Major life events generally mean stress for most of us. But Emily Brownell knows how to celebrate them in style. As an event planner, she spent years turning weddings, anniversaries and more into unforgettable celebrations. Now as an interior designer, Brownell is using that same sense of style to help expectant mothers and fathers transition into parenthood.
“I started in nursery design and along with offices, it’s still my favorite space. I find people are willing to let go of their hang-ups, like staying neutral and only being modern. It’s a space you can really have fun with! It’s also a space in which you have to take a lot into consideration,” says Emily.
Now she’s gets to have that same fun designing for her own growing family. Emily and fiancé, Jonny discovered their Spanish-style bungalow just blocks away from the beach in Venice and fell in love with it instantly. And while each space inside their home is drenched with Cali sunlight, son Lochlan’s room is really the heart of the home.
“We knew we had an uphill battle ahead of us to conceive, and this house is only 900 square feet. Yet I still didn’t have the heart to do anything with this room except plop a dresser and desk in it. We both always envisioned it as a nursery, and so it was never decorated or used much until we made our dream come true,” says Emily.
From the midcentury modern changing table and vintage armoire, to the boho rug and navy blue accent wall, the nursery isn’t your everyday baby space. But that’s what makes it so special. Quirky elements like the fabric animal masks and gilded fox lamp add to the playful, whimsical feeling of the space.
“I originally was going to do a very mid-century, Pinterest worthy-nursery, but then I realized that our son deserved a room that was crafted more for a child’s eyes than for ours. I had the dresser already and was inspired by this beautiful print by Robert Allen called Folkland Admiral because it has this sort of dark but woodsy Nordic vibe, and I have some Scandinavian Roots,” says Emily.
As an interior designer, Emily knows that a home’s inhabitants should be the center of its design. She believes that practicality and comfort do not have to suffer for the sake of style.
“My favorite thing about this space is that it combines a mix of styles and textures, and yet still has so many personal touches that it doesn’t feel like a room crafted out of just a love for design, but one from the heart,” Emily says.
The most heartfelt elements? A needlepoint by her great grandmother, the Paddington Bear she had as a child, her fiancé’s old trunk from his school days, a cabinet her family worked on together, and the bird nest mobile she crafted.
Looks like this little guy already has a world of inspiration at his teeny fingertips.