Category Archives: nurseries & kids rooms

Around the House // Nursery Reveal

Baby #2 arrived just over a year ago and this post has been sitting in draft for almost as long. I really have no good reason why, so I better get this published before he develops his own sense of style and pleads with me to redecorate.

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal |Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

The little man arrived almost two weeks early, at which point the crib was half painted, the room was full of junk, the walls were a light blue with lots of holes, and I had just barely moved my office from this room to the basement.

With help from my husband, my mother-in-law, and a professional wallpaper hanger, we pulled this room together within a week or two after bringing baby home.  And by “we” I mean the lovely people I just mentioned.  I’m pretty sure I sat around with baby latched on and just gave directions.

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to use wallpaper in the baby’s room. Wallpaper has made an amazing comeback in recent years and there are SO MANY gorgeous papers now. This whimsical Julia Rothman Daydream wallpaper from Hygge & West was pretty much a front runner from the beginning, it was just a matter of deciding on the colorway.

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I re-used the crib and dresser/changer from our first son’s nursery (see it here), but because I wasn’t feeling the original chestnut stain any longer I decided to paint the set in a soft gray.  Side note: I really wish I hadn’t bought a set (too matchy-matchy) and a changer really isn’t necessary – a dresser with change pad would have sufficed. Anyway.

This bedroom is incredibly tiny (about 8′x 9′) so it’s very hard to photograph!  Luckily, at this point in time the size is totally workable: crib (mini), dresser, glider, small side table, bookshelf, and the room is full.  It will be a good exercise in space planning and organization once he moves into a big bed, since the layout of the room will only allow for one placement for a twin bed (along the wallpapered wall) and maybe room for a bedside table and a dresser and not much else.

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I custom colour-matched the walls to the darkest tone of the wallpaper.  The lady at my local Sherwin WIlliams store clearly thought I was out to lunch when I told her this dark moody gray paint was for a baby nursery but I’m glad I followed my gut and went with the dark colour. Inspired by these rooms, I knew it was possible to pull off, even for a little one. Since the bedroom is flooded with soft natural light from a large west-facing window, the dark walls are not overwhelming. I actually really like the contrast between the walls and the crisp white trim, window, ceiling, and simple light fixture.

Want to see the BEFORE?

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And the AFTER:

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I hope this guy will be happy in this room for a long while.  Or at least until I get the decorating itch again =)

Nursery reveal | Inspiration for Decor by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

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Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 2

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

I am finally sharing one of my favourite projects to date!  Here is the full reveal of the bright and playful little girl’s room I mentioned last week.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

The drapery fabric was really the jumping-off point and inspiration for the rest of the room.  It is a bold, colourful, and playful floral, perfect for a young girl but will be able to transition with her over the coming years. I then paired it with several other smaller geometric fabrics, to pull the room together.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Knowing my clients appreciate artwork, especially pieces with meaning for them, I suggested a few special pieces for their daughter’s space, including: a customized ABC name print; her first bikini framed (sooo cute!); and last but not least I painted a series of canvases (inspired by the drapery fabric) for over her bed.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Toronto-based photographer Nechama Laitmandid a newborn/family session in this room. The amazing light and bright colours provided a perfect backdrop. Here are a couple photos from that shoot:

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I’m really happy with how this space turned out and I think the little resident is too!

I believe the room will grow with her over the years, with slight tweaks here and there. Maybe a bunk bed? Probably a desk.  Time will tell.  In any case, the bones of the room are solid. I love working with this family as they give me a lot of creative freedom and really welcome my expertise. Little sister’s room is in the works, stay tuned.

A few sources:

P.S. If you missed the first post about this project, click HERE to view the inspiration design board and “Before” photo.

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Image credits: 1-11 Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor, 12 & 13 Nechama Laitman Photography

Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 1

When my good friends were pregnant with their first daughter (gender unknown at the time), I designed a serene gender-neutral nursery, which suited them all perfectly (see it HERE).  But when the time came to design their daughter’s room in their new custom home, we decided to go a little more girly and fun, with the requirement that the room be able to grow with her over the years.

Here is the space mid-build (so big and bare!):

Mid-reno | Inspiration for DecorWith bright, playful, fun, and girly (but not too girly) as my direction, I sourced this vibrant and colourful fabric which became the jumping off point for the rest of the room:

Tonic Living Tempo Salsa | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Tempo Salsa fabric, Tonic Living

The bright pink, orange, purple, and green hues gave me so many options for coordinating fabrics to pull the room together using existing furniture, rug, and lighting. For the walls, I chose a soft blush pink that wasn’t too over the top.

Inspiration board for a bright and playful girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

It took me a while (too long) to photograph this project, but I finally did and am excited to share. I’ll be back later this week with the full room reveal, but in the meantime here’s a sneak peak:

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

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Images: Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor

Dark Paint in a Nursery: Would you do it?

Last year, when I found out we were expecting again I was excited to start planning a new nursery, naturally. Where to start!?  We already had the basics (crib, changer, etc.) and weren’t going to purchase any new major items but I wanted to change up the look from our first son’s nursery.  I decided to play with colour!

