The challenge: Turn a small, spare room into a stylish baby nursery.
The designer: Tracy Hains, Che Bella Interiors, Burnsville, 952-239-0961, www.chebellainteriors.com
Color cues: Kerri Schwertman of Prior Lake knew she was expecting a girl -- but she didn't want the expected newborn color palette. "Our goal was to stay away from typical pastels, like pastel pink and white," she said. "I wanted a more traditional feel, with darker tones." So she turned to her mother-in-law, designer Tracy Hains, to transform a small extra room in their townhouse.
Biggest challenges: The room was tiny -- only 155 square feet, Hains said, with very little storage space. And the couple had a limited budget for the project.
Fabric first: A bright floral-print fabric in fuchsia and green became the starting point for the design. "All the colors in the room were drawn from that fabric," Hains said. She used it to cover a cornice board above the window.
Accent wall: The prospective parents wanted a mural, so Hains found a whimsical tree design and hired an artist to paint it on the wall.
Lucky break: The couple were able to buy their fuchsia chair and ottoman secondhand. Hains happened to have another client with like-new pieces that the client no longer needed. An espresso-stained crib that converts to a junior bed was the couple's biggest purchase. A pine dresser/changing table was refinished to match.
Accent pieces: Hains used wide bold matting, in the room's colors, to turn personal photos and baby booties and mittens into framed artwork. "As she grows, they can put other things in those frames," she said. Inexpensive pillows and a chandelier complete the look.
Surprise gift: The baby's great-grandmother got wind of the project and asked Hains to send her a fabric sample, so she could make a quilt to match the room. "The parents didn't know it was coming; it was a surprise when the baby arrived," Hains said.
Out of sight: To create more storage space in the small space, Hains put plastic bins under the crib, then hid them behind a dust ruffle.
The result: "We love it," said Schwertman. "It was pretty fun to have Addison's grandma do the nursery for her. We were able to get a really great nursery on a really tight budget [under $1,000, plus the cost of the crib]. Baby Addison, born early this year, likes it, too. "The most fun part was getting the chandelier for her," Schwertman said. "When she was a newborn, whenever she would see it, she would smile. She loved how sparkly it was."