before & after: brian’s nursery + joanne’s tea room

I don’t have kids yet, but I can still appreciate a great nursery when I see one. Such is the case with this lovely owl-themed nursery from Brian and Kristy Hoffman. Brian and Kristy decided to keep the gender of their baby a mystery, which required some inventiveness when it came to designing the space.

They used found and recycled materials to create this neutral, modern and playful nursery with an impressive bunch of DIY elements. The salvaged wood tree installation, the vintage crate and baby bottle lamp, the toy clock — I love them all! According to his parents, baby Brody is settling right in to his creative and colorful room :) Great job, Brian & Kristy! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE for Joanne’s tea room after the jump!

There have been a slew of new cafes opening up in my neighborhood, each with its own unique style. It’s been difficult for me to choose which one I like best, but if a shop like this was one of them, the choice would be made. Joanne Kelly, the architect behind this amazing redesign, made many a smart decision for cozying up this space. The dramatic dark walls, industrial-style wood counters and eclectic artwork are pretty great, but to be honest, it’s the rows upon rows of glass candy jars that have me hooked :) Amazing work, Joanne!

  1. Katie says:

    Love the use of salvaged and reclaimed items for the nursery decor…so clever and creative!

    And the tea room is terrific…I’m drooling over the selection of teas!

  2. Wow, I am seriously in love with your tea room! I might try to do something like this when we redesign our home next month. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. Meagan says:

    These are both fantastic. First off, that’s the most creative baby’s room I’ve ever seen.

    Secondly, I’d like to move into that tea room. The walls are just gorgeous!

  4. allison says:

    I looove that nursery and MUST have that rocking chair. Where can I get one?!

  5. Tina says:

    That is one of the best nurseries I have seen in a long time, very creative. Love the cozy feel they created in the tearoom too.

  6. f says:

    [just fyi – the first “CLICK HERE” link goes to the incorrect page.]

    Love the wall of mirrors!

  7. Heather says:

    That nursery ROCKS! The clock! The tree! Ooooh la la!

  8. Andrea says:

    I’m in the process of designing a nursery around owls- I guess owls are the thing and I absolutely love this!! I love the owl knobs from Antropologie too. Great job!!

  9. Marie says:

    Wow! What a transformation! I simply love it this nursery! The tree with the owls, everything!
    xoxo Marie

  10. Jane says:

    Beautiful room–what color is the grey?

  11. Anne Bryant says:

    Oh my—both of these are lovely. Who doesn’t love owls—so cute! I’d love to know the grey used on the walls of the cafe as well. It might be just what I’m looking for. thanks!

  12. Joanne Kelly says:

    Hi Jane,

    The grey paint is called Stormy Weather, its from an irish paint brand called Colortrend.

  13. Um…WOW! Amazing before and after pictures!!!

  14. Nicky says:

    I bought tea from that shop yesterday! It smells as good as it looks. It’s in Dublin.

  15. Bethany says:

    Yes, yes… such a dreamy grey! Can we get the paint color name, please?

  16. OH MY GOODNESS! I love them BOTH!
    The clock in the nursery just about killed me with it’s awesomeness! (..ideas brewing….)
    THANKS for sharing!

  17. Lorena says:

    Such a creative nursery, and aha! Petit Collage owl mobile spotted, always makes me happy

  18. Nicole H. says:

    That is the coolest ceiling light I’ve ever seen. Would love a tutorial!

  19. That nursery is adorable.. I love love love the tree and how simple and natural everything in there is!

  20. Susan says:

    Adorable, the vintage crate light is so original, wow!

  21. Hanta says:

    Wow. That nursery looks amazing. It’s interesting how a little personal touch can make a room seem so much warmer.

  22. Karin Grow says:

    I am in love with everything! Genious!

  23. Laguna Dirt says:

    no fair!!! that’s is the most clever, resourceful, adorable, hip nursery i’ve ever seen. why do some people get all the brilliant genes???

  24. Carmen says:

    I love the tree too!!! So simple but, really sweet…

  25. Curly says:

    I love the nursery…. makes me want to have a baby! :)

  26. Love the dark charcoal wall! What color is it exactly?

  27. I love seeing creative uses for thinks that most would throw in a bin. The tree in the nursery is amazing! So brilliant!

    I am with you about the wooden counter and glass jars filled with goodies! (but I am secretly in love with the wall colour as well!)

  28. Sarah says:

    That tearoom! I want to go there!

  29. Gorgeous! I have to post that nursery on my blog. And I have to admit I am very jealous of seeing that falcon chair. I almost bought one at a flee market in Paris one day and then bailed out – biggest mistake!

  30. Yulia says:

    It only goes to show that you don’t have to spend zillion dollars to create truly unique space, the tree made of reclaimed wood and eames rocking chair (design staple) are 2 beautiful touches for this simple and inspiring space. oh! and the clock rocks :)

  31. Evita says:

    Everything about Brody’s room is brilliant and I spy a curtain rod that has been painted red and I love it.

