To the Beach We Go

Michelle and Remi have had a really big year. They got married,
moved into a new townhouse and recently found out they are
expecting their first child
– and it’s a boy!
Michelle and Remi have had a really big year. They got married, moved into a new townhouse and recently found out they are expecting their first child – and it’s a boy!

Everything is perfect, except for one problem: They don’t have a nursery.

With their hectic working schedules, the couple didn’t have enough downtime to renovate their spare room. So I called in the Divine Design team to help me whip up a whimsical nursery in time for the arrival of the little bundle of joy.

The challenge was to create a fun space that also was functional. I wanted a nursery that was stimulating for the baby and yet practical for Mom and Dad. I also needed the room to be able to grow with the child, which meant everything in it – from fabrics to furniture – had to have longevity.

I decided on a beach theme – something that could appeal to kids of all ages – complete with capricious graphics on the walls and ceilings, amusing nautical accessories and lively colors and fabrics.

A major contributor to the success of this theme would be the use of color and paint. The old lavender walls were repainted in fresh, yet subtle, shades. I used a sand-colored paint on the lower portion of the walls. I then painted a blue-sky area on the upper portion and added some wispy clouds on top, which I fashioned by mixing four parts glaze and one part white paint.

Using a transparency and overhead projector, I painted two big lighthouses in green, blue and red on either side of the crib area. The ceiling got a special treatment, with the installation of a large, painted compass that baby can gaze up at from his bed.

All of the fabrics in this space were selected for their sunny look and their resilience. I mixed up a host of washable solids, plaids, stripes and other colorful fabrics patterned with sea creatures and lighthouses.

The windows received fun cabana stripe blackout blinds to give baby a good night’s sleep. I then added dummy panels in the lighthouse fabric and completed the look with vibrant trim on the centre splits.

In keeping with my beach motif, I wanted the lighting to be understated and relaxing. The room, which previously had one ceiling fixture, got a makeover of modern halogen lighting, including a crystal centre light in the ceiling compass and low-voltage accent lights on the lighthouses that will serve as nightlights.

My last challenge was the furniture. Aside from keeping an existing rocking chair that belonged to Michelle’s mother, I brought in all new pieces that were functional and able to transition with the child.

I decided on a three-in-one crib, which will act as an infant’s bed in the early years, convert into a toddler’s day bed later on and then shift into a full-sized bed as the child grows up. I added a natural-wood finished dresser that has a handy change table, in addition to storage areas and an overhead hutch for diapers, baby wipes and other necessities. I also designed a storage seat that will sit under the window area and hold further baby clutter.

I ended the redesign with a few nautical splashes – fish-shaped pillows, toy boats, a life preserver – and this seaside baby retreat was ready for delivery.

By adding kid-friendly finishes and fabrics, summery colors and accents, and functional fixtures and furnishings, the room was reborn – and in plenty of time for the bouncing baby boy. How divine!

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