Toddlers are tough critics, and they sure are vocal about their opinions. There’s nothing quite like a two-year-old temper tantrum when you try to give your little one the wrong snack or ask him to wear a different pair of shoes. In a word, it’s scary. But on the flip side, when something strikes his fancy, he’s sure to crush hard, squeal with joy and tell you that he loves you the BEST. And for Amanda Gluck of Fashionable Hostess, that’s exactly what happened when she revealed this amazing modern nautical big kids room to her son Brooks.
Amanda is mama to almost-four-year-old Reese and two-and-a-half-year-old Brooks, and she’s also an amazing lifestyle blogger and event stylist. She started her career in the fashion industry, working for companies like Macys Merchandising Group, Shashi Jewelry, Harpers Bazaar and Alice & Trixie before she got married, had her first baby and dove headfirst into the world of full-time blogging. And now that she’s a mama twice made, she’s expanded her expertise to include baby parties and baby decor, and you’ll understand why when you see the photos of the beautiful room that she created for her son in collaboration with RH Baby & Child. Thanks so much for sharing, Amanda!
How did what you do for work impact the design of the space?
Well, as a home blogger, I have a taste and aesthetic that is consistent throughout my home and my work, so when I met with the RH Baby & Child team, I knew exactly what color palette I wanted and how I wanted the room to feel. However, I was also excited to have the experts throw around endless ideas because I have been so busy with work that I knew I couldn’t give this project nearly the same attention to detail that they could. And boy did they blow me away! The RH Baby & Child team was a dream to work with!
Tell us about your design process. Did you start with one central item or idea that served as your inspiration?
It all started because we knew our two-and-a-half-year-old Brooks had outgrown his crib (here’s his nursery before), which then led to the idea of transforming his room from a nursery to a toddler room. While I loved the baby blue color on the walls, I wanted to update it to a gray color that would be a good fit in his room for several years (the blue seemed a bit more baby to me!). And while I also love the look of a leaning bookshelf, Brooks really needed a bigger shelving unit to house his favorite books—the one he had was way too small. And on top of that, our rocking chair is nearly four years old (and has endured two babies), and it shows! Lastly, I never really decorated the walls the way I had intended. So long story short, I needed an update but didn’t really have the time to put in the work.
So I decided to work with the RH Baby & Child Design Team (they have an amazing design service!), which started with a brief talk over the phone explaining my vision—big boy bed, everything I mentioned above and a clean palette. The designer asked everything from what furniture we currently had, to what we would prefer to have, to what interests my son Brooks, to what he likes to do in the room. They then came to my house for an in-home design consultation. They showed up with tools to measure the space, catalogues and swatches (paint and fabric). I showed them pictures of the kids and showed them around the rest of my home so they understood our vibe. Immediately I knew I was in good hands. The next step was meeting with them to see what they had put together, and it came out better than I could have imagined! The last step was a relaxing installation day, and now we are in love!
What was the most important thing you wanted to achieve when creating this space?
We had one little bookshelf in Brooks’ nursery that was overcrowded with books, so I wanted plenty of space to display books, toys and pictures. The RH team recommended that I place matching bookshelves on either side of the bed for maximized storage. Now we need more books! Above the shelves they hung two papier-mâché sharks.
Because we love to read books before bed, I still wanted a cozy rocker for the room, so the RH team chose this swivel glider with a small floor lamp. And how cute is the industrial TOYS bin beside it? We filled it with throw blankets—including one that’s monogrammed—and so many of the RH plush stuffed animals.
What’s the first thing people notice when stepping foot into this room?
The cabin bed. Everyone who comes to my house wants this bed. I was worried that going from a crib to a bed would be a tough transition and lead to a few sleepless nights, but with this bed, we can hardly convince Brooks to get out for breakfast!
For bedding, we went with all organic in a sea of grays, including a fluffy duvet, sheets and a few decorative pillows. At first I fell in love because everything is organic, but when I touched the bedding and felt how soft it was, it was a done deal! Also I am a sucker for anything embroidered, so I love that we put his name on an accent pillow.
Do you have any words of advice for other designers and parents?
Be practical about toy storage. In my first nursery, I put a small leaning shelf because it looked cute. Well six months later, it was overcrowded and looked messy—not cute! Now with huge bookshelves (and lots of baskets to hide unsightly toys!), we are in heaven!
Photography by Yesi of Simply Lively Photography