper.
To complete the crib area I pulled in some galaxy inspired décor. First with Rookie Humans, Moon's Birthday mini-crib sheet. Then the Baby Jives Moon Mobile in rose with dangling gold stars to twinkle over babe.
CHANGING THINGS UP
Next we moved over to the changing nook where we found a very streamlined changing table to sneak into the opening in the newly built wall. But for sure a pop of color was needed in this spot so we covered the changing pad in a Shibori (a Japanese dyeing technique that creates organic pattern) in indigo blue.
To give baby and mom something cheerful to look at while cleaning up those dirty diapers we hung up two pieces of artwork from our friends at Kisco Print Shop, Rainbow Ombre and No Sleep. And we added a personalized letter baby baseball cap from ReytoZ that brings a little casual cool to this pretty spot.
To tie this whimsical gallery together and in an attempt to bring in every color under the sun, we couldn't resist a whimsical tassel garland from the talented owner of Shop Leo Kids, happily named Funday Garland.
In our initial conversation there was some hesitation on ElShane's to have any seating in the actual nursery itself – because how would we fit in a glider? Lucky enough there were a few solid options for smaller sized seating and we both fell in love with this Babyletto Madison Swivel Glider in lush navy micro suede. Its low profile allowed it to snuggle up against one side of the room near the built-ins.
On the glider we rested a statement piece in the form of a functional Lahcen throw, perfect for cozying up and snuggling with baby. Next to the glider we went with another show stopper, with this World's Away side table. It's contemporary glamor was a must-have for ElShane's nursery. Both items can be found on Paynes Gray.
The pièce de ré·sis·tance – the Ferm Living small round pouf from BurkeDecor provides style and comfort. It's smooth modern shape covered in lux velvet is not only out-of-this-world gorgeous, but a must-have splurge for putting up your feet when spending long stints in the glider.
All of this comfy and functional furniture was grounded by a large Conti Ombre rug in bright blue from Paynes Gray. We went with a larger, minimalist rug intentionally to cover the entire floor in a uniformed way and to keep things from looking too choppy in this already bustling space.
The REAL STARS
Of course we can't take all the credit for this brilliant nursery. The fact is ElShane and her husband, Tony, were ultimately responsible for taking the virtual design with all it's products and styling recommendations and installing it all themselves. I'm sure you would agree it is stunning!
Our best wishes to this lovely family and welcome to the world Vega Vann Shapiro!
SHOP THIS LOOK