Planning a Nursery with Dragons of Walton Street
Earlier this year, we featured our top picks for babies due to be born in 2021
We shared with you one of this year’s newest editions to the British Royal family - little August Philip Hawk Brooksbank, son of HRH Princess Eugenie. Top of the wish list were gifts from Dragons of Walton Street, famed for not only creating beautifully hand-painted, furniture and accessories crafted by master British craftsmen and women, but for their stunning bespoke nursery designs for HRH Prince William and his subsequent little fellow royals.
Dragons of Walton Street founder, Rosie Fisher opened the first store in Knightsbridge, London back in 1979, mere three years before William was born, making their royal commission even more an accomplishment given its relatively new status. Fast forward to today - the shop has moved to Walton Street in Chelsea, London and their reputation still very much precedes them.
Amongst other things, Dragons of Walton Street's bespoke nursery and bedroom interior design service proves to be popular around the world, with associate designers based in Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and various cities across Europe and the USA.
We reached out to Dragons of Walton Street to learn more about their bespoke design service, plus tips for parents-to-be who wish to create their own nursery at home.
You not only create beautiful nursery furniture and accessories, you also offer a comprehensive interior design service. How does this work?
Our interior design journey begins with a discussion about our clients’ vision and specific requirements. We offer a private consultation to assess the scope of their project alongside a survey of the interiors they wish to have designed. At this stage our interior designers will also discuss their brief according to estimated timelines.
One of the most unique details you include are hand drawn illustrations for bespoke pieces of furniture. Personalisation has become a big trend in recent years – are you finding you have more requests for this service?
We have requests for both bespoke and personalization. Sometimes a client will want a piece to have their child’s name or initials which is a brilliant service since they always want the newborn’s nursery to be extra special. When it comes to bespoke artwork, creations are limitless and any story a parent wishes to tell, our designers delve into colour palette and composition to ensure another level of uniqueness.
You were quite literally given the royal seal of approval when you designed Prince William’s nursery four decades ago, when you were a relatively new company. How did this come about and were you given carte blanche?
It was a real privilege to design for the Royal household, and we couldn’t be more delighted to have had that opportunity. It was such a significant landmark for our brand to establish a growing trend for our business, bringing us to the level of awareness we can pride ourselves on nowadays.
Since then you have gone on to design nurseries for a host of different little royals through the generations. Are there any similarities between all of the nurseries and did any really stand out to you?
We always love to make a great impression on every client, so every single one of them is different in their own way. You can choose a Dragons Cot Bed and create a twist by the simple change in a brush finished colour, the endless choice of artwork, and dress it with a corona and drapes. Therefore, something as modern as that would be fit for one royal whereas a very traditional quintessentially British upholstered cot bed dressed with a valance will be the ideal look for another.
Your beautiful designs are so elegantly timeless. What do you think makes them fit for royalty?
It’s a combination of storytelling, quality and elegance. Our signature style can be found in our illustrations - whether classic or modern tales - in the smooth contours and the morbid shapes that characterise our luxurious craftsmanship. Our best-selling nursery collection is a vivid example of our endeavours, for its sturdiness, design and customisation options.
You’ve decorated the nurseries of thousands of babies and children around the world. Do you have any stand-out projects that were your favourite or for any reason any you’ll never forget?
The projects that stand out the most are the ones where clients have opted for a full solution service. Whether we’re designing nurseries, bedrooms or playrooms, kitting out the whole room is how we best express our talent and design flair. Undoubtedly, we accommodate the lifestyle change that the parents are about to enter. One client who dedicated part of their penthouse suite to the nursery chose a bespoke day bed as well as a nursing chair so that night time feeds could be shared between nanny and mum.
For any parent-to-be planning a nursery, what are your top tips when it comes to design (choosing colour schemes etc)?
A lot of clients still like the traditional blue for boy and pink for girl. Other clients keep the gender a surprise so neutral tones or green shades are the likely go-to colours. We’re now on a road to break the rules and have some fun with colour. We would say, decide the style of the scheme and let that dictate what colours organically emerge. It could be a chic aesthetic with luxury textures in which case, neutrals are the best fit or it could be a design where bright tones and illustrations take heed therefore pops of primary colours would be ideal.
For first time parents-to-be, it can be overwhelming as there are so many choices for baby. What key pieces of furniture would you say are essential when creating a nursery?
Other than the obvious must-haves, like the crib and the cot bed, changers and chest of drawers, it’s really handy to have open shelving just above the changer so that creams and diapers are within easy reach. Another key piece is a bedside cupboard just next to the nursing chair again for keeping bottles accessible, and built-in joinery with interior lighting – the more storage the better.
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All nursery images by Childrensalon
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