Safari Chic: Nursery Design

I had the pleasure of working with a sweet couple on this sophisticated safari themed nursery this summer. We started the decorating process at the beginning of April and wrapped things up well before their son's arrival, just over a month ago. This room went through quite a transformation, so I was very thankful for my client's motivation and organization so we could get it all done. 

The apartment is a large one bedroom that has been converted into a two bedroom. The small secondary bedroom (approximately 8' x 12') was serving as a guest room with a daybed and dressing space / walk-in closet since the master bedroom has such limited storage. Because so much storage was displaced out of this room, we ended up re-configuring a hall closet and designing a built-in for the master bedroom in addition to the nursery design. Everything from hand bags to golf clubs to a large collection of shoes needed a new home, so we had to get creative and create space. 

This client's apartment is already professionally decorated, so when I saw lots of sophisticated prints and beautiful fabrics and wallcoverings, I knew we were going to get along great. We started off the process by discussing all of the items that needed to fit in this petite nursery, creating furniture plan options, and putting together thematic schemes once they knew the sex of the baby. Since multi-purposing is the name of the game in New York City, our goal was to maintain a comfortable guest space without sacrificing any nursery necessities (full-size crib, changing table, glider, etc.). 

Here are a couple of (not great) before shots:

And where we landed with the new furniture plan:

Cozy, to be sure! But it all efficiently fits and works well for the client's needs.

The clients had a very good sense for the look and feel they wanted in the space, so it was such fun exercise abstracting that into a couple of schemes for them to choose from. We ended up tweaking a few selections in the end, but this was the winning scheme:

And, finally, the new nursery space photographed by Nicole Cohen:

The clients selected a very handsome Duc Duc crib with walnut accents and a steamer trunk style changing table to really round out the theme. We blew up some beautiful photographs from the safari the clients went on and hung those above the daybed. We found the great, handmade mobile on Etsy and also stayed on theme with the bone inlay mirror above the changing table. And who doesn't love a over-sized giraffe and tiger?

I loved designing and collaborating with this couple on such a special space for their son and am so glad I could help them make the best use of their existing space with their changing needs.


Emily C. Butler

Emily C. Butler, 1153 3rd Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA

Emily C. Butler is a New York City based interior designer + decorator.