Charlotte’s Tropical + Vibrant Nursery

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I designed this nursery especially for my daughter, Charlotte.  Perhaps best described as tropical, exotic, and colorful, I filled it with elements I believe reflect adventure, curiosity, and beauty – three things I’m sure will come to describe her, too.

Design Inspiration

My husband and I share a strong wanderlust. We wanted the nursery to reflect our love of travel and the water, without having a ‘beachy’ or nautical feel. The first thing I knew I wanted was to install beadboard and grasscloth, which gives it that exotic textural feel. Simultaneously, I fell in love with the palm leaf fabric and knew it had to be incorporated. My third piece of inspiration was the striking bright coral abstract rug. After selecting these gems, I carefully selected other pieces to complement the theme and colors.

Decorating Style

Most of our house is styled more traditionally with a slight nod to chinoiserie. I wanted this room to reflect our traditional style (beadboard, antique dresser/mirror, dark woods) but with slant toward exotic elements (grasscloth, palm fabric, Moroccan pouf, bamboo/rattan table, frames) and a touch of contemporary (abstract rug, pillow, lamp). I also strongly wanted to avoid inundating the nursery with baby pink!

Project Details

Torres Wool Kilim in Guava: West Elm

Liberty Crib: Serena & Lily

Crib Sheet: Land of Nod

Glider: Celadon, Mount Pleasant, SC

PoufCeladon, Mount Pleasant, SC

Spaniola Mid Century Pop Pillow: Bunglo by Shay

Classic Rattan Bedside Table: Pottery Barn

Hand-Painted Brushstroke Lamp in Coral: Jana Bek

Dresser: Antique

Mirror: Antique

Chandelier: Custom sandstone and smoky quartz, Ro Sham Beaux, Charleston, SC

Curtains & Crib SkirtCustom, using Tommy Bahama Swaying Palms fabric

Artwork: Gray Malin XO Palm Tree Top, Teil Duncan prints, Sarah Martinez original abstract painting

Round Belly Baskets: Serena & Lilly

Grasscloth: Phillip Jefferies Extra Fine Arrowroot

Photo Credits: Joshua Drake Photography, Charleston, SC

Favorite Items

The grasscloth. The palm leaf curtains. And I really love how the little x’s and o’s on the crib sheet go with the XO in the Gray Malin print above the crib!


Have plan before you start buying. There are so many beautiful things out there and without a plan you’ll end up buying unnecessarily and then having to return things (or having a mismatched room). I’m all for eclectic, but fairy princess and beachy mermaid don’t really go together – at least I don’t think so! Find the key piece or couple pieces you have to have, and then build the room around those. Everyone has a budget, so after incorporating the piece you can’t live without, find ways to save. The shelves in Charlotte’s nursery, for example, are from IKEA and I DIY’d the brackets to make them the pretty gold color. They look super similar to some Land of Nod shelves I love, but for a third of the price! I’m also a fan of including elements that will last through the years, could be used in a second child’s nursery, or perhaps even in other rooms in our house. Like the rug in a sunroom – yes, please!


  1. 1

    beautiful room. Can you tell me what paint you used for the shelf brackets? And did you have to “prep” the brackets in any way?

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