A Project For
A Latina-styled nursery for a Latin-American little girl that incorporates the Spanish alphabet with drawings of animals and words. All words were hand-drawn in calligraphy by calligraphy artist Michele Hatty Fritz of Meant To Be Calligraphy. All hand-drawn pictures of animals were done by me (mommy) or really traced with a touch of free drawing!
I had very little inspiration as I could find nothing on the internet or in stores that really catered towards having decor for a Latin-American nursery. The only thing that came close was an alphabet print on Etsy that was the size of an 8x10 frame. I had an adorable sheet set that I had bought for Elena on Etsy's Birds Have Flowers shop that had animals and lots of colors. So that served as my only inspiration and I set out to create a nursery in both English and Spanish. My husband is from the Dominican Republic and I was born in Washington, DC. Our daughter was born in the states but speaks both English and Spanish and has a love for both cultures and our extended families. So I had to find a way to incorporate the colors, her love of animals and the two cultures.
Color-centric. Keeping a color palette is essential. It is the most colorful room in the house and very bold. Most walls in our home are calming and cool different shades of blue, aquas and greys. But I wanted her room to feel happy, alive, warm and festive. Dominicans celebrate every day of life. Every day feels like a party in the Dominican Republic. So I wanted to capture that in color.
The house that we bought had been abandoned for 3 years and had multiple problems. We had about a month to do mold remediation and paint the entire house. Along the way we found water damage near Elena's window. So we had to replace that wall entirely. I got a cute new lighting fixture from Home Depot. Found her sheets and blankets on Etsy at two different shops. Her pink color block chest of drawers, stuffed owl, bench, flower pillow and curtain rod were all from Target. Her curtains I found at a consignment shop called Wiggle Room. Her cushion cover that went on top of the bench was made from remnant fabric I found. The letter E I found from Michael's - it was black so I painted it white. Her rocking chair was a gift from her uncle to her older brother (he is now 12). My husband created her French door closet from scratch by buying wood and making the frame for the closet. I found the door handles at Community Forklift. Doors were from Home Depot as well. Her beautiful crib was given to us by a family friend. All of the frames for the drawings I had already as I am an event designer and stylist. The frames were an eclectic mix of odd colors, so I painted them all with white craft paint. The different drawings were hand drawn or traced off images I found on the internet (all public domain images). Her stuffed monkey is from Thermal Aid which is actually an all eco friendly product designed to sooth as a heating or cooling pack for children! Photography by Tom Van Veen of Documentary Associates
My favorite "item" are the walls! I can't get enough of all the calligraphy that Michele took hours to write out for Elena! I simply just sit and stare at the animal lettering and the cute Spanish and English phrases that we say to Elena all the time. I don't know how I will ever be able to paint over it when she gets older!
I really hope this project will help spark other parents of Latin American children to go all out for their children's nurseries to celebrate both cultures (and post them to the internet). You know what your children love and the colors that excite them. Start with color and their favorite books and see what pops out the most. I focused on animals as Elena just loves baby and mommy photos of animals.