Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bigger Picture:
Comfort Beyond Decals and Fuzz

A nursery for the budding Bohemian? (via A Detailed House)

My husband and I are expecting our first child, and she's due in about a month. The most common question I get asked, after
  1. Do you know what you're having? Likely a girl, but we're not 100% sure. And no, we have no preference.
  2. Are you excited? Yes. Excited, terrified and content all at the same time.
  3. Can I touch your belly? Ha ha! Yes.
is: have you started decorating the nursery? Being someone who creates beautiful and inviting spaces for a living, people are always surprised when I answer no. Aaron and I have our reasons, of course. (Among them, we would like to try co-sleeping, aka sleep sharing, and we're renovating our house and are currently using the potential nursery space as a much needed office.) But while we have no plans for a nursery as yet, this much-anticipated addition to our family has me thinking deeply and often about notions of comfort and home. What makes the "perfect" space?

It's never too early to culture your baby.
That painting above the crib is like the love child of Mark Mullin and Fiona Rae.
(via A Detailed House)

In addition to the practical issues of square metres and child rearing, part of what's holding me back is the strangeness of designing and building a space for someone I have yet to meet (and I say that as a reflection of my own creative process, and not in judgement of the many loving parents who've devoted themselves to nursery building pre-baby-arrival). Even with naming our baby, yes, we have some names chosen, but Aaron and I are not attached to any of them, and we'll happily pick an as yet unconsidered name should she (or he) not suit Stella or Mercer or Cougar.

Do baby girls dictate pink? Would you raise a boy in this room? (via A Detailed House)
Serenity now. Would our baby appreciate an all white space?
Especially one with furniture inspired by French and Swedish 18th century design.
This baby may become an antiques dealer or furniture historian.
(via Chic Shack)
Or maybe she'd prefer a jolt of colour to go with her typography lesson.
The baby in this room may design your wedding invitations some day.
(via A Detailed House)

Above two photos: Kennedy era White House nurseries (via Blue Badger)
Is this how you nurture future lawyers and publishers?
Is perfect colour coordination the key to comfort?

What should I be looking or asking for (if anything at all)? Taking stock of my own life, I have so much. We live well, in a beautiful home, we've never gone hungry, and we enjoy the love and company of a wide circle of family, friends and colleagues. Our basic needs of food, water and shelter are more than satisfied, and we can afford luxuries like a reliable vehicle, travel abroad, and a nice glass of wine with dinner (though only Aaron enjoys that last one, at the moment).

Although our baby is still but a wriggle in my belly, already, so many people have shown us much generosity. My parents are giving us a crib, my aunt found us a stroller, Aaron's parents will make us something beautiful, fellow parents and friends have offered and given us plenty of beautiful clothes and tiny shoes, my sister stumbled on a whale poster years ago that is perfect for a future nursery, a few toys have found their way into our home, and even the lovely people we work with can't resist showering us with cute and fluffy dresses. (You may recall this sweet purple party frock, given to us by Gay Derk at Derks and Bridal Fantasy.)

A pale and interesting nursery, with a capiz shell pendant light (likely from the Philippines),
French bergère chair and white Moroccan poufs for the tiny world traveller.
(via A Detailed House)
Don't get me wrong. At some point, when our child needs her own space, we will make one for her. And we are very fortunate to have the resources, time, and yes, expertise to make it comfortable, functional and beautiful. But I know that when that time comes, the creation of that space will not be a matter of ticking off a shopping list or completing a set of tasks. Creating the perfect space isn't about completing a checklist. Ultimately, comfort is about appreciation; comfort is a state of mind.

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