Nest Design Studio with Bel

For the Spring issue of Bendigo Magazine I had a chat over coffee with designer and author Belinda (aka Bel) from Nest Design Studio about her first book, Beautiful Babies' Rooms. If I had to pin down what it was about design for kids that I love so much, it would be the chance to play with colours, patterns and finishes (hello glitter!) that you wouldn't normally see in grown-up design. I love anything playful and different...and to find a local designer with her own book about all of the above...I was drawn to Bel's world where she works her magic with all of the above every day.

 Source: Nest Design Studio

Source: Nest Design Studio

On getting started in interior design for nurseries and kid's rooms...

Having already been a qualified interior designer for over fifteen years, Bel was on maternity leave with her first child and was putting together ideas for her own nursery...as you'd find most Mums doing. Then she started blogging (writing) about it, and readers started asking her for advice. Fast forward about six years, and she's giving her advice and styling expertise professionally to families across the world for over 300 rooms and counting. It's not uncommon to spot her work in magazines (see also: House & Garden's Top 50 Rooms of 2015 List)...and she also provides imagery for branding and social media campaigns. Oh - and then there's her book! :)

On what the book is about...

The book is a closer look at the design components of each nursery she has chosen to include, focusing on why the pieces were chosen and how they were brought together to complete a cohesive individual look. It's just as important for the space to allow her smallest clients to dream and grow, as it is for the parents to include pieces that are meaningful to the family as a whole. The books also gives advice in areas such as how to style shelving (aka shelfies), how to choose a designer, and how to lay out a gallery wall.  The clients amongst these pages are all Australian based, and the book took about 3 months to put together.

 Source: Nest Design Studio

Source: Nest Design Studio

On her clients and readers...

The book and her design services are helpful to her regional clients as they don't always have the access to metro stores and services. She loves that every client has something that is meaningful to them...like a song from their wedding, a family saying, pets or heirlooms...and learning all about these pieces of the family is what often gives cues for a design theme to set the tone for the space. Bel understands this first hand, as she has incorporated wooden pieces from the family farm into her own nurseries.

On her favourite story...

She loves discovering the different backgrounds of the families she works with. One client played for an Italian soccer team and had Italian royalty in their background. The aspects of this heritage that formed part of her final design, and the heartwarming response from the family seeing nods to past and present is what she loves most at the end of the day.

On her signature style...

It's about gaining insight into the family and what is meaningful to them, reflecting on those finds, and creating a room that is timeless. Rooms can be "on trend" but not just for the trends sake. Weaving together threads from these different sources is what makes her rooms both fresh, unique and nostalgic for the family.

 Source: Nest Design Studio

Source: Nest Design Studio

On design inspiration...

Pinterest! Not just for bringing together potential design boards, but cataloguing her finds along the way helps with sourcing items when the time comes. She has a 2000 piece cushion library! What about in the days before Pinterest? You'd be amazed what you can do with Excel when collecting/tracking designs...but we both agree Pinterest is pretty much the best invention ever :)

On the services she provides...

Bel is available for consultations or design kits (design boards, shopping lists, styling notes and floorplans). Or the client can engage her for the full design from start to finish including on-site consultations, ordering, installing, liaising with trades and styling right through until the finished product.

On what's next...

Now that she's written about nursery design, the next book will focus on kid's rooms. The best part about designing for families is the constant evolving of the spaces...tweaking existing designs or dreaming up new ones for babies that are now ready for their big kid room. But a sibling is following along behind ready for their own take on the nursery...it's always changing!

On where to find her book...

Locally, Organise My (in Bath Lane) and Gathered (in View Street) are both stockists. Her website, Nest Design Studio has more stockist details, including an online store, as does her local publisher Of The World Books.

 Click to visit  store .

Click to visit store.