When Tatiana Hambro and her husband left Manhattan for a house on the Hudson River two years ago, the newly married couple vowed to take a slow-and-steady approach to decorating their 1856 Italianate-style home.
“We wanted to live in the space, to understand how the house moves and lives and breathes,” says Hambro, the editorial director of Moda Operandi. That leisurely pace sped up drastically when, earlier this year, Hambro found out that she was expecting. “Suddenly, the timer was on—the baby wasn’t going to wait for the nursery!” she recalls.
In a stroke of fortune, Hambro discovered that Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, whose childrenswear line has been a perennial favorite of chic mums for more than 20 years, was launching a textile and wallcovering collection with Schumacher. Hambro, who grew up in London and counts Marie-Chantal’s daughter Olympia as a good friend, quickly got to work scheming. “I love a theme, but I didn’t want to take it in too obvious a ‘nursery’ direction,” she explains. “I was drawn to the collection because while being youthful and innocent, it’s also timeless and elegant.”
Not knowing the baby’s gender ahead of time, she chose a versatile blue- and-white floral fabric—“very classic English”—as the starting point, using it on walls (in paper-backed form), windows (trimmed with pompoms), and upholstery (with red trim to add a bit of graphic distinction). The ceiling was wallpapered with stars, a meaningful motif: “I had originally chosen it because it reminded me of the star-printed foyer in the house where I grew up; when I showed it to my husband and his mother, she told me that she had done stars in his room when he was a little boy,” Hambro says.
Although nearly every surface of the room is covered in pattern, the effect is surprisingly serene: “There’s a softness and delicacy to all of the prints that makes them work together,” Hambro says. Crucially, they will work just as well in an older child’s or guest room. “I don’t plan on renovating once the baby is no longer a baby!” she says. “I want it to endure.”