  32. Lucy says:

    This nursery seems terribly ill-advised.

    “Honey, for the nursery I want to nail rough planks of wood to the wall and dangle glass bottles overhead.”

    Perhaps a bit more consideration towards end-user experience would have been beneficial here.

    1. grace says:


      It seems like you’re seeing the most dangerous and extreme possible version of the situation here. “Dangling glass” overhead can be said about any pendant lamp or chandelier you hang in a room. Maybe I’m naive, but I’m assuming that any parent that cares enough to put this much love and work into a room cares enough about their child to check that things are installed safely.

      A newborn is unable to stand anywhere near those rougher looking wood pieces so I don’t see why they’re an issue now. I can understand once the child is older and walking and getting into everything, but they have a while until that happens. Even so, the wood isn’t necessarily dangerous- the piece on the bottom looks much cleaner and sanded than the pieces that are at least four feet off the ground.

      I’m always surprised and disappointed when people assume the worse of other parents and jump to the extreme of insinuating that a child is in danger. Perhaps more consideration among parent commenters would be beneficial here as well.


  33. Tracey says:

    Love them both! The clock in the nursery is genius!

  34. That tea shop is SO. CUTE. I would love to do something like that in my city!

  35. Sandra says:

    I agree that parents who care enough to put this much love and work into a room also care enough to check that things are safe.

    We made our baby’s crib out of rough, salvaged wood. It looked super modern and playful, and we didn’t have any problems at all for the first eight months or so…

  36. Teresa says:

    Where did you get the owl knobs? I love them!

  37. Karen says:

    I am astounded at the creativity of these parents to be. Wow, I love everything is this nursery!

  38. Victoria says:

    I’m in love with both the nursery and the tea room! xx

  39. kellilu says:

    The nursery clock is especially heart-warming. It looks like a collection of treasured objects, displayed in such a useful application. How special that these parents put so much of their love and talent into preparing a room for their little guy!

  40. Caroline says:

    Nursery’s great – with one question. I see the Eames rocker in nurserys a lot. But I can’t imagine any (sore) new mother or father really getting cozy enough in one of those to hold a newborn to feed or rock to sleep. Thoughts?

  41. I won’t lie. I, too, looked at those bottles and just cringe (would feel the same way about a chandelier). I don’t think it’s pessimism, necessarily, just an instant reaction. You spend so much time baby-proofing your place, softening corners, covering outlets, hiding sharp items, it just seems counter-instinctual.

  42. Thanks for all of the great comments – we are honored to have Brody’s room showcased on D*S.

    To answer some of the questions – the knobs are from Anthropologie (the most expensive part of the room). We thought the rocking chair might be form over function, but it’s actually REALLY comfortable – and a really smooth rock that he loves. And as far as safety goes – it was obviously a huge concern for us so we made all the necessary arrangements to make sure it is super-safe…

  43. I love the nursery! Especially all the found objects you used, it may not have been an expensive make over but the results are fantastic! The bottle chandelier is such a great idea too!

  44. Josh says:

    Is the Eames rocker a real one or a replica? I only ask because I have been considered a replica myself solely because of monetary reasons (one day I will have a real one) and i noticed that this is the most common color combination of replica rockers. So I was just curious. No disrespect if it is legit (or if it isn’t, who cares).

  45. Paulina J! says:

    I LOVE, LOVE that light fixture in the nursery. Is there a tutorial?

  46. Julia says:

    Grace, I am a bit disappointed by your response to Lucy. You have a wonderful site and the selection of the nursery was a charming choice. Though it was sarcastically written, Lucy had a valid point and doesn’t need to be attacked for expressing it. I’m a mom of a rambunctious 7 month old, and I leaned towards Lucy’s caution when I saw the photos.
    Congratulations to the parents-to-be and that’s a cute room! Enjoy every moment! But a small suggestion: if that bottom panel of the tree that looks unfinished IS unfinished, get it finished now or raise the tree. My kid could easily reach that area by now and, trust me, you don’t want to have to redo a nursery in less than a year.

    1. grace says:


      There’s a difference between attacking and defending someone who’s been kind enough to share an intimate part of their home online. I felt that her comment was implying some pretty harsh things about the parents involved and I don’t think that’s called for. I have no problem with people disliking something, but when you start making judgements (sarcastic or not) about someone’s dedication to their child’s safety, that’s when I feel the need to stick up for them.

      I understand that you may have thought the same thing, but I appreciate that you chose to express that feeling differently. To say you feel caution or concern when seeing something in a room is totally fine, but to suggest that someone was flippant with their child’s safety goes beyond constructive dialogue for me.


  47. annawithlove says:

    First, the owls on the wall are ridiculously adorable (tad obsessed with owls) I love the way they did the tree too.

    Also the tea room is perfection – the organiazed jars all lined up! loves it.

  48. Amanda says:

    Would the parents be willing to share a tutorial on the lighting fixture? I would love to put one in my son’s room!

  49. Emily says:

    Where is the giraffe on the dresser from? It’s so cute!


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