When Lauren Tolles found out she was pregnant with a girl in 2017, she decided her daughter’s nursery would go beyond the basic soft-pink palette.
“I wanted something interesting and not traditional,” says the Birmingham resident, an architect, interior designer, and the owner of design firm Maison Birmingham. So instead of flipping through the Restoration Hardware catalog, she sought inspiration nearly 2,300 miles away: at Los Angeles’ famed Beverly Hills Hotel. “It has a mix of Old Hollywood meets tropical that I always found enchanting,” says Tolles, who used to live in L.A. and visited the hotel often for work.
The hotel’s 1940s-era Martinique banana leaf wallpaper, specifically, was a jumping-off point for the nursery’s entire design. “I was dead set on using it,” says Tolles, who picked furniture and accents to complement the peachy-pink and green paper. The pink rug plays off the walls, and Tolles designed a lacquered green dresser and changing table to pick up tones from the banana leaves. “It evokes a glamourous aesthetic,” she says.
The California vibe looms large throughout the nursery, which also features a brass crib (“I wanted it to look like Hollywood glam”) and an abstract painting of sunshine and palm fronds by Toronto artist Kathryn Macnaughton. Tolles reached out to Macnaughton for a commissioned painting after she and her husband, Bryan, saw one of her pieces at a party. “She asked us to send her images of past works she’d done that we liked, and color preferences, and the rest was a surprise.”
Also notable: a framed print of Salvador Dalí’s The Glory that Was Spain’s, which shows a young girl wearing a pink cape and bow. “Bryan said it reminded him of a little pink princess who’s going to take over the house,” Tolles recalls. “That’s pretty much what’s happened.”
Despite its high-powered fashion sense, the nursery isn’t short on coziness. A contemporary pink sofa upholstered with a velvet-like, stain-resistant material — “I’ve spilled milk but it’s fine,” Tolles says — is where baby Piper, 1, likes to join big brother, Matheson, 5, and their parents for story time. “I hope Piper doesn’t want to change the room anytime soon,” Tolles says. “I like it so much I think I might live in there.”