For a while now, I’ve been inspired by several dark-hued nurseries I’ve seen around the web.

Dark Painted Nurseries

Image credits (clockwise starting on left): Chezerbey, Elements of Style, Sarah Catherine Collective100 Layer Cakelet, House*Tweaking

Dark paint in a nursery is unconventional, yes. But at the same time, it creates a cozy cocoon-like atmosphere. What do you think? Would you do it?

DECORATING TIP: Contrary to popular belief, dark walls don’t necessarily make the space look smaller. When paired with neutral, light accents (like trim and crown) and pops of colour, the room can still have depth.

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A “Designer” Lego Tray

Does anyone else have a coffee table that looks like a Lego set (or ten) exploded all over it?

Messy Coffee Table

(P.S. This mess is just the beginning of a disaster, four more sets were yet to make an appearance)

This was definitely the scene around our house and it was driving me crazy!  Visual clutter gives me high blood pressure. Besides that, I started to worry about how I will keep all these little Lego pieces out of the hands of a baby, who in a few short months will be grabbing at everything and popping it in his mouth.  I debated a few different options, such as a Lego table (like this) or hacking my own version with an edge to prevent pieces falling onto the floor. But our bungalow is small and unfortunately, there was just no space for another play table (we already have this one).

LegoMess3

Ack!  We needed a solution, since me, my boys, and insane amounts of Lego will have to co-habitate for years to come. We required a solution that would meet the following criteria:

  • prevent Lego pieces from falling all over the floor
  • be large enough for building on the surface
  • can be whisked out of sight/reach when not in use

Fast forward to Christmas, and my mother-in-law came to the rescue with this genius gift:

Designer Lego Tray

Over sized deep faux-croc tray +  15″x15″ Lego building plate = a “Designer” Lego tray

Stylish way to control overflowing Lego | Inspiration for Decor

Designer Lego Tray

Go ahead, roll your eyes. But let me tell you –this works great!  Not only does it keep the Lego mess contained, but we can easily move the toys from one room to another, or tuck it away under the sofa or our son’s bed. And the kiddo thinks its pretty cool.

DesignerLegoTray

Best of all, the Lego building plate can easily be removed and I can use the tray as a chic makeshift bar or serving tray. That is, as long as there is no major Lego City building underway.

DECORATING TIP: Trays are an essential accessory for any room in your house. Trays can be used to pull together an assortment of items for a “collected” look on a coffee table, to hold jewelry/perfume/photos/flowers/keepsakes on a beside or dressing table, for serving food and drinks, to corral magazines and books, and my favourite – to gather papers and junk when company is coming and you need to quickly stash it away.

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Images: Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor

Around the House // Jenny Lind Bed for the Little Man

This bedroom, from Domino, is one of my all-time favourite children’s rooms.

White walls provide the perfect backdrop to display kiddy art, the classic Jenny Lind beds are gender neutral and inject a sense of nostalgia, and the bold and bright bedding and pillows create such a fun and inspiring space!

When I started planning my little man’s new room, this image was my jumping off point.  My first challenge was to find a vintage Jenny Lind bed (also known as a spool bed).  I did the usual search for a couple weeks on Craigslist and Kijiji but couldn’t find any twin beds for sale.  The Land of Nod has a Jenny Lind collection but I’m not a hug fan of the raspberry and teal colours. I considered the white (classic of course) but wasn’t keen on spending almost $600 for a reproduction when I knew a vintage one could be found…with patience.

So the hunt began. This time I hit up Ottawa St. in Hamilton, a street chock-full of antique and consignment stores and my go-to spot for unique finds.  And can you guess what I found in a very dark basement corner ?

Jackpot!

The shop owner estimated that the bed to be more than 100 years old (not sure I believe that because these beds are an American best seller and have been produced for decades) but nevertheless it was solid wood, soundly made and less than $200.  She also said it would be a tragedy to paint it…..yeah, sigh….I get that antiques will diminish in value if painted, but what’s the point of preserving a piece in it’s original state if you would love it even more painted. I’m not an antique collector, I’m living (and decorating) for today.

That said, I did set up the bed in it’s natural wood state to consider whether I really should take the plunge and paint it. While I have seen some lovely spaces where a dark wood Jenny Lind bed looks great (like this), I ultimately decided painting was the way to go.  Off it went to Paint It Like New for a spray.  As for the colour, I debated doing a timeless white but ultimately decided on a boyish blue (Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay Blue CC-810) for a custom look.

Before I show you the nice “After” photos, let me warn you about the construction of a vintage Jenny Lind bed, in case you are in the market for one. Unlike most of newer beds that require a box spring and mattress, these older beds weren’t constructed to require both. When we initially plopped on the box spring and mattress but looked what happened:

Firstly, the bed was way too high for the little man to safely climb up. And secondly, because the height of the mattress was so high you could no longer see the foot board. And come on, the foot board is half the cuteness of the bed. So off came the box spring and in went wooden slats (IKEA style) under the mattress. Once that change was made, the bed was perfect!

