By: Leslie Westendorf, Owner of Maxpatch Studio
It was January. My son was almost a year old and I had a sudden jolt of energy that I hadn’t felt since before he was born. It was as though the fog of that first year had finally lifted and I felt that I could do more than survive the day-to-day. It was also the beginning of a new year, which meant goals, routines, and resolutions. Shortly after speaking with a college friend, Ciara Burton, who offers personalized mindfulness and leadership programs to women, I started Maxpatch Studio, an interior design studio devoted to growing families. I specialize in nurseries and big kid rooms, play spaces, and family rooms—places to eat, sleep, and lounge.
I bought a domain, filed for an LLC, created a website, and then I contacted Amber Michels, founder of Your Milk Shoppe, which serves soon-to-be and veteran mamas in the Upstate and and beyond. During our first coffee date, Amber revealed she was expecting her second baby, a little boy, and asked if I would be interested in designing her son’s nursery in their new home. It was a no brainer! My fledgling business was off to a good start.
As the weeks went by, Amber and I started planning. For every new project, I start with a conversation. I ask things like: If you could describe your ideal space, what three adjectives would you use? And: How will you typically use this space? I also try to understand color and style preferences, if any existing furniture or accessory items will be incorporated into the new design, and budget considerations. Having majored in architecture and interior design during my undergraduate years, I know professional interior design services can feel out of reach for most people. One of the principles of Maxpatch is to offer affordable design services to families. And a way to do this is with thoughtful design choices, such as intentionally selecting pieces that will last for years and transition with families as they grow and change.
After understanding the hopes and goals for a new space, I create a style board—a combination of inspiration images from around the web and specific product selections from retailers and independent artists and makers. I love to incorporate one-of-a-kind pieces wherever possible (Etsy is a great place to look and makers love to work with you!). With Amber, we started with a mostly blank slate, except for the crib she had used with her first daughter and a vintage dresser she had purchased years ago while living in New Orleans. Both would remain in the nursery, but the dresser would get a face lift with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.
Next, we selected an area rug. It set the tone for the entire space. Lots of blues, from deep navy to pretty turquoise, plus the tiniest bit of golden ochre provided a rich color palette for the remaining pieces. We added a new glider/recliner and side table, a tall bookcase, a floor lamp, and blackout curtains, which matched the glider perfectly.
Then, it was time for art and accessories. I recently discovered Audrey Bodisco and immediately fell in love with her work. I sent her the style board and a photo of the rug and she created the most beautiful commissioned piece for baby Michels. It’s easily my favorite part of the room and something he will have for years to come. An oversized wall mirror and animal prints by Sharon Montrose added that necessary dose of “baby” to the space.
Lastly, we layered in the final details: a custom lumbar pillow with golden tassels, a pom pom mobile in saturated hues, a simple strand of wooden beads, baskets, bed linens, and plants! If you ever ask yourself, what is this room missing? The answer is always a plant. Lucky for us, Greenville has several great local plant stores who are willing to answer any questions you might have: Savereignin the Village of West Greenville, Urban Digs on the east side, and Roots on Augusta Road.
There you have it, baby Michels’ picture perfect nursery. We are ready for you baby boy!
All nursery photos beautiful captured by the lovely and talented Courtney Malone.
If you or anyone you know is nesting and waiting on baby and wants the perfect nursery, I’m your girl. If you need a grown-up space for your growing toddler, please reach out. And if there’s something from your dream home wishlist you’d like design help with, I’d love to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com, visit my website for more information, and follow me on Instagram!
Shop Baby Michels’ Nursery
Rug, Lulu & Georgia
Wall hooks, Loop Design Studio
Custom artwork, Audrey Bodisco
Animal prints, Animal Print Shop
Wood frames, IKEA
Leather drawer pulls, Etsy
Changing pad cover, West Elm x PBK
African Mudcloth pillow, Etsy
Safari quilt, CrateKids
Midcentury floor lamp, West Elm
Wall mirror, West Elm
Basket side table, Urban Outfitters
Wooden bead garland, Etsy
Crib, Pottery Barn Kids
Mobile, West Elm x PBK
Crib sheet, Burt’s Bees
Blanket, Rylee & Cru
Bookshelf, Pottery Barn Kids
About the Author:
Leslie Westendorf lives in Greenville, SC with her husband Brad, son Leo (18 months), and rescue pup Elliott. She is a midwest native who has lived everywhere from Savannah to LA to Boston and Providence, and back to the south. Maxpatch Studio is her official #sidehustle. She also works full time as a researcher and strategist for Wondros, a multi-media design studio.