Eight months pregnant and perched on a ladder, decorative painter Debra Booker put the finishing touches on this charming nursery for her first child, Isabelle. For Debra, creating this unique and welcoming place was a labor of love.
Awash in pastel colors and sprinkled with rosebuds, the room reflects Debra’s personal design aesthetic. “I go for good color and good pattern but not over the top. Simpler finishes are more soothing. The nursery is calm, even though there are lots of colors and patterns to look at,” she says.
After considering various themes for her baby’s room, Debra selected rose-print crib bedding as a starting place for the colors and design. “I didn’t want it too pink, so I concentrated on the other colors, adding pink flowery flourishes,” she says.
Debra used flat latex paints for the soft green and yellow on the walls, finding color inspiration in the fabric and another rather unlikely source. “I put a stick of butter on the windowsill and custom-mixed the paint to get the pale yellow color I wanted,” she says.
A stripe of white paint serves as a chair rail and ties in with the white trim around the room.
With the background colors in place, Debra added personality by painting pink flowers and green vines on the walls. She painted roses in a haphazard pattern above the chair rail for a natural look. “I painted casual, soft, squishy shapes — the idea of a flower rather than perfection,” she says. More orderly vines form a vertical pattern below the chair rail.
Two old, mismatched pieces of furniture took on new life under Debra’s deft paintbrush, as she repeated the floral theme on a smaller, more concentrated scale. She repainted an armoire she bought years ago to match the green walls and decorated it with vines and roses. Lively polka dots highlight the piece’s curved lines. “Black and white add a nice visual punch to pastel colors, a whimsical graphic touch,” she says.
The other piece, a simple dresser, was one of the first things Debra bought when she started her painting business 14 years ago. To use the dresser in Isabelle’s nursery, Debra repainted it to coordinate with the armoire. She topped eggshell latex paints with two coats of nonyellowing satin acrylic urethane.