 

1. CB2 knit pouf (CB2 now ships to Canada and has a brick and mortar store in Toronto!)

2. West Elm striped sheet set

3. Fluf wool punch pillow

4. Duvet made from IKEA EVALOTTA fabric (thanks MIL!)

5. Vintage Jenny Lind spindle bed, painted by Paint It Like New in Burlington, Ontario

6. Sierra Paddle rug from RugsUSA

So now we have a dresser and a bed….time to finish off the rest of the room!

Things Get Messy After the Photoshoot

Believe me, my son’s bedroom never really looked this neat and clean. Photos you see in magazines, on websites, and on blogs are all styled and staged.  Remember that. None of us are perfect and if you’re not obsessively organized stuff tends to get in the way.

Though my son is good about cleaning up his toys (while singing “clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!” -amazing what they learn at daycare), toddlers have way too many toys and stuffed animals which seem to spontaneously multiply.  Last weekend we reached a tipping point with stuff -he started climbing out of his crib so we had to by a bed. Now we have toys, furniture, and more furniture in the room. I think it’s time to go back to the design drawing board and come up with a plan with A LOT more storage. See for yourself:

(excuse the grainy photo – clearly not a planned photoshoot)

On the bright side, isn’t his new owl-printed fleece blanket so cute? What a great addition to his owl themed nursery. If it wasn’t for all the mess you could see all his cute owl paraphernalia. This blanket was a gift from my Mom for his second birthday and it’s from Simons.

Hey Canadians, you know Simons right? I loved shopping there while I did my undergrad in Montreal and I just found out they do online ordering (free delivery on purchases of $50 or more!). In addition to a great selection of clothes, they have some really fun home decor items. Here are a few throws that caught my eye:

I couldn’t find the owl fleece blanket online anymore but be sure to check out the Simons website anyway!

Room of the Week // Modern Toile Nursery

I have a soft spot in my heart for exposed brick walls.  Having lived the “loft life” for several years, I know brick can dominate the room and may dictate your decor to some extent, but I say embrace it!  While I do like the look of white painted brick, there is something edgy, rustic, and real about plain old exposed brick.

I am also a big fan of a modern take on a traditional toile de jouy fabric. Though typically used in French decor, a toile can be absolutely darling for a baby.

And with that, I share with you one of the best nurseries I’ve seen in awhile:

 

Brick. Pink toile. Soft grey. Seagrass baskets. Casual fun. What a sweet nursery by NYC designer Jenny Wolf.

Though you may not have the exposed brick in your own home, you can certainly pull inspiration from the traditional toile canopy, clean-lined furniture, and overall relaxed feel of the room above.

To give you an idea, I pulled together a few sources that would be a great start for a gender-neutral nursery:

 

Sources:

  1. Toile N Around” by Waverly, available through Tonic Living
  2. Custom pillows, also through Tonic Living
  3. Turning Pendant from West Elm
  4. Seagrass Hamper from Restoration Hardware, Baby & Child
  5. Stokke crib

 

 

 

 

(images: 1&2- jenny wolf interiors, inspiration board-dayna simpon interiors)

wow, top 3!

Welcome to everyone stopping in by way of à la mode and Just a Touch of Gray!

Last month I participated in the Roomspiration Series and linked up my master bedroom and my son’s nursery. Both rooms made it to the top 3 top-visited on rooms on their respective day! How exciting and what an honour!  A big thank you to Rachel and Shelli for hosting the link parties.  If you haven’t already, hop on over to their blogs to see some of the other most popular rooms:

On a related topic, I am planning on a temporary substitution in our bedroom. Originally, as shown in my inspiration board, I planned on buying this classic Hudson Bay Co. point blanket ($275-$475):

But while I save my pennies for that purchase, I think I may pick up this new EIVOR throw from IKEA for a fraction of the cost ($29.99):

A good substitute for now don’t you think?

ideas for the new build: nursery

Excuse my absence as of late. My day job has been all-consuming these past few weeks and I simply haven’t had the time to continue my exploration in the world of design.  The most recent issues of House & Home, Elle Decor, and  House Beautiful, sit by my bed waiting to be read.  Sigh. When I do crack ‘em open I’ll be sure to share some new inspirational pictures and ideas.

In the meantime, I thougt I’d share another installment of:

If you recall my past posts on kitchen banquettes and tile shopping, I’ve been working with friends/clients on their new home.  Move in day is rapidly approaching so everything is quickly coming together, which is very exciting (it’s so much fun to live vicariously through clients!). The one room in the house that’s getting a complete design, is their daughter’s room.

About one year ago, I completed a nursery project for their bun-in-the-oven. At that time the gender was unknown, so we went with a soft blue paint, white furniture, and gender neutral accessories.

Once the gender was known (a sweet tiny girl), we added some pink accents. For more pictures and the inspiration board, click HERE.

This time around we are using the most of the same pieces (pendant, crib, dresser, glider, side table), but going we are going fully on girly with pink + orange + green accents. Here is the inspiration board:

Move-in day is less than a month away so I should have some great photos to share with you soon!