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Zoe’s Modern Nursery


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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