Designer Spaces Home & Decor

Designer Space: Garden Nursery

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Designer Christine Elliott helps expecting parents create a stunning nursery.

When Aidan Cowburn, a property manager, and her husband Andrew, a national sales manager, learned they were expecting a little girl, Aidan wanted a room that could grow with their daughter.

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Designer Christine Elliott had worked with the homeowners before. She designed several rooms in their 3,477 sq. ft. home inspired by a painting of their family cottage. Both Christine and Aidan were inspired by Aurora’s birth month — June. “I was thrilled when we found out we were expecting a girl,” Aidan notes, “I wanted a very girly room. I think the spring garden colours and concept emerged naturally.”

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When Christine learned that Aidan was expecting a girl she started to look at floral fabrics to find the inspiration piece. “I do this with all my projects. I find the inspiration piece first, and then build my design around it.

Cascading with flowers, the drapes are joyous. Their design will grow with Aurora as she matures. Aidan comments, “I immediately fell in love with the pattern. I can’t quite explain it. The colours
are fresh and current.” The patterned green rug, reminiscent of a parterre garden, matches the changing table’s colour and the crib’s drapes. The sugared hues of the room’s accessory pillow and milk glass lamps are echoed in the drapes’ flowers. Christine notes that when choosing the wall colours, “We tested a few different pinks to get the right one. The last thing I wanted was for the walls to look like bubblegum.”

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Aidan notes that the room offers many colour options. This has been especially valuable as they’ve started the transition from a nursery to a little girl’s room. Christine observes, “When designing any child’s room I stay away from trademark themes. I look for pieces and patterns that grow with the child, especially when investing in window treatments or a canopy.”

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Twined vines in the chandelier, the framed letter art, mobile, and the mounted hare’s head continue the garden theme as do the baskets and side table. They help in the transformation of the nursery from an unpainted bedroom filled with exercise equipment, on the home’s second floor near the master bedroom, to a room blossoming with sweetness.

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Feminine touches are also found in the furniture, old and new. “My husband and I were adamant about having a comfortable chair. We learned, with our son Bennett, how important it is to have a chair that is both functional and beautiful,” exclaims Aidan. The furniture is both old and new. Christine reupholstered a new chair found on clearance. Aidan loved its feminine lines, detail, and functionality. She says, “Christine made it beautiful with new fabric!” The new chest of drawers was chosen for its practicality and femininity. “The two milk glass lamps on the chest of drawers were purchased years ago by my mother,” Aidan points out.

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Aurora’s garden room will bloom as fresh and lovely as when it was first inspired by her June birth. It will grow along with her.

“My favourite moment was when the drapes and canopy went up. They really tied everything together and made the room feel fuller and finished, Aidan states. “I love the final result.”

Text by J. Lynn Fraser

Photography by Stephani Buchman


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