When Amanda Dawbarn, co-founder and creative director of 100 Layer Cake and 100 Layer Cakelet, and her husband, Tim, started designing a nursery for their growing family, they knew they wanted to create a modern space with a bespoke color palette. Judging by the images that follow, we'd say they nailed it. Filled with natural light, neutral colors, and artistic details, midcentury modern meets California cool in the sublimely serene space Dawbarn and her husband curated together.
However, as with many home renovation projects, not everything went quite as planned. "Our son Brooks's room was such a joy to design, although it was under construction, along with the other half of our home, for seven months while I was pregnant and when he was a newborn," she explained of the challenge. "Luckily, newborns sleep in your room, so he was with us while construction was finishing on the other side of the house," she added. "Once he was 4 months old, it was done, and we started putting together the nursery.
I collected pieces throughout my pregnancy without a solid design scheme," she confessed, "and just hoped that it all came together!"
Keep strolling to step into the tranquil space Dawbarn and her husband designed for their son. We're willing to bet this neutral nursery tour will convince you to ditch color in your own space.
"We wanted the room to have a relaxed and serene feel, with clean modern lines, a mix of textures and a nod to the beach culture of our home in California," Dawbarn explained of the vision she and her husband had for the nursery.
To ensure the space would be drenched in natural light, the couple updated the window fixtures when renovating their home. "In the nursery, we changed out a high, wide window for vertical ones and also added new French oak wide plank hardwood flooring and baseboards," revealed Dawbarn.
Dawbarn, who describes her style as "relaxed, warm and airy, with a focus on California craft and a hint of midcentury modern," let her personal taste come through in the room's design, from the color palette to the furniture selections.
"I gravitate toward simplistic, earth-toned colors and a design palette rich in texture," she elaborated. Though the nursery has a decidedly neutral palette, it's filled with interesting textiles, like this terra-cotta planter, that layer texture into the space.
While Dawbarn has a keen eye for design, her husband also played a leading role in bringing their vision for a serene space to life. "My husband made his toy bench out of some finished plywood," explained Dawbarn. "We both love to create, and I'm glad we each had a hand in making something for his room."
"We had a local artist, Niknikstudio, create a custom wall hanging for above Brooks's bed, with wood and an apricot yarn and that influenced other colors we would bring into the room," said Dawbarn. "He has so many colorful toys, so we wanted a neutral space that would be a backdrop for the color."
Though the couple established a color scheme early on, the room really started to come together once they bought the larger furniture pieces. "The first two pieces we acquired were his bed from Kalon (a local L.A. company) and his Oeuf dresser, and the room kind of came together from there," Dawbarn told MyDomaine.
"Our biggest challenge was trying to establish a harmonious balance between simple and neutral and colorful and fun," confessed Dawbarn.
The couple's greatest finds for the space are also some of the most artistic. "The Niknikstudio wall hanging above his bed and his brass Electric Sun Creatives mobile are among my favorite pieces in his room," Dawbarn revealed. "But of course, I love his maple crib too," she gushed.
"I've always been such a big fan of Caroline Z Hurley's textiles, and we were lucky to include one of her quilts and pillows," said Dawbarn. "Her textiles have a unique neutral sensibility that only get better with time."
Dawbarn's favorite thing about the nursery isn't a particular object but rather the overall feeling of the space. "I'm instantly calmed when I enter his room," she explained. "It feels so serene; a perfect place for our son to grow and play."
In addition to a collection of beautifully curated buys, the room also boasts personal touches from Dawbarn herself. "I photographed the ocean sunset above his changing table when I was four months pregnant on our babymoon in Hawaii," she told MyDomaine.
Here, an indoor tree complements the photograph's beachy vibes and lends an air of California cool to the nursery.
In the nursery's reading corner, Brooks's colorful book collection doubles as wall art thanks to a few affordable IKEA shelves.
"I snapped the surf photo at the beach down the street from our home a week before Brooks was conceived."
The couple's personal goal was "to make a soulful space for Brooks to dream and play, and one he could grow with," said Dawbarn. If you ask us, they nailed it.
Up next, step inside an interior designer's strikingly modern NYC loft.