Aiden’s nursery evolved slowly.  In his first five months, we lived in two other homes before settling into our house in State College.  At each stop along the way, we gathered special objects and developed a vision of a playful retreat for him.

The first inspiration came from prints by Kristiana Parn, seen on a walk around my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, visiting friends late in the pregnancy.  In the prints, orange fox silhouettes thoughtfully emerge from their grainy grey landscape.  The simple geometry communicated strong poetic relationships between the characters.

Back in Cambridge, we waited for the baby to come while the essential furniture was gathered, refinished, and adorned with more forest friends.  The toy chest had been my husband’s with splashes of the original navy blue still visible on the interior.  These neutral elements would create the background for small highly saturated elements in the room much like Parn’s prints.

Once settled in State College, our growing collection of forest animals found their home.  This second story corner room is surrounded by trees and bona fide creatures.  Extending and abstracting the forest into the room, birch trees emerge from a day-to-night grey gradient.  Corner shelves switch back and forth to take advantage of a slim space between doors and to accommodate all sizes of children’s’ books.  A wood grain rug provides a soft space for play.

It’s a pleasure to watch Aiden explore the space — pulling the crates in and out of the changing table, diving into the canvas bags for toys, and grabbing books from the ledges.  It is both a calming and a dynamic environment and one that I think will grow with him for some time.