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Elephants and Coral Umbrellas


I wanted to create a unique nursery for my baby girl that would grow with her, but still incorporate a bit of whimsy.  Rather than choose a theme, my design of this nursery developed organically, as I found various pieces that would work together without appearing too "matchy-matchy."  Working with a variety of shades of gray was a learning experience - who knew there were so many?  And finding the perfect punchy coral color might as well be akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.  Fortunately, I met a lot of helpful people along the way who turned my dreams into reality.  Thanks to the other Project Nursery members for sharing their design ideas.  Those too served as great sources of inspiration!

Design Inspiration

My design inspiration came from a cosmetic bag designed by Milly for Clinique.  (Random, I know.)  But it was in the most punchy coral color, perfect for a fun, but feminine nursery. I had a difficult time finding a comparable fabric, so I turned to where custom fabrics can be designed and ordered in small quantities.  That's where I stumbled upon the incredible designs of Holli Zollinger. She designed this fantastic elephant and umbrella fabric.  The only problem? The umbrellas were red, not the bright coral pink I had envisioned.  We exchanged a few messages and she agreed to customize this fabric and a few of her other designs for me.  I simply matched the cosmetic bag to a Pantone swatch and sent her the information! Every other decision in the nursery stemmed from this elephant and umbrella fabric!  You can check out her entire line of coral and gray fabrics here.  Love it!

Decorating Style

I love mixing traditional elements with modern pieces.  While our crib features traditional bead board, the custom baby bedding combines a contemporary color palette with a graphic print.  We recovered the classic upholstered glider and ottoman in a bold, oversized graphic print which also reflects the way the two styles can work together.

Project Details

Favorite Items

Other than Holli Zollinger's custom elephant and umbrella fabric, my favorite item in the room has to be the canopy over the crib.  It's the first thing that people notice when they walk in the room, and hopefully the baby will enjoy looking up at it.  They say babies like graphic patterns! I was inspired to sew the canopy from an image I found in a Coastal Living magazine from years ago.  With no pattern (which I honestly rarely use) I relied on measurements of the crib and the wall. Another nursery favorite of mine is the colorful Ikat picture frame on the coral end table.  It was a shower gift from dear friends.  It gave me the courage to break away from the coral and gray color palette and add in pops of color around the room.  Take for example the orange elephant statue, also placed on the end table.  When I picked out the statue, I figured I would need to paint it so it would "go" with everything else in the room.  I then realized the orange did "go" in the room, especially with its colorful counterpart, the Ikat picture frame!   (Since the frame was a gift, I do not know the source...the elephant statue is from Carolina Pottery.)


Don't be afraid to see your vision through to the end!  There were many times I was discouraged because of the difficulty of finding exactly what I wanted. For example, had I not reached out to Holli through Spoonflower, I would have never ended up with the custom elephant and umbrella fabric. My determination (and the word PLEASE) helped tremendously! DIY tip: You may have noticed on the Gallery Wall that some of the frames are displaying the invitations to baby showers, as opposed to actual photos.  These make great placeholders until our baby arrives and we can snap photos of her!

Coral…it’s a great color!

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

[…] Visit Project Nursery to see what the mommy/designer of this room says about her color selection and the list of sources.  Right away I noticed my favorite IKEA finds…the light above the end table and the dresser!  […]

A Toddler Room | Island Hopping

Wednesday 9th of July 2014

[…] obsession with the color coral continues in Anna Drake’s toddler room. ¬†We went with a coral and gray color scheme for her nursery, as featured on Project Nursery. ¬†I wanted to break away from the elephants and […]


Tuesday 3rd of April 2012

What is the wall color please? And, did you make the crib skirt?


Thursday 20th of October 2011

Absolutely love it. What is your wall paint color?

Courtney Groce

Wednesday 19th of October 2011

Love it! Where did you get the name meaning picture from??