Guest Author

Guest Author

Fresh Ideas for Your Nursery, by Cheryl Torrenueva

Posted by Guest Author Thursday, November 25, 2010 1:12 PM EST


I stalk designers. If I hear of a project on the go, I pounce. Once upon a lunch, Cheryl Torrenueva of Model Home Showdown fame, (watch this exclusive series now!) made the mistake of mentioning that she was working on a nursery...

Long story short, here it is!

GRETTA AND RICKY’S NURSERY, by Cheryl Torrenueva of Cheryl Torrenueva Design



  • First off, the room was a lot smaller in person than what I saw in the pictures Gretta had sent. The room was roughly 8’ x 10’ with a sloped ceiling going from 13’ down to 9’.  Three of the walls either had a doorway or a window, leaving the 13’ wall as the main area to incorporate any kind of vertical storage.  The entire space was covered in oiled pine slates and to my surprise; Ricky did not want any of it painted!
  • To top it all off, Gretta and Ricky have completely different styles. I know that Gretta loves all things modern, airy and sophisticated and if she had her way, the entire room would be sprayed in ultra white. Ricky, on the other hand loves all things rustic and vintage with a splash of rock and roll.  With the baby due at a moments notice, I had to think quick to put together a scheme that both parents would appreciate and provide them with a solution for their small space dilemma.


Dealing with the Wood

  • Since painting the walls was out of the question (OMG!), I decided to incorporate a few different solutions to cover all that wood. I started off by adding sheets of bead board on three walls. To make the room feel a bit larger, I had our contractor apply it horizontally as opposed to vertically. The 2” strips also added texture to the walls. By applying it to the ceiling, the wood beams became an architectural feature against the white bead board backdrop.
  • To the 13' wall I added hanging storage cubes and a simple, modern mirror to open up and make the space feel larger. Using reflection is a common trick to give the impression of space.
  • As a fun DIY project, I decided to make upholstered panels to cover the remaining wood. A couple pieces of plywood, batting, staples and some inexpensive fabrics and VOILA! Once the panels were hung on the wall they created a modern version of a patchwork quilt.

Reconciling Two Different Styles...

  • The fabrics I went with did not have the typical “baby” motifs. Instead, I chose a mix of fabrics that had either an old vintage feel or a bit of glam, such as the bandana motif and a small print with tiny crowns. This baby is definitely going to be the King of this Crib!!
  • To satisfy both Gretta and Ricky’s style, I decided to use a non-traditional colour palette. A palette of white, green and camel mixed with pops of teal blue and orange.  To add even more character I added hints of natural wood, worn leather, cow hide, and antique metals.
  • Choose furniture that will stand the test of time. For this nursery, I chose a modern crib that has a retro feel. The added bonus is that it converts into a bed and the coordinating change table can easily be used in any other room in the house!

How 'Small' Became Just Right

  • By creating an all white space with bead board walls, furniture, storage units and layers of linen drapery, the room feels a lot larger. With the lacquered doors, the storage units disappear into the background. For easy access, the doors have glass inserts that allow you to see what’s inside each cube.  Gretta and Ricky can keep things organized and won’t have to guess where to find the baby booties or blankets.
  • The old blinds were removed and I decided to define the sleeping area by hanging lime green linen curtains in the corner of the room. The rest of the window and the sliding door was covered with white linen curtains. Who says that you have to have symmetry?
  • The upholstered panels on the wall define the changing area and also act as a baby bumper.
  • The foyer to Gretta and Ricky's master bedroom wasn’t being used to its full potential so I created an alternate seating area which could be used for nursing and rocking the baby to sleep.


  • To emphasize the vintage feel, I found a 1920’s Art Deco hanging pendant and hung it in the centre of the room.  For more practical light, I found the cutest (!) bronzed cowboy boot lamp. Both pieces have a modern feel as the clean, contemporary white shades combine perfectly with metal hardware.


  • To carry through with the eclectic feel and to extend the vertical feel of the room, I put together a collection of traditional frames that covered the wall floor to ceiling. Each frame was spray-painted a different pop colour and filled with one of my vintage toy finds. Once grouped together, the frames become the perfect focal point.
  • As a special surprise, Gretta and I tracked down Ricky’s vintage leather jacket from when he played Danny Zuko on Broadway. Framed in a bright orange antique frame, it adds that rock and roll touch so much part of Ricky's style.  The fun treatment of the frames keeps the look casual and you can change the contents up as frequently as you like!
  • Other artful touches include an old tool caddy to store diapers and vintage metal boxes to store baby wipes. These can be used to store toys when their son grows older.

Cub Crib, Cub Changing Table, Rufus Rocker by
Maclaren Nursery, David Netto    

RYE 3-piece collection and crib sheet set, RYE Diaper Changing pad, RYE Boudoir Pillow, Peacock Gypsy Tote from
Serena and Lily

SLEEPYTIME Rocking Chair, Delft Blue from

Lala Organic mattress from

What do you guys think of this nursery? Is it to your taste?

Topics: Decor, Interior Design, Design, Inspiration, Cheryl Torrenueva, Nursery


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