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When it comes to high design, minimalism is all the rage. But truth be told, it’s hard to pull that off when you’re a mom. Or in Amy Anderson’s case, a mom of two (who also works at Warby Parker and runs a successful lifestyle blog). And yet, in the chaos that is motherhood, Amy manages to scale down and simplify, infusing her monochromatic style in every corner of her family’s home.
This spring, Amy moved to Nashville from Brooklyn, which not only brought her closer to family, but also gave her an opportunity to spread out a little after 10 years of cramped NYC life. When it came to creating her new nursery and “big girl” room, she turned to Babyletto, whose modern, chic & eco-friendly nursery furniture was the perfect complement to her minimalistic sensibility. Below, Amy shows off the new spaces she’s created for her daughters, Parker Mae, 4 years, and Sidney Sloane, 11 months, and shares her favorite design tips for the minimalist mom that’s hiding inside us all.
What was your nursery like back in Brooklyn?
We lived in our last apartment in Brooklyn for nearly seven years and she was a quirky loft space that lacked any sort of normal 90 degree angled walls! The girls’ bedroom in the apartment was previously built and used as a recording studio by the first owner, so the walls were nearly soundproof, and the apartment got zero natural light. We used this to our advantage by putting the girls in there, and our room moved to the back of the apartment. It was actually 70% their room and play area and 30% my closet! We put up a half wall and a curtain to divide the space. Again, quirky… but it worked and Parker thought of it as this sort of tree house.
How is your nursery and kids space different in Nashville?
Closet space! Back in Brooklyn, we used Babyletto’s space saving Origami Mini crib, and I had my father-in-law build this three-tiered hanging rod/bookshelf contraption for Parker’s clothes. We didn’t have any closets, so storage was low and things just felt messy no matter how organized I made things. Now they each have their own closets where I can put their things and close a door and not have to see clutter! I’m able to have the space in the house feel cleaner, more streamlined and organized. A lot of the walls in our previous apartment were brick, so we weren’t able to hang artwork or shelves on them. So now it’s nice to be able to decorate the walls too!
What was your inspiration for Parker’s new “big girl” room?
A lot of my inspiration came from spaces and rooms that weren’t technically kid-oriented. Also, Pinterest, of course! I started with colors black, white, wood and gold, and went from there. I asker her a lot about what she liked and didn’t like. Parker went through a big choo-choo train stage (mainly because of her love of the NYC subway), so I had more train themed things in her room at that time.
Now, she loves singing, dancing, doing crafts and working on writing her letters. So the pint-sized Babyletto Lemonade Playset in her room is a great addition so she can color and draw all the time. Certain things we had to negotiate on, such as, ‘having an ice castle in the room like the one Elsa lives in’… which was requested! Mainly, I wanted to create a space that felt modern, but still cozy and a place that she loved.
What about the nursery?
With both of the girls, I always keep the nursery super simple when they are babies. Just the necessities. I looked for items that kept the room feel soft and sweet with lots of stuffed animals and sheepskin rugs and just adorable baby things!
How have you gone about putting it together?
We’re used to small living, so the fact that we even have space for additional furniture is a new concept for us! Plus, we’re literally just a few months into owning this house and still figuring out where we want certain pieces to go. My husband would probably say I’m painfully meticulous when it come to furniture selection. I just have to really love something before I commit to it. I don’t like excess and I’m definitely okay with empty space!
My plan for the rooms was to start with the large anchor pieces (beds, dressers, rugs) and then worked around those. If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a very monochromatic person, so it’s pretty easy to build a room or switch out pieces between the girls rooms when everything basically matches everything! We have a lot of family Polaroids I like to display around the girls rooms and little drawings or paintings that Parker has done make the best wall decoration! I found a lot of the pieces through Babyletto, All Modern and Craigslist.
Tell us about some of the biggies in the nursery – the crib, the rocker, the changing table?
I absolutely love Sidney Sloane’s Babyletto Hudson crib! It’s easily one of my favorite pieces. It’s so simple and timeless. When didn’t have a rocker with Parker and it was the one thing I vowed to get when our next baby was born. After sitting on what felt like 100 gliders and trying to justify the cost of some that I liked, I found this one at Buy Buy Baby and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! It was perfect for nursing, sleeping while nursing, sleeping while holding a sleeping baby and rocking a cranky baby. The changing table is a Hudson Double Dresser from Babyletto. I’m pretty picky when it comes to changing tables — this one is kind of oversized, so I can store the diapers in the top drawer and have the wipes and a basket of goodies (paci’s, diaper cream, wash cloth, etc) right there, easily accessible. Also, this piece will easily transition through life with the girls as they get older.
Any amazing finds?
Parker’s Jenny Lind bed was an amazing Craigslist find I’m still so proud of! It’s an original and likely around 100yrs old. Solid as a rock too! Also, the large print of Grand Army Plaza above her bed is a photo my husband took of us in Brooklyn. If you look in the bottom right, you’ll see me walking with my back to the camera holding baby Parker. We are still going back and forth between Nashville and NYC a lot, but we wanted Parker to have a reminder of her childhood neighborhood specifically, as those were such important years for her!
And the details?
The little things sometimes have the biggest impact! Sidney Sloane’s room gets the most amazing natural light, but it means we don’t have a ton of wall space for books, etc. The acrylic Presto Babyletto bookcase was a lifesaver since it’s so discrete and fits in her little reading nook just perfectly. I now kind of want one for my room! I also loved Babyletto’s Tuxedo Bedding for her crib.
There are so many brands out there these days creating beautiful products for kids! Natti Natti is a fav, she’s a friend of mine from Brooklyn who makes the most adorable prints. I love the pillows and big kid bedding! I’m a sucker for a good pouf basket from Pehr and snagged those, along with the fuzzy sheep above Sidney Sloane’s crib, from Yoya in the West Village. The rug in Parker’s room is from Land of Nod, which is always a go-to when I’m looking for kids’ stuff, and the rug in SS’s room is from Lorena Canals. It’s washable, which is brilliant! It fits in a standard washing machine and comes out looking brand new. Great for kids rooms!
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to a mom-to-be?
Don’t rush to fill the space! Be sure to have the necessary things… like a crib, but take your time to find pieces that you actually love and enjoy having in your space. Also, don’t take it too seriously and have fun! Let’s be honest, my girls rooms rarely look this clean! So embrace the mess and chaos and, if you’re like us, the rooms are always a work in progress!
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