A Fresh Idea for the Nursery

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I came across Sam Simon's work while at a design and fashion trade show. This artist/designer uses a large canvas for his work--walls. Simon is a muralist and painter who turns ordinary children's rooms into extraordinary fantasies. Sam (a fellow New Yorker) gave me the chance to toss some design questions his way. Here's what he had to say about nursery decor:

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Q. What are some trends in nursery design?

A. I think personalization is very big. Not so much by putting your baby's name on the wall, but more by making a space that is personal to you and your aesthetic.

Modern nursery design has become more popular. As much as I love modern stuff the huge majority of my clients still like a romantic, sweet and classic nursery. They are hesitant to go too modern. With my work you can achieve a modern look while still having a space that is warm and sweet.

Color ways: On the whole trends are remaining classic (light pink, light blue, and pale green and buttery yellows). However people will now add accents of chocolate brown to make it feel a bit more current. I find that if you are working with a very sweet "sugary" color palate it's good to ground all those colors with an earthy color like chocolate or a warm beige. By adding an earthy neutral, all the sugary colors pop out and even seem sweeter. Preppy colors are translating directly from fashion to the home. Pretty pinks with lime greens, and blue and white can create a very classic look.

Q. What does a mural add to a room?

A. Murals by nature are one of a kind and in many cases this adds a much desired personalization and authenticity to the space. A mural takes up no space- which is always a factor- and adds a tremendous amount visually.

The right tasteful mural can transform a room into a dreamy nursery, creating a special place for a new baby to play grow and dream. I recommend murals to be on just one wall and keeping the other walls simple. A pattern can look great on the wall opposite a mural. By keeping a mural on just one wall- and not covering over the entire space- it creates a focal point, while at the same time leaving some walls open for future photographs, or other design elements.

Q. What are some of your grandest designs?

A. Well- all my designs are grand. I just finished an epic nautical themed project for a collector of my work- for this project I created 36 paintings and collaged them all over the walls leaving very little space between the works. Everything was done in a very tight color palate of beige, denim and navy blue, and dark crimson. It created a very dramatic look, yet at the same time was cozy and classy.

In Short Hills, NJ I just created my version of a De Gournay handpainted chinnoissorie wall covering. All of the walls were initially washed to a gorgeous birds egg blue- and over this soft texture I painted elegant flowering trees with pink and yellow blossoms, multi colored birds, and gorgeous butterflies. This was very ornate and time consuming-- but the result is really breath taking.

To check out more of Sam's work, visit Sam Simon Projects. For project estimates call or email Sam (he'll even fly out of the country if the commission is right!), but keep in mind this one-of-a-kind artwork can be steep. But if your budget allows the overall effect is fantastic.

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