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Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby

by Garrett Fleming

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge Last year we took you inside the LA home of Stephanie and Kyle. Inspired by old world Europe, their rental was filled with bold accent walls, rustic elements and tufted furniture. Better yet, there were enough dried flowers inside to make anyone lust for the Parisian countryside. Recently, we caught up with the couple who told us they’ve since packed up and tackled two of life’s most exciting, albeit challenging, changes: Moving and having a baby.

The double whammy, not something many couples are eager to handle in tandem, seems to have always been in the cards for Kyle and his wife. For starters, Stephanie came across the listing for their new condo in Hancock Park, LA the exact same day she told Kyle they were expecting! Plus, the home featured brilliant light, more space and beaucoup storage (the last of which being a top priority given the impending pile-up of baby goods). The timing and all the home had to offer were perfect for the duo.

Excited as they were to call it their own, Stephanie and Kyle were a bit perplexed after moving into the condo. How were they going to prep it for baby without sacrificing their personal style? To tackle the challenge, they looked to designer Esther Ellmore. Alongside her they’ve taken pieces from their previous home while peppering in new finds to create a haven for their little one.

As was the case with their old home, the new spot is also inspired by the romance of Paris. Kyle and Stephanie’s current set-up, though, is much more contemporary than their last one and features a streamlined aesthetic aimed at hiding kiddo clutter and keeping the home safe. Scroll down to check out all the ways in which Stephanie, Kyle and their newborn Jacob’s lives have influenced the way they live and decorate. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Cándida Wohlgemuth

Image above: A perfect example of the family’s more streamlined approach to decorating is seen here on their new mantel (right). While still featuring florals and found items, their new look is less varied in terms of color and shape. This newfound restraint has helped keep things from becoming visually overwhelming in the home’s open-concept living area.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

Kyle, Stephanie and not-yet-born baby Jacob.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

The Hancock Park home’s layout was challenging to work within. The living and kitchen area, for example, are large and open, so the family’s decorator had to use furniture and strategic accessorizing to make each area feel purposeful and separate from the others around it.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

The couple had originally picked out a glass coffee table for their new home, but glass corners and kiddos aren’t exactly a great fit. Instead, Stephanie and Kyle had this antique bench reupholstered. The new option offers additional seating, a spot to set down a cup of coffee, and the softer edges make it child-friendly.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

Both the new space (right) and their older one (left) play host to an abundance of botanicals. With more square footage, though, this new house has the older one beat. Not only does it feature dried flowers, but it also contains bouquets of fresh greenery that are changed out weekly. Stephanie and Kyle love how the “new energy” of these blooming buds mirrors that of their newborn son Jacob.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

The couple didn’t shy away from bold walls in either their new or old homes. Kyle’s office in their current space (right) features a trendy color he fell in love with while tracking down inspiration photos online. “[Kyle] works from home, so we wanted to create a professional atmosphere where he can hustle and [he wanted to] make it really eye-catching with beautiful accents of gold and texture,” Stephanie explains.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

In their previous home, the family says they were able to “leave things out and about,” but with a baby on the way, Stephanie and Kyle are getting in the habit of keeping things up off of the floor so the layout stays open, airy and safe.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

Their son Jacob’s room has been given an “adventure” theme, and his parents hope the look inspires him to see the world as they do. “Kyle and I have traveled quite a bit together. We think [this will be a] great way to connect with our child as he gets a bit older; telling him stories of the places we’ve been and where we want to bring him!” Stephanie says.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

Many of the previous home’s furniture pieces have made their way into the family’s new house. Decorating the nursery, however, did mean some new pieces had to be brought in.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

Luckily, with more square footage came more room for storage. Stephanie and Kyle knew this would be great, but it wasn’t until after they moved in and started accumulating baby stuff that they realized how much of a game-changer this was.

Evolving Style: Making Way for Baby, Design*Sponge

The pair will always love tracking down new finds, but moments like the one above in their new home show the evolution in how those treasures are displayed. No random placements in this home. Instead, their collections are thoughtfully presented.

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  • Beautiful home! Talking about baby safe… can I make a suggestion of fastening the mirror to the wall? You can still have it on the floor and lean to the wall to keep the relaxed look, but just attach the top part of mirror to the wall if it makes sense. A couple of years ago when my 3 year old son playing in my friend’s house, I caught a big mirror like this just in time when it’s falling on him. I was scared to death. So I have to say something and hope to avoid any incidents like what I had:)

    • So beautiful! And yes, I recommend the same! Also, I don’t see any concerns with the decor for the first year, but once baby starts pulling up, walking, and generally getting into everything all of that white upholstery and carpeting is at risk of staining, the end tables could topple over, and items like the tray on the coffee table and vases on the floor are at risk of toppling over. I have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old and I have resigned myself to giving them the den, so it’s a total kids’ room, and providing constant adult supervision in every other room of the house.

  • I love the new home, and wish them all the best. However, as an ER Nurse I see what goes wrong. They need to tie the mirror to the wall, also the book shelves and the leaning logs and to really be safe, the dressers as well. Some children are climbers, and will climb anything, causing it to tip over. Televisions are notoriously dangerous for harming children, simply by falling on them- never mind debates about screen time. They have time to learn all of this, if they haven’t delivered yet. How impressive that they managed to do all this in the time!

    • Balsamfir

      Thanks for your feedback, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of mishaps as an ER nurse. One note, this is a family preparing for a baby right now, not a walking/toddling toddler. So I agree these will be good changes to make as their baby grows up and starts moving around, but I think for a newborn, some of these aren’t required yet, right?


      • Absolutely – however the post was referencing emphasized child safety. I tbink it looks absolutely beautiful and wisb them all tbe best.

  • I would love to know where the corgi toy in the crib is from! I have a 13 yr old corgi who has one ear up and one ear down, this stuffy looks just like my dog and I would love to get it for my toddler. Thx.