Our New Design Project!

By Camille Styles
Restoration Hardware Houston Design Gallery - Curtains

I could not be more excited to share a new house project we’ve been working on for the last few months — and we’re kicking it off today! I’ve been working with the amazing team at RH Baby & Child on some major updates to our upstairs space, and I’ll be chronicling the process over the next few weeks to share how it all comes together. When I found out I was pregnant with our second, I knew I wanted to transform our upstairs lounge space (which was totally impractical and un-childproofed) into a playroom where our littles could do art, play with friends, and store our ever-growing toy collection. We also needed to flip our guest room to a nursery for baby boy, and I’d been meaning to do some updates to turn Phoebe’s nursery into a “big girl” room as our gal approaches age 3 (how is that already possible?!) Between work and family, life has been really busy lately and tackling all three projects on my own seemed daunting — which is where the design team at RH Baby & Child came in to help me create the space of my dreams. Bet you may not know that the brand offers complimentary design services from their in-house team of talented interior designers, and working with them was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. Today: a look at where the project all began on my recent trip to the RH Baby & Child Gallery in Houston to start bringing together my vision for the new spaces. Click through the slides for my favorite shopping tips and ideas I learned from the day!

*photos by Buff Strickland

When I arrived at the RH Baby & Child Gallery, I had a few goals in mind:

  1. Start working on a layout for the playroom, which is a long and narrow space that’s given me a tough time with furniture placement in the past.
  2. Choose a few new items for Phoebe’s nursery that’ll give it more of a “big girl” feel. I’ve barely touched the decor of the space since she was born, and now that she’s almost three, it’s time for a refresh!
  3. Most immediate: choose a color palette and furniture pieces for baby boy’s nursery! I’ve been pinning my favorite inspiration for the nursery, so this was a great opportunity to start putting it together and mapping out a plan.

Okay, can we hit the pause button for a moment and talk about how gorgeous this space is? It was my first trip to an RH Baby & Child Gallery, and the drive to Houston was beyond worth it to see the space in person. There’s no better way to see and touch the products, ask advice from the in-store design experts, and get inspired to create a really special room.

First up: checking out tables for the playroom. I love how the tables all feel timeless and so sturdy – definitely pieces to keep forever. The hardest part was choosing between a clean and modern vibe with the concrete play table… or doing something a little more vintage-y like the french empire play table, which really appealed to me with its extension option. I also loved how this table provides built-in storage for art and games!


Since the playroom is such a “public” open space that greets people right at the top of our stairs, it’s important to me that it feel cohesive with the rest of our home’s design. Looking through the options, I was definitely drawn to the neutral shades and clean lines that would flow with the rest of our furniture. That being said, you’ve got to keep the “play” in playroom! Loved these sweet accessories that transform the play table into an instant tea party, and I also earmarked the teepees, bean bags, and pinboards as elements I’d love to incorporate to add doses of fun and imagination to the space.

Although I’m still a bit terrified to move Phoebe from her crib to the “big girl bed,” looking at all the gorgeous girls’ bedding definitely got me more excited about the prospect. I fell in love with the washed appliquéd fleur collection, but also wondered how practical it would be for a 2-year-old. The team at the gallery put my mind at ease — all the bedding is really durable and machine washable, even if it looks delicate. We chose layers that will give the bed a cozy vibe, including a patterned fitted sheet and playful pillow to personalize the look.  A combination that’s destined to make Phoebe – and me – happy.

Once I laid eyes on the miniature-sized vanity tables, I knew I couldn’t resist one for Phoebe’s room. Talk about every little girls’ dream!  And hopefully, it’ll help keep her from digging around in my makeup table, which is her current favorite pastime. Tough to decide between this glam art deco piece, or the more classic Lucie Vanity… but I knew the velvet slipcovered vanity stool was a must-have.

As I wandered the gallery, one of the things that really struck me is the heirloom quality and fine attention to detail of every single piece. I’ve long been a fan of Restoration Hardware’s furniture in our home, and RH Baby & Child’s pieces are designed with the same quality craftsmanship. Plus, they’re unmatched in the sheer number of styles and finishes to choose from, making it possible to create a unique space that really reflects your own family’s taste and lifestyle.

Felt animal heads for the nursery!

I remember when I was pregnant with Phoebe, I was confused about which bedding items I really needed to dress the crib, so I asked the gallery designers to share their rules of thumb:

  1. For bedding basics, many parents opt for a bumper, crib skirt, waterproof mattress pad protector as well as 2-3 sheets. Having plenty of sheets is important as you never know when you’ll need to change the crib bedding.
  2. A toddler quilt and complementing toddler pillow are great accents on the crib, and it can be fun to mix the collections for layering which gives a really customized look.
  3. It’s a great idea if you really love a pattern to purchase the toddler pillow case. You may not use it until after the first year, but you’ll have it ready once your toddler is ready to start using a pillow.

One of the best parts about visiting any of RH Baby & Child’s galleries? The complementary in-store design consultation which truly means sitting down with a designer and getting expert guidance on choosing furniture, paint colors, window treatments — the sky’s the limit! Plus, since the designers are in-house, they’re incredibly knowledgeable of all the products — which for me, resulted in them coming up with creative solutions for our spaces that would never have occurred to me on my own. They’ll also take into account the pieces you already own and how RH Baby & Child can fit into that: if you have a family heirloom you want to use in the space, they’ll help incorporate it into the layout.

A few tips on making the most of the in-store design consultation:

  1. First, set up an appointment with a designer.
  2. Bring in room dimensions for floor planning. Your designer may be able to see your room and envision a layout in a whole new light.
  3. Designers love to see the whole picture, so bringing in photos and any sample materials like existing paint / upholstery / wallpaper can help allow them to really grasp the space.
  4. If you have them, bring inspiration images of your dream space!

I find the process of choosing window treatments totally intimidating, so this is an area where having some extra guidance is especially appreciated. There’s no doubt that drapery can “finish” a room and transform its feel, and the associates were so helpful in determining what curtains were right for each of our spaces. For the nursery, I’ll opt for light-filtering linen curtains that’ll make the room feel cozy (and encourage nap time) without being total black-outs; for Phoebe’s room, I’m switching out her current curtains with something a bit more fun and girly.

When shopping for window treatments, always bring in measurements of your window — both the width and the height from the top of the window from the ground. An associate at the Gallery can answer questions about how close to the ceiling and how wide you’ll want to hang your rods.

Brady, the RH designer I worked with throughout the project, totally sold me on painting the nursery this gorgeous shade of grey! I hadn’t even planned on painting the walls in that room (they were previously a blue-grey color), but I am so glad we went for it — the new shade is subtle, but adds a great neutral warmth to the space.

Of course I couldn’t leave the Gallery empty-handed. A couple of plush stroller blankets and the softest lamb will be the first additions to baby boy’s nursery… that is, if Phoebe doesn’t get her hands on them first.

And if you don’t happen to live near an RH Baby & Child Gallery, don’t despair: the 2015 collection happens to go live on the website today, so hop on over to see all the gorgeous new pieces for yourself!

This project has been such a blast so far, and I can’t wait to show you guys the finished spaces! Next week, I’ll be posting photos from Phoebe’s updated “big girl” room, and after that, the nursery and the playroom. It definitely makes it more REAL that we’ll be welcoming a baby boy to our house in 6 weeks, and it feels good to be almost ready for his arrival (at least, as ready as I’ll ever be to have two kids under age 3… Lord help me!)