where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Green Nursery Grows in Brooklyn

Ugly Betty star, Ana Ortiz, and her husband engaged my design team and I to create this eco-friendly nest for their expected angel Paloma (which translates to 'dove' in Spanish) last year.  Ana is a native New Yorker with a very warm side, and her hubbie Noah is a true Californian, so combining a modern edge with plenty of nods to nature was key for the couple.  

The design process broke down to the following points of focus:

Make It Green: They wanted everything to be as environmentally friendly as possible reflecting their feeling of responsibility to the planet as well as to the indoor air quality that would surround their daughter.  We accomplished this throughout: from Duc Duc's sustainably-built furniture with non-toxic finishes to Serena & Lily's beautiful zero-VOC paints.

Natural Hues: We took our color scheme cues directly from nature by incorporating only the colors you'd see in the sky above on the sunniest day in the park or at the beach. Soothing pale blue walls are interrupted only by a pop of orange in the open closet (we took the doors off to conserve space in the tiny room) and the orange and yellow accessories throughout.  

One-of-a-kind Bedding: The workroom of Mooredesigns in Cranford, NJ crafted the custom bedding out of Harmony Arts' bright and adorable "Fields of Honey" print.  We didn't want Ana to have an average "bed in a bag" look so we scoured the marketplace for the right organic cotton pattern and had everything made ourselves, including several sets of the softest white organic cotton sateen fitted sheets you've ever felt to balance out the bold print. (Note: much of the press that ran about the nursery mistakenly says that the bedding came from green baby mecca Giggle, but that's not true.  Let's just say that PR spokespeople and tabloid press writers sometimes forget to fact check.)

A Place For Everything: The nursery is a small, windowless room with high ceilings and a good-sized closet.  We ripped out the standard-issue rod and shelf (and the door, as mentioned) and used Elfa storage systems in the closet to maximize the storage capacity and allow Ana to feel organized and at ease as she prepared for her first born.  We placed color-coordinated bins and boxes on every shelf to ensure a place for everything.  Even the ottoman has storage inside. Living into one's space as efficiently as possible is a core, but often overlooked, principle of green living.  Instead of relentlessly upsizing for a growing family, you might want to ask yourself what closets, wall space, corners, or corridors are you under-utilizing?   Getting organized outside the nursery will be an upcoming blog topic, so please check back soon.

Here's a link to Ana's personal tour of Paloma's very green nursery: