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A Modern Take on Nautical


A non-traditional take on a nautical nursery. Inspired by the sand of the beach and the sea blue of the ocean this nursery has a crisp yet comfortable feel.

Design Inspiration

I always suggest for clients to first find one item they love and have to have in their nursery.  Then start the design process from there. Sometimes this can be a piece of furniture, a piece of artwork, fabric, or just colors that you love.

I had always loved the Netto Collection furniture line and knew that once I got pregnant, I just had to have it in my nursery. I chose the Moderne collection because it has a nautical yet modern look. I also loved that the dresser and changer were very versatile and could later be used in any room of the house. The stark contrast of the dark mahogany wood with the shiny white lacquer makes the pieces pop in any room.

Since we live by the beach, I wanted a nautical look but nothing too traditional or too graphic and modern. I found some lovely seahorse prints from Natural Curiosities which I used to frame his crib. They add a nice sophisticated touch of the sea into his room without looking too cartoonish. Now these prints introduced the sea blue into the room. Although blue is a natural color choice for a boy's room, I wanted to make it more unique. Instead of pairing it with traditional green or brown, I chose persimmon orange and mustard yellow as accent colors in the room. These colors are found in lacquered picture frames on the dresser, in the linen storage boxes underneath the crib, and in the alphabet artwork.

Decorating Style

I like the clean lines of modern furniture but like to pair them with more traditional fabrics and accessories.  My goal when designing is to create a room which is chic yet comfortable and livable 

Project Details

Once I had already chosen the furniture and initial seahorse prints, it was time to pick the bedding. I custom designed the bedding of the crib using fabrics from Lee Joffa and Bebe Chic. The graphic pattern is actually an outdoor fabric but I thought this was an appropriate durable choice as bumpers tend to get dirty and battered after a  year of use. The accent fabrics are linens and add an extra element of texture to the set.  

We also decided to keep a full bed in the room to allow for extra sleeping space when guests came into town.  I found some wonderful paisley Peacock Alley bedding on sale and snagged it.  The paisley adds a traditional and unexpected accent to the room.  I love mixing patterns in my designs.

And yes the closet is tiny.  Only his wardrobe of the moment can hang at a time (everything else is in drawers.)  Since I stole the closet in our bedroom my husband uses the large one in my son's room.

After all of the key elements of the room were chosen, I picked a wall treatment. We chose a burlap wallpaper in a natural straw color. The texture of the burlap adds an interesting and spphisticated dimension to the room and the straw color is warm and neutral.  As an added bonus you can hammer nails into the wall and you can't see any holes (this will help when my son wants to display his artwork).

Furniture - Netto Collection

Artwork - Oopsy Daisy

Framed Photos - Life Iz Photography

Custom Bedding - Bebe Chic

Rug - John Robshaw

Frames - Pottery Barn

Piggy Bank - Elegant Baby

Favorite Items

My favorite items are still the Netto Collection furniture pieces, the sea horse prints, and I love my son's growing collection of framed portraits. 


I designed this room so that it could easily translate into an adult room or guest room as needed.  I suggest buying quality dresser and artwork pieces for your nursery as these are items which can grow with your child or later be used in another room of the house.  Instead of buying a lot of little marginal quality items, buy fewer items and save the money for pieces that will last.


Sunday 2nd of May 2010

Awesome. Thank you so much for replying! I appreciate it! I'm so excited to get one!


Tuesday 27th of April 2010

Oh Howdy the cow..he can be purchased at the Trumpette website.  My son loves to ride him.


Monday 26th of April 2010

While I agree with you when it comes to the colors, and working with an item/theme that you know you would want, I am in awe at how efficient you've used the space here.  Maximized it without looking too cluttered.  How big is this room anyway?

And all those books!  I love reading to my Shania and it's great that your Tripp loves books as well.


Monday 26th of April 2010

I wish you had mentioned where you got that adorable blue cow! I love it!


Thursday 22nd of April 2010

I think you really did a great job translating your design inspiration into reality.  I love the mix of colors from blue to earth that you have there. 

Thank you for inspiring me :)