As one might expect, the nursery Los Angeles-based interior designer Shannon Wollack designed for her newborn daughter Poppy was styled to perfection. But what did come as a surprise is how, well, un-nursery-like it is. With hot pink grasscloth wallpaper, sexy chrome and black leather armchairs, an acrylic chandelier, brass accents, ikat pillows, retro photography, a gold ceiling, and a neon light fixture, it is glam rock in the most tasteful, playful way — and a model for a new variety of baby rooms.
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Who says your nursery needs to be pastels and filled with animal motifs? Isn’t a great geometric print just as intriguing to young eyes as hearts, stars, and flowers? Why waste money on furniture on décor and furniture your little will inevitably grow out of? These undoubtedly crossed Wollack’s mind, and if you’re expecting, they should cross yours, too.

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Hot pink walls and a gold ceiling may be too bold for you, but there are still a number of ways you can make your nursery more transitional. So, we asked Wollack to share her top tips for designing nursery. Read them below, and click through the slideshow above for the full tour of her “un-nursery.”
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The Dos and Don’ts of Nursery Design

  • DO think out of the box with colors. It’s not necessary to use only pale blues, pinks, or yellow?s. Using a bold color or wallpaper in a nursery can give a fresh look to the traditional nursery.
  • DO mix in sophisticated prints and patterns along with cheerful children’s prints.
  • DO accessorize with unique children’s items. Vintage kids’ books, board games, and sports memorabilia are great and playful additions.
  • DON’T over accessorize with stuffed animals. They can add clutter and typically don’t serve a purpose. If you want “animals,” then items such as a cool rocking horse are perfect because it can serve a dual purpose: it’s both a fun toy and aesthetically pleasing.
  • DON’T buy a changing table set. Any dresser can be used with the simple addition of a changing top painted the same color as the dresser. This will afford you a more seamless look and not scream “diaper station.”
  • DO use lots of boxes and bins for storage. There are so many great options out there now for storage and organization from stores like Restoration Hardware and West Elm. These bins are transitional, come in several different styles, and are great for hiding toys and clutter. Plus, if you’re really on top of it and label each bin, your child will always know where to find his or her favorite toy and makes clean-up very easy.
  • DO invest in a chair you love that could be used again in another room. Gliders and rockers are expensive and rather temporary. Why not purchase a chair that can last a lifetime?
  • DON’T be afraid to add some glam! Painting a ceiling gold or silver is an unexpected way to dress up a nursery.
  • DO spice up a basic dresser with decorative knobs or hardware. It can transform the dresser into a unique piece and give it an authentic, custom look.
  • DO have fun! Add a great pendant light in the middle of the room. This always makes a statement, and if it’s on a dimmer, it becomes very useful during nighttime rituals.

Photographs: Diana Relth

By Julia Millay Walsh