Zoe’s Modern Nursery

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A small modern nursery becomes a happy place for our firstborn baby girl.

Design Inspiration

My husband and I had so much fun putting our daughter’s nursery together. We wanted it to be fresh, modern, and feminine, yet not over-the-top girly. I’ve had many sources of inspiration, but it took finding the peach/orange fabric in the bargain bin at Jo-Ann’s and the vintage Vera Neumann scarf on Etsy for the room concept to finally begin taking shape.

Decorating Style

I would say I have a modern/transitional style that is colorful, playful, and fun.

Project Details

One major difficulty for us was the size and layout of the 7x13 room, which includes a radiator and three large windows, thus limiting our floor plan options. It also lacks a closet, so finding the right storage solution took some effort. I wanted a dresser with modern lines to complement the crib, that wasn’t too deep yet had ample storage. We ended up having one custom-made at a local furniture store in Somerville, MA called Sunshine Lucy’s. We are thrilled with the result and the price couldn’t be beat!

We saved in spades by purchasing our low bookshelf, picture ledges, and rocker at Ikea. Our chevron rug was a steal at $69 from Urban Outfitters and our modern crib (now discontinued) was on sale at Babies R Us.  The aforementioned dresser turned out to be an ideal solution that was far cheaper than anything from Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, etc. We decided against purchasing a bedding set and instead used the fabric I found for $4/yd to make a crib skirt with the no-sew tutorial I saw on Young House Love (which seems to be popping up on nursery blogs everywhere — and with good reason!).  We also had changing pad covers and throw pillows made using the same fabric.

Favorite Items

In addition to the Vera scarf, I fell in love with the Darling Clementine artwork featured on Ohdeedoh earlier this year. I love how graphic and mod the prints are — I hope she enjoys looking at them as much as I do! I’ve also known for some time that I would display her books in one form or another; I’m a preschool teacher and I’ve witnessed firsthand how often children gravitate toward books when they can see them! Lastly, I commissioned my friend, Carrie Harvey of Brooklyn Twinkle, to design a special gift for Father’s Day using a favorite scene from the film, It’s A Wonderful Life as inspiration. (The movie has special meaning for my husband’s family and we’ve always said we’d call our little Zoe “Zuzu” as a loving sort of nickname.) I’m thrilled with the finished product and now we have a unique work of art that is truly close to our hearts.

On the whole, we’re very pleased with the way her room turned out. Every time I enter it makes me happy. It’s so hard for me to choose, but I’d have to say that my favorite elements are the dresser, artwork, picture ledges, custom pillows, and pink/orange Jonathan Adler lamp. All it needed was our sweet baby girl!


I think it's important to take your time designing the space, so start early if you can. Decide how you want your room to function and go from there. Also, don't be afraid to pursue custom options -- you might be surprised by the affordability! You can find just about anything on my favorite resource, Etsy. Above all, choose items that make you happy and help to create a space that you'll enjoy for years to come.


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    I give you and your husband 5 stars for great design throughout this room !  My husband has been helping in any way he can as well.  Isn’t it so nice when the daddy gets in on the nursery decor?  Your colors are perfect for your goal of feminine, but not too girly.  It’s beautiful to look at!

    my nursery progress

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    What a gorgeous nursery for Zoe! I just love the color combo, zig zag rug and table lamp. Thank you for sharing all the details. You guys did an amazing job. – Pam

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    love the room! so clean and airy!

    How long ago did you purchase the rug? Do you know if it is still available? thanks!

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    I love LOVE LOVE this room! its so clean, bright and modern. You did such a wonderful job!  We wanted a giraffe Jonathan Adler lamp…his designs are amazing.

    I would love to feature your nursery on my baby blog: http://www.bluebirdkisses.com If you’re interested please send me an email at [email protected]


    ana {bluebirdkisses}

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    Fabulous nursery!! I tried searching for the ikea rocking chair, but it didn’t come up on ikea’s website.  Did you purchase it a while ago or was it quite recent? 

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    I LOVE your room and love the rocking chair- I’ve been looking for a cheaper but still “nice” looking option.  Where did you get the little ottoman?

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    I love everything about this room it is gorgeous! I am obsessed with the print above the cot. Are you able to tell me where you got this? or is this the fabric you have framed? Also where did you get the pink wooden car on the bookshelf? Thanks :)

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    So it’s a scarf framed? wow ! thanks so much! I love your style. I want to create a similar affect for my daughters room .Post pics of little Zoe in the room once she’s here :)

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    I love this room as well!  Where did you find the drawer liners?  I’ve been looking for something like them.  Thanks!

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    What a fabulous room!  I adore it all!  Question on the rug… do you think it would lay nicely on carpet?  Or better for hardwoods?  We are looking for a rug for our daughter’s room and this would be adorable, but it would be going over carpet.  Thanks!!  Again, love it all!

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    Thanks so much for putting a Safe Crib in the layout. Nothing in the crib except a fitted sheet. Bumper pads, pillows, toys, etc are not safe have caused suffocation in infants.

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    Absolutely brilliant! I love your space utilization. The color is fabulous, thank you for posting all these amazing details!

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    Thanks, Michelle! Here they are:

    Bruno Munari’s ABCs
    The Cat At Night
    The Story Of Zachary Zween (out of print, but used copies are available)
    Seasons (by Blexbolex)
    On Top Of Spaghetti
    Pippi Longstocking
    Whistle For Willie

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    The room looks gorgeous and has given us so much inspiration! Can you tell me where you got the shelf piece for above the radiator? We have a radiator very similar to that next to our crib and absolutely love the idea!

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    Thank you so much, Blair! I found a local stone showroom called Stone Surfaces in Burlington, MA that sells marble remnants. I was able to get a great deal on the marble since I only needed a smaller piece. I’m remembering walking around their stone yard, looking at remnants in the summer heat while 9 months pregnant. It was the very last element to get for Zoe’s nursery and it felt so good to finally have it all done. :)
    Best of luck to you!

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    This is the most beautiful room! You have done an amazing job! I LOVE it all and will be using some of your gorgeous ideas.

    Well done!

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    They are indeed! My 11-month-old loves pulling them out and going through the toys inside. We were doing that just this evening before bed. :)

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    Now that you’ve used it a while, did you end up liking the Poang rocker?

    I never would of thought to use it but now that I’m pregnant we went to IKEA today to look and actually liked it. We may go with the regular Poang chair rather than the rocker because in store it seemed slightly challenging to get in and out. (maybe it was just the floor sample they had?).

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    I actually don’t care for it and rarely used it. I’ve found it to be too deep/reclined for nursing comfortably (for me and my baby). Also, when she was fussy and just wanted to be held, rocked, etc. I couldn’t use my rocker – when I sit back in it her position became too much like “tummy time” and she’d get upset. However, now that she’s older (almost a year) I’ve started using it more. If I had to do it over I’d totally get the classic Poang chair because it’s more comfortable, upright, and has enough “bounce” when necessary. Just my opinion. :)

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    Hi! I really love this nursery and you’ve inspired many ideas! Just curious – the scarf – how did you have it framed? Do you show the edges of the scarf or are they tucked under the mat/frame? Is there a mat? And if so, how many inches wide is it?

    Thanks so much – great look and great colors! Great style!!

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    Thanks so much, Ali! The top of the scarf was stitched to a mat board. I’ll try to take measurements soon!

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