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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!

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  1. […] 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!  […]

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. avatar Alix says:

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

  4. avatar Amy says:

    Absolutely love it. What is your wall paint color?

  5. avatar Courtney Groce says:

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

  6. avatar Jamie M says:

    A beautiful room for the beautiful baby to rest, play and be surrounded by loved ones. I lovethe elephant theme and the colors are peaceful and happy. Great job!

  7. avatar Sharon says:

    The pictures, I’m sure, do not give this room the justice it deserves!! CUTE!!

  8. avatar 12andcounting says:

    Pretty elephant and umbrella fabric. I love what you did with it on the wall by the crib. And I like the various patterns you used in the room: from the fabric you used for the bedding, the canopy on the wall, the chair, the glider, and the rug. They all blended together beautifully. And I adore the simple design of those curtains.

  9. avatar Hollyjwsmall says:

    LOVE this room!! That chair is adorable!

  10. avatar Carmen Rodriguez says:

    I love it! I am so very happy for you guys and wish you the best. Congratulations on the special gift you’ve received from heaven. I know that you’ll both be excellent parents because you have the key ingredient for successful parenting, love and lots of it. May the bond of love keep you and your family warm all through your lives and bring you all endless joy. The only advice I can give you is to enjoy it all. Cherish each moment, this is the best time of your life, and it will disappear way too soon as they grow so fast!