A joy­ful oa­sis

New-mom de­signer cre­ates serene space for baby daugh­ter

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO -

ON A SHAG RUN, near a vista of tow­er­ing pop­pies, 5-month-old Isla Holmes is do­ing what ba­bies do, rock­ing and rolling with her feet in the air and a smile on her face. And who wouldn’t be happy in this joy­ous room — a field of dreams, cre­ated by her mother, de­signer Krista Salter (km­sal­ter­de­sign.com).

“This was re­ally the start­ing point,” Salter is say­ing in Isla’s 10 x 8 foot bed­room, “the car­pet is from Home Sense, a real find, and it’s gen­der neu­tral.”

Isla is the first child for the 35-yearold Salter and her hus­band, wood­worker and de­signer Ni­cholas Holmes (hamil­ton­holmes.com). They live in a turn of the cen­tury house in the Kirk­endall North neigh­bour­hood.

For nine months Salter pon­dered the baby’s room. She wanted a space that would grow with Isla — in­vest­ing in clas­sic pieces that could move any­where in the house, and buy­ing oth­ers that were in­ex­pen­sive and baby spe­cific. The bud­get for the room was $1,500.

“I polled all my friends and they said a glider was an es­sen­tial piece be­cause I would be spend­ing so much time in the room.” Salter found one she liked at Snug­gle Bugz in Burling­ton. At $600 it was the most ex­pen­sive piece in the room, but the up­hol­stered chair can move any­where else in the house. “It was im­por­tant too that it came in two pieces, so we could move it up the nar­row stair­way,”

Be­cause they didn’t know the gen­der of the baby, the nurs­ery was painted white, even­tu­ally Salter de­cided they need a pop of colour “some­thing stim­u­lat­ing for the baby, it was too ma­ture when it was all white.” Her bingo mo­ment came while search­ing Etsy, she found a dy­namic wall­pa­per called Vin­tage Poppy made by an artist in Poland.

The peel and stick prod­uct was a cinch to in­stall, and now it sets the joy­ful tone for the room.

In many ways Salter ap­proached the de­sign of the room in the same way she would for a client. Some pieces like the wall­pa­per and glider were in­vest­ments for the long term, oth­ers that would only be in use for a short while like the crib, were lower cost. The crib, and chest of draw­ers that also dou­bles as a change ta­ble were from Ikea.

Those pieces were rea­son­ably priced and also have a neat look,” Salter says. A set of metal shelves, also from Ikea, hold “all the baby stuff ” but don’t crowd the room.

“The shelves don’t have a back, so they can fit over the heat reg­is­ter,” Salter points out. A small closet holds baby clothes, and a hang­ing shoe or­ga­nizer on the back of the closet door is filled with socks and shoes. “That was a clever idea I saw on­line.”

While the ba­sic pieces were in the room early on, Salter waited un­til Isla was born to per­son­al­ize the room. Now the pink rab­bits and teddy bears have moved in, the books about pa­per dolls, and the stor­age con­tain­ers in pretty fab­ric prints. But the hand of the de­signer is seen in the way ac­ces­sories are grouped, the stuffed an­i­mals and books have “space”. “I’m a min­i­mal­ist,” Salter says, but she knows the peace and or­der won’t last for­ever as Isla grows.

The cheer­ful room, com­pleted on a bud­get, pleases Isla and her par­ents, says Salter.

“What we saved in the nurs­ery, we spent on a stroller. We live in Hamil­ton, we love to walk.”

PHO­TOS BY GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Baby Isla’s nurs­ery. The wall­pa­per came from a Pol­ish artist through Etsy.

Krista Salter and daugh­ter Isla Holmes hang­ing out in the nurs­ery.

Baby Isla, 5 months, on the throw rug in her room.

Metal book­shelf is from Ikea and holds all the baby es­sen­tials.

KATHY RENWALD

Salter says she is a min­i­mal­ist.

The coat rack is prac­ti­cal and adds colour too.

PHO­TOS BY GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

The room was white un­til the baby was born. Then Salter added pops of colour, like this book­shelf and colour­ful wall­pa­per.

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