Designer Vanessa Antonelli is giving us the inside scoop on designing actors Alexa and Carlos PenaVega’s nursery for baby boy Ocean—a mix of rustic, industrial chic and beachy touches makes this space shine. Thank you, Vanessa, for sharing all the details! She’ll take it from here.
Alexa’s style is light and bright with rustic decor and Carlos likes dark wood, modern furniture and industrial touches. Both of them absolutely love the beach, but they didn’t want the room to feel too obviously beach themed. They knew they were naming their son Ocean and didn’t want to start off on an overly beached foot. It was my job to find a way to create a space that blended everything they both love. That’s how what I’m sure is the very first “Industrial Beach” nursery was born.
I always want to make my client happy and create a room beyond their dreams, but a little known fact is the amount of time and effort I put into sourcing products made by families—by families for families. I’m passionate about finding companies that have real people behind behind them like Nook, Oilo, Monte and The Shade Store. There are also so many incredibly talented and creative people who have turned their craft into what supports their family, and I go out of my way to find and work with those people as well. When it comes to childrens’ spaces, it makes the room just a little more special. In Ocean’s nursery there is a Marquee sign handmade by Letters and Signs, beautiful industrial pipe shelves by Mintage Designs, a custom light by Barnlight Electric—all handmade in the US.
Alexa’s favorite part of the nursery is the rocker and ottoman by Monte. Having a comfortable place to sit during late nights and feedings was extremely important to her. Knowing Carlos’ fun personality, he really loves the changeable marquee sign. He was having fun with it during the set up of the room!
I always tell people that it’s important to find a strong balance between functionality and design. Design keeps you happy, functionality keeps you sane. Pieces you love may look great together, but your everyday life is the most important part. For example, is that beautiful pouf you love tall enough for the rocker? Is the dresser a comfortable height for you to change diapers? Will the layered rugs cause constant tripping? These things aren’t the most fun to consider during the design process, but they are the ones that are most important because after you upload the images to the Project Nursery gallery, it’s just you and your family at home living everyday with the room.
The biggest challenge designing this space was Ocean’s arrival. At first the doctors told the parents-to-be he would be coming early, so I changed the installation date figuring he would be a month old by then. Then he missed his due date and showed up late. My team was in their home the day after they came home from the hospital, which is no new mom’s dream. They were so excited, gracious and calm about it all!
Images by Christine Farah Photography