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Nursery with an English Country Feel

Television presenter, fashion journalist, and model Louise Roe helps shape a charming space for her new baby

Produced by Sally Finder Weepie

Louise Roe lives in Los Angeles, but she wanted her child's nursery to have the charming feel of England, where she grew up. "Mackenzie and I were keen that the space wasn’t too babyish," Louise says. "It was important to keep it elegant and in keeping with the rest of the house. I adore a very English country feel, having grown up there; plus, our house here in L.A. was built in the 1930s, so it lends itself well to antique furniture and traditional prints."

Louise turned to Decorist Design Director Jessica McCarthy for help in designing the room, and several brands provided furniture and decor, including Pottery Barn Kids, Viyet, Bed Bath & Beyond, Loom Decor, Etsy, RH Baby, and Buy Buy Baby.

"The design of the nursery was inspired by Louise's English upbringing," McCarthy says. "From the onset, Louise wanted to incorporate vintage pieces for a refined, sophisticated look. I found the antique dresser (which doubles as a changing table) and the mahogany side table from Viyet that helped anchor the space, immediately giving it a sophistication that is not typical of most nurseries. Mixing vintage and contemporary furniture makes a room feel truly lived-in, and gives it personality and dimension." 

Although the crib is contemporary, it has the U.K. stamp of approval from Louise's mother. "One day when my mum was visiting from England, we stumbled into Pottery Barn Kids, and fell in love with a crib, chair, and bedding," she says. "I couldn’t resist the lamb mobile, which Mackenzie has just finished hanging! The chair rocks and reclines, perfect for nursing in the middle of the night, and we got to choose an exact, custom fabric that would match the curtains, which we got from Loom. The ‘cot’ – as we call them in England, also turns into a toddler bed in a few years, which is handy. To keep everything neutral (I didn’t want anything bright), I chose simple, white quilted bed linen, which looks gorgeous."

Louise herself also spotted the wallpaper. "Chintz was top of my list!" she says. "I think it gives the room such depth. I found the perfect pattern by my friend Nathan Turner. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I stopped looking at anything else."
 
Louise knew she was having a girl, so she wanted feminine color palette, but one that was also chic. "Instead of traditional pinks, we took the green and peach from the wallpaper and ran with it," Louise says. 
 
 
McCarthy helped add soft earth tones into the color scheme. "I suggested layering the sage green vintage rug Louise found on Etsy with a neutral sisal rug from Bed Bath & Beyond to add dimension and texture," the designer says. "Subtle brass accents found in the picture frames, the round mirror above the dresser, and the floor lamp across the room added warmth and sophistication."
 
To complement the green tones, Louise found a storage basket from Serena and Lily, woven with a hint of seafoam. "It's a great way to hide diapers!" she says.
 
Even though the nursery is sophisticated, Louise and McCarthy still wanted to add elements that kept the space youthful and sweet.  An adorable wooden rocking horse, a cozy chair and reading nook featuring a collection of classic children's books and soft drapes that puddle on the ground were the finishing touches needed to complete the look. 

"I love bringing unexpected things together and seeing how they work," Louise says. "The antique chest and side table really brought the whole space to life – complemented by the 1920s encyclopedia prints, which were another unexpected twist. I love how they look very chic and grown-up, but are actually educational for children, too."

A final touch also speaks to Louise's penchant for all things literary. "I’m a bookworm, and grew up with traditional children’s literature like Peter Rabbit. So I couldn’t resist buying the full Beatrix Potter collection, to store on a marble shelf," she says. "Hopefully the ‘nursing corner’ will one day become our little girl’s ‘reading corner’ instead!" 

Photography: Carla Choy