HOME: Where Dreams Are Born
“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…” – Disney’s Cinderella
Many parents turn those dreams into wakeful reality in elaborate nurseries that often are the most well designed room in their home. The sales staff at Room to Dream in Northpark Mall helps turn ideas into imaginative spaces.
“People will walk in with photos off the Web, or rough ideas, and we help them take it to the next level,” said Debbie Francis, owner of Room to Dream. “Your nursery doesn’t have to look like any other nursery.”
Francis starts the design process with functionality and the four non-negotiables, as she calls them: places to sleep, to change diapers, to sit and to store clothing and other items. Many of the furniture pieces double-up in function, with a simple changing pad sitting on top of a dresser, and a crib that converts into a twin bed. “We think over the long haul, with about a five-year time frame for the walls and window (treatments), and about 24 months on the beds,” Francis said. “We want the room to be able to transition into a child’s room.”
After functionality comes aesthetics. Room to Dream offers not only baby room furnishings, but custom bedding and draperies, wall treatments including murals and faux finishes, and even custom lighting.
In one corner of the retail shop, overlooking a Western themed bedroom grouping hangs a fixture made from an old wagon wheel and a vintage wooden stagecoach. In another corner, a set of brightly patterned pastel glass presents were converted and now a light bulb “candle” tops each one and the entirety makes a whimsical chandelier. Francis said they have made light fixtures out of old toys, antiques, ceramic knick knacks, even an old porcelain tea set. These unique pieces really set off a space in an original way, she said.
While whimsy works for many baby rooms, Jessica Ockershauser’s nursery called for elegance and the draping ropes of crystal on the chandelier dangling from the golden ceiling. The gold-painted four-posted iron crib is decked with pink and shimmering golden fabrics worthy of a princess. Cream-hued furniture gives the soft structure and long panels of pink silk draperies puddle on the floor and frame the lacy sheers beneath.
Throughout Ockershauser’s baby room sit antiques, stuffed animals, framed photographs and charming cut glass lamps which cast a warm glow throughout. The fairytale baby room was designed to make Ockershauser’s daughter, Claire, feel loved and cherished, Francis said, like royalty.
Dian Sill wanted a different feel for her space. In designing a room suite for her four granddaughters, Sill chose the relaxing Cape Cod style, with its quaint cottage charm. Pale sea foam green wood planks cover the focal wall, which forms the background for the pair of white iron twin beds, covered with a feminine floral pattern in faint shades of pale green, pink and yellow. White eyelet bed skirts peek beneath the coverlet, and tie in the white lace pillows, each embroidered with a granddaughter’s name.
Similarly colored fabrics with a variety of patterns cover the cozy chair and ottoman in the corner. Worn creamy wooden frames keep the nautical feel alive and an intimate tea party for two pink bunnies on a child-sized white wicker table and chairs makes the room fun and homey.
Sill carried the Cape Cod theme into the room’s adjoining bathroom, with butter-yellow bead board wainscoting forming the backdrop for the free-standing tub, old-fashioned toilet with the pull flush handle, and pedestal sink. A pillow-lined window seat sits beneath white café curtains, and soft white light filters into the space. Throughout the suite, rag rugs add even more warmth to an already inviting suite of rooms.
Girls aren’t the only ones lucky enough to have over-the-top rooms created for them. News9 anchor Amanda Taylor and husband Nick lovingly designed a nursery in their Edmond home for their new son, Gage. While shopping at Room to Dream, Taylor saw a dresser that she fell in love with, and it became the focal point of a her baby’s room —a weathered cream-hued dresser covered with hand painted hot air balloons. They worked around the storage piece and shopped antique shops for an array of cast iron antique toys, such as the mechanical “Magician’s Bank” that sits in front of the bronze wire frame of a Ferris wheel, and the antique ring toss game that hangs on a wall. An apothecary jar filled with children’s vintage wooden blocks rests near the changing pad and more blocks spell out “Gage” amongst vintage toy cars on a shelf beneath an old Motor Race game board displayed on the wall.
Pale silvery blue, gray and white stripes set off the wall behind the transition crib, with “Gage” displayed in a graphic above. A few dangling hot air balloons add pops of color throughout. Bedding and curtains handmade by Taylor and her mom add softness and warmth. “(The design of the room) is not for my son, it’s 100 percent for us,” Taylor said. “Going into the room, seeing it complete, seeing my precious baby sleeping in it…it makes me happy and brings a smile to my face.”
That’s why Francis has helped decorate baby rooms at Room to Dream for 13 years —to make families happy with well-designed baby and kid rooms. Yes, they add visual interest and stimulation to the child as he or she grows up, Francis said, but it’s really more about the added joy of bringing a child into the world that a loving family member has created just for them.