Nursery 101: Custom Design

Nothing says “Little New Yorker” more than a custom nursery. Bellini owner Michelle Freedberg walks us through the endless possibilities.

When you live in NYC, you’ve got to be unique. Even if you’ve only been living for a few hours. So give your baby a leg up and bring him home to a custom nursery. Michelle Freedberg, owner of the Upper East Side baby institution Bellini, knows a thing or two about creating one-of-a-kind spaces filled with personalized touches. “New Yorkers are trendsetters, and they pride themselves on having the new, the different, and the special in everything from fashion to home decor,” she says. “So creating a nursery that is unique to their home is very appealing…no one likes to have what their best friend has!”

Bellini, which this year got an impressive makeover, has three floors’ worth of ways to customize a baby room. “Bellini has the ability to customize in small ways and in a room’s entirety,” says Freedberg. “What’s great about customizing is you get a certain amount of creative control over your vision for your child’s room, instead of having something pulled out of a catalog that simply has no imagination at all.” Below, she walks us through the process of creating the nursery of your (one-of-a-kind) dreams.

Textiles: Most clients choose to use our customization service in smaller ways, like in bedding, glider fabrics, window treatments or even artwork. Creating a bedding set from our design studio is easy. We have tons of fabrics to choose from, and our in-house interior designer helps walk you through the process from start to finish.

Furniture: For the discerning client who wants to create a completely unique look, we work with several furniture manufacturers who give the client the ability to select the colors they want, and many times even a design, and finish they want. Selecting customized furniture, bedding or artwork is definitely more costly (in most cases) then buying items that are ready-made, and timing can also be much longer (we ask for about 10-12 weeks on most custom items). However, for a customer who is looking for something totally original, having that option is fantastic, and it’s something that small boutiques like ours offer that you cannot find with a big-box experience. If you choose a custom nursery, but time is an issue for you, we will gladly lend you a bassinet or stand alone changer while you wait (it’s worth it!).

Accents: Customizing in other areas — such as room letters, personalized blankets or pillows — is another easy way to incorporate something original into your child’s room. In our store, you can select these items ahead of time as you want them designed and still register for them so you get exactly what you want. If you want to create an art collage, we work with a NYC based artist, Sam Simon, who can create works of art based on your color scheme and theme. These are one-of-a-kind pieces no one else has.

Photos courtesy of Bellini.

Jessica Pallay

Jessica Pallay

JESSICA PALLAY is Co-Founder and Editor of Well Rounded NY. She is a Brooklyn mama to Libby and Elsie, and writes about all things pregnancy and new motherhood.

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