A joyful oasis
New-mom designer creates serene space for baby daughter
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.”
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.
Salter says she is a minimalist.
The coat rack is practical and adds colour too.
The room was white until the baby was born. Then Salter added pops of colour, like this bookshelf and colourful wallpaper.