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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Mural To Grow!

Wonderful clients and even more wonderful friends were expecting their first baby when they came to me for help on their nursery.  This is the journey from an empty vanilla room to a Grrreat Nursery (in a nut shell).

The Beginning:  The couple was preparing for professional pictures the following month and wanted to have a nursery to have the photo shoot.  At this point they have a bedding set they adore, actually only a blanket.  The ivory walls in this room were leaving them with less than cheery dreams at night and they needed help. This couple is not vanilla, they are not screaming in your face colors either but they are fun and they wanted something extremely cartoony that they would otherwise not have in their very "grown up" world.

Blanket - (it's hard to see the whole image with it being folded up and all, but there it is)


I worked with our fabulous mother to be, Alison, and we picked the perfect muted color pallet to create the backdrop for a room full of love, fun and imagination!   The muted color choice allows for a layered effect rather than all the design elements competing against each other.  Layers are the key to pulling together an inviting room!  

A soft blue gray covers the ceiling to create the perfect subtle sky that actually changes with the various lighting throughout the day then the night and interior lights. 

I added cartoon clouds around the vents and smoke detectors so that the functional pieces disappeared into the design.

The giraffe starts coming together across the two sliding closet doors.  As the baby grows a growth chart can be added up the front legs and neck.  Also as the child learns to open doors this giraffe can be shorter or longer and it makes a funny friend to contract and expand.  :)  

I painted a tree going from the ground up the wall to the right of where the crib will be and onto the ceiling/sky.  The branches reach out over the crib and the curious monkey hangs off overlooking the crib.  I can see hours of imaginary conversations happening between baby and the monkey friend.  I wanted to keep the same colors with the monkey and the tree keeping our color variety to a minimum and keeping the whole feel neutral.  All of the sudden this ivory room doesn't feel so vanilla with the soft muted characters popping off the walls. 

Meet the little lion that feeds off of love and friendship.  He is the perfect non-threatening jungle king for this little nursery.  I didn't want him to be the same as the lion from the blankets.  

**In a character themed room, each character should have a slightly different personality.  It adds to the uniqueness of the room and the depth of the decor.  

So this is the finished product.  I will try to update the pictures to something more clear, as soon as I can.  

I want to add a little owl hole in the middle of the trunk where I can add a floating shelf with a baby monitor. This will wail for a while.  

Always add branches in a bubbly section of leaves, it adds interest and depth to an otherwise blank blob.  This also allows parents to hang fun things from the branches later.  Maybe a mobile?  Maybe fall leaves or a bird, anything is possible with the ground work laid! 

The Giraffe gets detailed and completed while the lion watches the room get set up. 

Here is the inspiration blanket in the room with the finished tree and sky.  The crib will go where the plug is opening right under the monkey.  The tiny vanilla box is now a subtle jungle to grow up in with animal friends inviting you into imagination land. 

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