Sweet Style: This Newborn's Pint-Sized Nursery is Filled with Whimsical Details (and Lots of Pink!)
When Adena Leigh Ditkofsky — Tonic Living’s Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager — found out she and her husband, JJ, were expecting their first child, she didn’t waste any time getting started on transforming the nursery. "I started planning the nursery pretty much as soon as I was 12 weeks along," says Adena, before confessing, "but if I'm honest, even before that!"
With space at a premium in the couple’s small 100-year-old home in midtown Toronto, adding another resident — no matter how tiny and snuggly — required meticulous planning. "Before it was a nursery, this room was our "office" (read: dumping ground) so I was eager to transform it into something beautiful."
Filled to the brim with whimsical details and special touches, their newborn daughter Lilly’s nursery bundles a whole lot of style into a compact space. At barely over 70 square feet, Adena’s main challenge was to create a cozy but open feel that wouldn't be cramped or cluttered. With careful consideration, she achieved just that by sticking to a strict colour palette. "It's a tiny space so I was really intentional with every item," she explains.
An Inspired Palette: "I've always wanted a pink room, and when I found out I was having a girl, I thought, 'This is my chance!'" says Adena. "I love the colour blush but my husband doesn't, so this was my opportunity to make my pink paint dreams come true."
With her rose-coloured vision in mind, Adena started her decorating plan with the most important element: the fabrics. (A Tonic Living girl, through and through!) "My fabric choices really drove the colour palette," says Adena. "I love the combination of Lilly and Mila Dot—the blush, ecru and ivory tones are so soft and serene. Everything else in the space follows suit."
On the Walls: Adena paired Farrow & Ball's Pink Ground (a pale, peachy blush) and Wimbourne White (a creamy ivory), separating the two paint shades with a strip of moulding. By using the pink above the chair rail, the colour draws the eye upwards to emphasize the height of the room rather than its narrow width.
The Furniture: A wood dresser repurposed from the couple's old apartment adds warmth and character (and most importantly, storage!). Its acorn-coloured finish offsets the simple, clean lines of the white crib and bookcase.
The Fabrics: With the foundation in place, Adena set out to blanket the space with fabrics in airy shades of ivory, beige, and pink. But even with a clear vision in mind, she took her time making the right decisions:
"I fell in love with the Mila Dot fabric right away, but was tempted by so many fabric samples that came across my desk," she says. "A very wise House & Home editor gave the best advice: she said hold onto a fabric sample for a few months and if you still love it, you know it's a winner. So I did, and I kept coming back to the Mila Dot. It really is the most perfect nursery pattern."
Adena selected the embroidered linen-blend fabric for the nursery's custom made drapes, hanging them on matte gold hardware for a touch of subtle shine. (The metal finish is echoed again in the sconce above the sitting area and the hammered metal planter on top of the bookcase.)
The glider chair is accessorized with an extra special touch: Our Lilly pillow, named in honour of Adena's daughter. "The Lilly fabric grabbed me as soon as I saw it, and I knew I wanted to make it into a pillow for the nursery. I worked with Mandy (Tonic Living's Creative Director) to come up with the design, and when she suggested we name it after my daughter I was SO excited!"
Stocked in two sizes — a 20"x 20" square and a 14"x 20" lumbar — the Lilly pillow serves decorative and practical purposes in Lilly's room. "The mini lumbar size has actually turned out to be an amazing nursing pillow!" exclaims the new mom. "I tuck it under my elbow for support and it's so comfortable."
Finishing Touches: Finally, Adena layered in a selection of playful accessories and lots of soft textures. Repeated elements tie the look together, like the felted bauble mobile and pom pom-trimmed Birdie throw, and the mismatched tassels that adorn the door knob and dresser drawer.
She even carried the colour palette into the books and toys she picked out for Lilly. "I treated the stuffed animals and toys on display as decor, and everything else goes in closed storage," she reveals. "As Lilly gets older, I'm sure she'll want to bring in her own toys that don't fit the palette, so I'm enjoying this curated look while I can!"
In such a harmonious space, it's hard for Adena to name a standout detail. "Everything in the space brings me joy, from the vintage rug we found at the Rose Bowl flea market on our babymoon in California, to the llama wall tapestry that was handmade in Norway. The mobile was a gift from my best friend and Lilly smiles every time I make it twirl!"
The element she may love the most: "My favourite item might be the drapes—I think they really make the small space feel bigger and the blackout lining is key for naps!"
GET LILLY'S NURSERY LOOK
All hardware shown in Matte Gold.
Note: The nursery has been decorated with pillows and throws, but always remove loose pillows, blankets and toys when baby is in the crib.