Modern nursery design is certainly very trendy—and trust, I love a hot trend!—but there is no denying the beauty and eleganza of a classic look. This custom design project was created in a meticulously maintained, classic pre-war apartment on Manhattan’s glamorous Upper East Side—it’s the type of apartment where Sex and the City’s Charlotte York would have lived. The theme of the nursery is chinoiserie, a French word that literally means “Chinese-esque,” and it’s characterized by the influences of both Eastern and Western design. Though it’s famed for ornate imagery, I like to simplify the look, filtering it through my lens to create something that looks like a page out of a story book.
The beautiful architecture, creamy vanilla crown moulding and elegant built-in wall unit all serve as a framework for the hand-painted wall finishes and artwork. Painted branches float above the door frames and become the playground for woodland creatures. A vintage chandelier with sapphire blue glass crystals hangs in the center of the room for a touch of added elegance.
This space is a wonderful example of classic nursery design. The minimal and elegant furnishings allow the wall treatments to shine. The carpet is a very tight and low nap, which is easy to clean and ideal as baby starts to crawl.
Initially, all of the walls were color-washed using three tones of lavender paint. Calligraphic trees frame the crib, their boughs reaching toward the center and sprouting almond-shaped leaves in several tones of green and pearlescent white. When this baby grows out of the crib, the spacing is perfect to accommodate either a twin or full size headboard.
Adorable animals are everywhere you look, each one hand-painted and highly detailed. I love sparkle, so the finishing touch is a myriad of tiny Swarovski crystals that were applied by hand. Who doesn’t love a little bling bling?
A diamond dust-glittered crescent moon floats above pastel painted butterflies on the wall behind the crib. Their wings are delicately jeweled to add even more sparkle.
Chinoiserie artwork may be applied directly to the walls or to canvas panels that hang like paintings, which can then be handed down as a family heirloom from generation to generation.
What do you think of this classic nursery design? Would you consider adding chinoiserie to your little one’s space?