A few weeks ago the lovely Zahirah Marty, of the recently launched mummy & lifestyle blog, Meet Mrs Marty (a must see), contacted me to discuss a special project that she needed help with – creating a nursery for her baby boy. I hadn’t designed a nursery in a while and was really excited to take this on.

Zahirah and her hubby didn’t have any particular or preconceived ideas in mind so I was afforded free reign with the design pitch and lucked out with one of those projects that has a magical sense of chemistry from the very start. After a few small tweaks, I got the green light on the first concept I delivered, and immediately got going with planning this adorable Safari Circus nursery.

Since the mum-to-be and I are fellow South Africans, we made great effort where possible to support businesses and brands from the ‘homeland’, but as the daddy-to-be is from Australia, we made to sure to include a bit of ‘Oz’ too. With a basic colour palette of grey, black and mint in mind, we set to work with the first big design decision – the walls. With so many beautiful wallpapers to choose from at Caramel & Sun, it was a tough choice, but we settled on this triangle design by French brand, Lilipinso, for the feature wall and we are so thrilled with the result.

The rest of the walls in the nursery got a new coat of paint. We opted for a very pale green tint called White Poetry from our favourite paint brand, Jotun.

Zahirah had already purchased her cot and changing table from Pottery Barn Kids and we sourced the rug from there too. I am in love with the quirky prints of animals wearing hats that we found on Etsy. In fact, it became a little trend that we carried through into other areas of the space, complete with a DIY bowler hat lamp in the feeding and reading nook.

For lighting on the other side of the room, we used an IKEA string light favourite to make a statement alongside the cot.

Zahirah was really keen on having a free-standing wardrobe included in the design and after seeing Baby Marty’s impressive collection of outfits, I am not surprised. Considering his stylish mum’s impressive wardrobe, I hope he doesn’t outgrow the confines of this cute little wardrobe too soon. I wanted to find something that had a bit of a vintage and imperfect feel and after much searching, I had success at Pinky’s. The guys there was fabulous. They customised a few changes we requested and painted it in Jotun’s Minty Breeze. Now I just need to get my hands on a little Springbok rugby jersey to sneak in there while dad isn’t looking.

The mobile above the cot was also custom-made for the nursery by The Party. We chose Australian animals to represent his heritage.

I have for some time been a fan of Fiona Walker’s range of stuffed animals (available locally at Tribe). You may have noticed that I don’t hesitate to throw a few animal heads in the mix when designing kids rooms – and was so excited to see the new botanical additions to her collection. We used the large cactus and small potted aloe in here.

There are so many adorable accessories in this room which were sourced from many of our favourite Dubai boutiques, including Oh So Plush, Joba, Nook, Emaan Home, The Bowery Company, White Moss, MarMarLand, Dubai Garden Centre and Beach Hut, to name a few. But don’t worry – I will save you the guess work with a follow up post so that you can shop the look in great detail.

In the meantime, here’s a video about the design and installation of this room that has featured over on Zahirah’s blog. Don’t mind the leopard print pants… I was caught off-guard in my ‘installation gear’ and had to raid the fashionista’s wardrobe. True story.

Big thank you to Zahirah & Andrew for trusting me with the design of this very special room. I look forward to meeting its new little occupant very soon.

Meet Mrs Marty – Nursery from House of Hawkes on Vimeo.

Videography: Vit from KB4East | Video Edits: Andre Van Heerden

All images by Natelee Cocks 

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