One look at Helena Glazer’s blog, Brooklyn Blonde, or her wildly popular Instagram feed (she’s fast approaching 400K followers!) and it’s pretty clear she has her finger on the pulse of what’s trendy and chic. But sometimes even the style savvy need a helping hand. When it came time to decorate the nursery in her new home, a 1920s townhouse in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, she was at a loss for ideas. So Glazer teamed up with HomeGoods and Homepolish interior designer Matthew Cane, and together they let her nesting instinct take over. We talked with Glazer and Cane to find out how they translated her impeccable style into this sophisticated and inviting nursery for her baby boy (due any day now!).
What kind of nursery trends have clients been asking for?
Cane: It’s rare that people ask for full-on themed nurseries anymore; they want the room to be an extension of the home and something their child could grow with. People often ask how they can work with a neutral palette without it looking too sterile. Neutrals help rooms feel larger and allow for multiple focal features, which is especially important in smaller spaces.
How did you decide on your vision for the nursery?
Glazer: To be totally honest, when it came to the nursery—I didn’t know where to start! My husband, Keith, and I just knew we wanted something gender neutral and soothing that flowed with the rest of our house, so we opted for a soft gray color palette.
What was the first thing you did when approaching the design?
Cane: The only pieces they had were the crib, floor lamp, rug and one storage trunk. But before we met, I looked through Helena’s Instagram and blog. She has impeccable style that isn't forced, so I wanted to make sure that translated well in the nursery. She and Keith had plenty of geometric patterns and stripes in the living room and bedroom, so we knew the nursery should tie in and stay true to who they are.
We love the cartoon artwork over the crib. Tell us how that ended up in the room.
Glazer: They’re all made by Jerkface (crazy name for art in a baby’s room, I know!), a Brooklyn-based artist whose murals are all over Williamsburg. My husband’s really into art and has been curating our collection for years; these pieces originally hung in his bachelor pad. He told me he wanted to hang them up in our new home, but I wasn’t keen on having them in a place like our living room. They are a bit childlike and perfect for a nursery, though, and it’s a great way to bring in Keith’s personality.
What about those animal heads? They’re such an unexpected look.
Glazer: When Matthew and I were shopping for the room, he picked up one of these animal heads and it was like a lightbulb went off! He told me he had this crazy idea to do an animal bust gallery wall rather than the mirrors or art walls you typically see in nurseries. I’m on Pinterest day in and day out, but this is something I’ve never seen before, and I thought it was such a fresh idea—now I’m obsessed with how it looks.
Cane: There are no longer any rules when it comes to nurseries, so don’t be afraid to think out of the box like that. We also found shelving in the office supply section and we picked up some items, like the dipped white stool, that I originally was thinking would work more for Helena’s bedroom. When I started to put everything together, it was almost immediate that it fit better in the nursery.
The curtains really stand out. Was that intentional?
Glazer: We were initially considering gray and white curtains, but Matthew suggested we use navy as a pop of color. I thought it was so creative, because you typically think of pops of color to be intense reds or oranges. It pulls the room together without making it too matchy-matchy.
Any tips for concealing gear and supplies?
Cane: When it comes to a baby’s room, I always make sure to include both open and closed storage. Don’t think walls are just for art; these hanging baskets are perfect to display books and cute stuffed animals. Oversize trunks are also great for storing bigger, bolder-looking objects. Parents like having a variety of toys but don’t want to see them all the time, so being able to hide them away keeps the room clean and sleek.
What’s the best advice you received about designing your nursery?
Glazer: That it’s important to have the room reflect the personality of you and your partner. We’re going to spend a lot of time in here. We wanted to take our personal style and interests and infuse it in the room. I know it sounds cheesy, but now that the nursery is complete, I’m ready to have this baby.
The following items are all courtesy of HomeGoods:
Books and toys
Basket (containing fiddle leaf tree)
Cement lamp (on changing table)
Pillows (on and next to chair and in crib)