This boldly animated nursery, says interior designer Karen B. Wolf, “is not the nursery we grew up with.” Rather, the room is the product of her Livingston, New Jersey, clients’ love of graphic patterns and colors. The couple, pediatric dentists whose offices are equally vivid, could not get enough of Wolf’s ideas — and swatches. “The more things I showed my clients, the more patterns and colors they liked,” Wolf says. “The main challenge in the space was a balancing act — how to make all these elements work together.”

Room at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their infant son 
Located: Livingston, New Jersey
Size: 230 square feet (21 square meters)
Designer: Karen B. Wolf of Karen B. Wolf Interiors

Achieving a cohesive look when juggling so many contrasting elements takes a few tricks of the trade that Wolf is happy to share. “Create a focal point in the room but ground your space with a neutral” — black, white, cream or gray — “to provide a place for the eye to rest,” she says. Mix patterns — circles, stripes, brushstrokes, chevron, solid and abstract — and change up the scale of the patterns, small to large, she adds. Color choice also is key. “Pop your accent color at least three times around the room,” Wolf says, “but throw in an unexpected color.” The most important part? “Have fun and let yourself go.” 

A heady variety of graphic elements is at play in this striking nursery. The long room was “bland and boring with no architectural features,” Wolf says. “What seemed like a negative became the perfect playground for the offbeat mix of patterns, textures and colors.” The prints over the crib introduce the mustard yellow accent color, as well as the unexpected hit of red.

Harlow crib: Babyletto, AllModern; crib bedding and bumper: custom made with Premier Prints Seesaw in Village Blue/Natural and Minky Cuddle 3 in Charcoal, both from, and Dolce Marabout fringe from Samuel & Sons; rug: Heaven, Surya; pouf: HomeGoods; sheepskin: Ikea; Possini chrome ceiling light: Euro Style Lighting; prints over crib: West Elm; Half Moon wallpaper: Ferm Living; gray fabric on walls: Jean Jeanie, Jim Thompson Fabrics; paints: Blue Spa, Laguna Yellow, Gray Owl, Benjamin Moore

The nursery was originally designed to be unisex, but Wolf added a few more “boy” touches when the couple learned their baby’s gender. The rich mustard yellow accent color of the throw and lampshade banding pops beautifully against the grays and blacks.

Dresser: custom by The Papaya Tree, Etsy, painted in Peppercorn by Sherman-Williams; lamps: Target; mirror: Lazy Susan; Marley Lemon throw: Crate & Barrel

The gray glider and ottoman set against a gray wallpapered wall create a quiet space in a room alive with the interplay of half-moons, stripes and polka dots.

Luca glider and ottoman: Monte Design; wall art: HomeGoods

Wolf’s broad turquoise, yellow and gray stripes on the ceiling turn the room upside down and direct the eye to the 74- by 54-inch window, “showcasing the star of the room”: DwellStudio’s Robert Allen Brushed Dot Peacock fabric used for the Roman shade. The lion print is in honor of the room’s inhabitant, baby Leo.

Roman shade fabric: Robert Allen Brushed Dot in Peacock, DwellStudio; valance fabric: Kravet; lion print: Hunkydory Home; lion hamper: Sprouts

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