Dream Designs: Ashlee Simpson Wentz' Nursery

Celebrity nursery style on a real-world budget


We all dream of creating the perfect nursery. For some of us that means nostalgic nods to our favorite childhood characters; others want a bright and modern haven awash in color and fun. For singer Ashlee Simpson Wentz, it meant both! The new mom and her designer Katy Mimari combined whimsical nursery rhyme themes with bright geometrics and modern furniture, resulting in a one-of-a-kind playful retreat.

Blank canvas

The walls in Simpson Wentz’s nursery and some of the furniture are adorned with timeless images of Winnie the Pooh and friends. The murals incorporate saturated colors and lively nature scenes. If you can’t drop thousands for a custom mural, consider a do-it-yourself project. Go to elephantsonthewall.com or wallnutz.com for easy paint-by-number mural kits (from $40 to $100).

The nursery pictured above (left) was designed by re:place, and incorporates similar lively colors in a simple tree mural—executed lovingly by the baby’s grandfather. (Tip: Be sure to use low- or no-VOC paints like those from Serena & Lily. For smaller murals, try their test sizes to keep costs down; $6 for 4 ounces; serenaandlily.com.)

Bold bedding The bright Caden Lane ensemble on the crib, twin bed and bassinet in Simpson Wentz’s nursery tie this bold room together, repeating fun patterns and colors throughout. If $450 for a crib set is beyond your budget, opt for a less expensive one with a similar modern design, like Skip Hop’s Mod Dot 5-piece set for $220. Or, do as TV host Samantha Harris did and buy just a Caden Lane fitted sheet ($24 and up; nurserycouture.com); it makes a statement all on its own.

Sitting pretty A glider and ottoman can be lifesavers for new parents but can also be pricey. Simpson Wentz chose a classic set with contrast welting in a durable blue chenille by Best Chair Company (goores.com). Search on craigslist.com or at baby resale shops for gently used gliders and rockers (usually $200 or less) and re-upholster with your own fabric.

Pretty in pink

Actress and reality show star Tori Spelling chose Serena & Lily Harper Collection bedding; designer and co-founder Serena Dugan tells you how to get the same look on a budget.

Color Match your wall color and bedding for continuity, using different shades throughout the room.

Changing table Look for a used dresser between 36 and 42 inches tall; add a changing pad with a nonslip rug liner underneath.

Art Search eBay for vintage illustrations that can be framed.