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Meet the Decorist Designers: Ethel Navas de Noarbe

Project Nursery’s design partnership with Decorist is no secret! We launched our collaboration with our favorite online interior design service a couple of months ago, and things have been in full swing ever since. Today we’re excited to introduce a new series we’re bringing to the blog for the next four weeks. We will be sharing our Decorist Designer of the Week so you can see firsthand some of the fabulous talent their designers are bringing to the nursery! First up, meet Ethel Navas de Noarbe!

Eclectic and Colorful Nursery by Ethel Navas de Noarbe

What is your design style? How do you work it into children’s design?
William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I wish it had been me who said it because I believe in that so much—I create spaces that please your eye as well as meeting your needs. That is why I cannot pinpoint a specific design style—I draw from different elements as the base of the design, such as the client’s lifestyle, the existing skeleton of the room and what its function will be. However, I do have a soft spot for pattern play and pops of color. I also love to combine and contrast materials such as brass with more natural ones like wood or stone. I think that mixing both modern and classic pieces creates a fresh yet timeless feel.

We know the basics—crib, glider, dresser/changer—but what’s your nursery must-have?
Baskets! They are so versatile and easy to move around, both for playtime and organizing. Kids love to entertain themselves with anything that has an open boxed shape to it. Baskets are so convenient for storage and easy to use for clean up—you can even involve the younglings by creating a game of literally dumping everything in. Also, there are so many great and fun basket designs that you can leave on display to add to your nursery decor!

Eclectic and Colorful Nursery

What is your number one piece of advice for parents when it comes to kid’s design?
Don’t fix yourself on a strict theme or design, and allow room for growth and flexibility. Start with a palette that you like (and if you are planning on having more kids, one that is gender neutral is a great way to go!) along with the key pieces of furniture.

As the children grow, so do their interests, their toys, their needs—let these dictate the rest of the design, and allow the room to grow organically. Maybe his or her favorite figurines become the items that accessorize the shelves and hold the collection of books you keep adding to. Instead of filling all the walls, leave spaces where you can hang some art you make together, or perhaps the top of a dresser where the changing pad once was is now a display of beautiful family photos he or she can point to and recall memories. Maybe there are shifts in furniture, and where you once had a large playmat for tummy time, there is now an activity table with chairs. All in all, see this room as you see your child—it has personality and it grows.

Designing for a small space is a common nursery struggle. What is your solution?
For small spaces, the walls are your best friend! Also, multifunctional pieces of furniture will maximize your floor space. Stokke is a great brand that specializes in pieces that serve multiple purposes as well as growing with the baby. Fill the walls with shelves (especially deep ones!) at different heights, and use them to place a table lamp, for example, or bins to store clothing and blankets so you can eliminate the need for an occasional table or dresser! Think of toys or gear that neatly “tuck away” when not in use, such as a portable changing table that you can place on top of the crib or fold and set aside. Another thing you can do is to visually open up the space by adding a good sized wall mirror, painting one of the walls an accent color to give depth to the room, or incorporating a mural or decal that creates the illusion of horizontality.

Eclectic and Colorful Nursery

We named our 2016 nursery trends. What are you predicting will be popular in nurseries this year?
Wallpaper! Wallpaper is such a clever way to brighten up a room, add dimension and set a tone or a theme. It is such a major piece of decor that if the rest of the room is left minimal, the space still has lots of life!​​

Shop your nursery design today.

Make sure to meet all the Decorist designers featured in our series.