How to design a modern nursery

The Leclairs made a modern nursery for their son Hugo, creating a great transitional space for him as he grows.

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Photo: Joel Bedford

The pressure was on as soon as Sacha and Melissa Leclair found out they were expecting. As co-partners of Leclair Decor, an interior design firm in Ottawa, they wanted to create a nursery that could both showcase their aesthetic and be a cozy spot for 3 a.m. feedings. They immediately began brainstorming a design that was bold and not overly babyish, unique but not too expensive, and something that would stand the test of time. Melissa admits to falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole “for a good month or so” and even flirted with the idea of putting up a barnboard wall. “There’s so much you can do nowadays,” she laughs. But when Sacha came home from a shopping trip with a fabulous bronze plane, their adventurous mountaineering concept quickly came together. Sacha played around with a picture of a craggy mountain range on Photoshop and pared it back to an iconic image with crisp lines. Once the mural was done, Sacha thought the wall “needed a little something extra,” and taped up triangles he’d cut out of cardboard—just to see how they might look painted. That added hit of texture looked so good they just left them up. The room was ready a month before baby Hugo arrived; one year later, he’s busy exploring all the nooks and crannies of his new world.

Tip: If making a mural seems daunting, decals are an easier option.

Photo: Joel Bedford

Photo: Joel Bedford

“You don’t need to do an overly babyish room,” says Melissa. “You can soften the look with teddy bears and other small items.”

Get inspired:
A good idea and a bit of paint can produce a bold design that works just as well for a baby as it does a school-ager

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A vintage model airplane is a fun addition to the mural. $59 to $79, rhbabyandchild.com

Ottomans are great for when babies start to walk. (Later on they can double as a snack table.) Wool wrap pouf, $199, cb2.com

A bronze fixture adds a hit of glamour. $300, westelm.com

This flat-weave wool rug is similar to the one the Leclair’s chose. Stockholm, $250, ikea.ca

Photo: Joel Bedford

Photo: Joel Bedford

Sacha scored the chair at Value Village for $7; fresh upholstery and added rockers made it as good as new. Pillows, from $35, ThreeBadSeeds at etsy.com

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Photo: Joel Bedford

Tip: Wrapping a lamp base with rope is a quick way to create a rustic and bespoke look.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue with the headline “Room to grow,” pp. 70-5.

Read more:
Sweet and sophisticated nursery decor
Whimsical DIY-inspired nursery
Retro and graphic nursery style

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