Tour: a Mid-Century Modern Nursery in a Philly Row House

Homepolish interior designer Meera Thomas helps a young couple transform a tricky room into a cheery nursery for their baby boy.
ByJulia Wang
Editorial Director
February 28, 2017
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Image: Michael Persico

After setting up their home base in Philadelphia, a busy young couple turned to Homepolish interior designer Meera Thomas to reimagine several rooms in their row house, including carving out a nursery when they learned they were expecting. We talked to Thomas about how she turned a nontraditional space into a bright, cheery room perfect for a newborn boy to grow into.

What was the scope and timeline of the job?
It was a brand-new, three-story row house in a series of split-levels. There are very few walls, creating a series of nooks. I worked out the space plan for three rooms: the living room, guest room and nursery. After approval of the layout, I sourced furniture to complement existing pieces they already had for the nursery—a crib and dresser. And the timeline was three months. The couple’s baby boy arrived a week early, so I installed and set everything up while they were spending two postnatal days in the hospital. It was an interesting two days for sure!

Image: Michael Persico

Did the couple have a vision for the nursery?
They had purchased a gray crib and had a dresser and knew the “area” (it wasn’t a traditional bedroom—it had no doors!) where the nursery would be. I led them through design ideas, space plans and accents that would make the room feel like a nursery. The design revolved around three requests: to feature mid-century modern features with vintage accents; be functional and cost-effective; and incorporate existing furniture and accessories.

Image: Michael Persico

You also renovated the family living room. Was there a design tie-in between the main living space and the nursery?
The tie-in was in the idea of using existing furniture while keeping a mid-century modern look when sourcing new furniture and accents.

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Image: Michael Persico

What was the couple’s budget, and were there creative solutions to make the budget go further?
It was a relatively conservative budget. We used paint as a medium to highlight the space, such as the striped accent wall and blackboard paint, to make the budget work.

Image: Michael Persico

The striped wall is beautiful, especially paired with the alphabet wall art. How did you think of it?
The idea of the striped wall with the Blik alphabet decals came about when I was looking for something fun to do on the wall that wouldn’t break the bank. Also, the clients really liked the idea of the alphabet.

Image: Michael Persico

The other fun feature is the chalkboard—is that a custom piece?
Yes, I designed it. It’s made up of blackboard paint with wooden painted trim around it. At the base of the blackboard, I used a thicker section of wood, which serves to hold the chalk and eraser. I thought it would be really useful. The parents could leave little messages for their boy, and he could use it to learn numbers and the alphabet.

The quilt on the wall is very pretty. How did you decide to go with that over traditional hanging wall art?
This was added by the clients—and it went perfectly with the gray and green theme!

Image: Michael Persico

What does the couple love most about the room?
They love the striped decal wall! I loved how the striped wall and the blackboard wall turned out too.

Homepolish is an interior design startup bringing full-service, accessible design to clients across the country (with over 450 designers nationwide). Since launching in the fall of 2012 Homepolish has quickly become the go-to brand for emerging interior design talent and design inspiration of a savvier clientele looking to furnish their homes and offices. See the beautiful spaces they’ve transformed — on any budget — right here.

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