Tour a Sophisticated and Playful L.A. Nursery
When actress and writer Guerrin Gardner Johnson and television writer Brett Johnson (Mad Men, Ray Donovan) found out they were expecting, they immediately knew who they’d call upon to help decorate their nursery: Guerrin’s friend of 10 years Mat Sanders (our Editor at Large) and his partner, Brandon Quattrone of Consort Design. Not only are they very close, but the four friends also share a design aesthetic. “We all came to the table with very similar ideas: dusty blue hues with pops of colors and animal-inspired details mixed with cozy, classic nursery elements,” Sanders says.
In addition to those initial concepts, their newborn’s name, Elliot "Buck" Johnson, who was five weeks at the time of the shoot, was also a huge inspiration. “We love the name because it has so much personality,” the designers tell us. As Gardner puts it, “We were all in agreement that you can’t be humorless when you’re designing a nursery—it needs to be a place that encourages imagination and fun.”
While simple, modern furniture gave the room staying power, playful accents—like a plaque that reads “The Buck Stops Here” and vintage portraits of Roy Rogers, Fess Parker (Davy Crockett), and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger), which actually hung in Gardner’s brother’s nursery when he was young—brought the space to life. Everyone agreed that the favorite element of the room was the “Bun” Wallpaper ($160 per roll) by Lake August. “Even Buck is transfixed by the bunnies,” Guerrin says, “a true godsend during fussy moments.”
In addition to aesthetic choices, the nursery had functional demands too, of course. “I think every mom thinks about the comfort but also beauty of the perfect glider,” Quattrone says. The designers found it in the Land of Nod Mod Nod Swivel Glider and Ottoman ($379 and up), which has a streamlined modern shape and a comfortable ergonomic design. The biggest challenge for the designers was maximizing space and storage. “There is a lot to fit in a relatively small room,” Quattrone says, “and diapers take up quite a bit of space.” A seven-drawer storage unit, the Land of Nod Bayside Dresser ($999), answered that call, and Guerrin amped up its look by swapping in a set of brass and leather Equestrian Knobs ($14) from Anthropologie.
With all the necessities of a newborn boy, the saturated, soft space strikes the perfect balance of sophisticated, masculine, and cheery. As Guerrin describes it, “It’s the nursery equivalent of an espresso shot. No matter how little sleep I get, this room perks me right up.” What more could you ask for?