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Sellwood designer focuses on childrens rooms

by: Rita A. Leonard, Sellwood Interior Designer Ivette Newport shows the nursery she designed for her daughter, Grace.

Motherhood changes many things…and for Sellwood kitchen and bath designer Ivette Newport, it also affected the focus of her business.

'I had fun preparing for the arrival of my daughter, Grace, who was born last April,' she says. 'Now I'm going in the direction of designing children's rooms, from babies to teens.'

As a result, Grace's nursery designs will be featured on Comcast cable and on the 'My First Place' show on HGTV in March. It will also appear on a new TV channel called 'The Parenting Network.' The segment will highlight special features of the nursery, which Newport calls 'a peaceful room where we both often fall asleep. I focused on colors of peach, cream and sage green; nothing that would be overly-stimulating for an infant.'

For her own baby's nursery, Ivette says, 'I had a vision of what I wanted, and kept gathering things until I had what I needed. I didn't spend a lot. I collected accessories that appealed to me, and assembled them in a pleasing way with a designer's eye. My aim is to create a custom look without spending a lot of money.

'A child's room can be a special place just by judicious pairing of design items,' she explains. 'I encourage parents to use their imagination when planning a room for their children. I tell them to think like a child, or to remember things they would have liked in their own room as a child. Trust in your own dreams and memories, and don't overload the room with toys or themed materials, which can be too predictable and boring. You want the room to grow with the child's own interests.'

Ivette focused Grace's nursery design around a charming four-poster crib that she fell in love with. 'I hung a canopy over the top, embellished with lights and butterflies instead of a mobile,' she says. 'Under-crib storage baskets are hidden by the crib skirt. A small bookcase serves for storage and display. The changing table will easily convert to a dresser as Grace gets older, and we're baby-proofing as she begins to crawl. Many of the items were found at Fred Meyer, Babies R Us, and at: www.overstock.com.'

A soft area rug that complements the color scheme was purchased at Pottery Barn. 'It makes a nice place for Grace to play,' notes Ivette. Simple custom window treatments and a comfortable overstuffed chair for cuddling add a cozy touch. 'The best feature is the custom lighting that is all on a dimmer switch,' Ivette says. 'That way, it's easy to calm the baby down for bedtime.'

Ivette is pleased with the overall look and adaptability of Grace's nursery. With her extensive design background and practical experience, this home designer enjoys helping others achieve their dreams on a reasonable budget. When you combine a spark of imagination, a few favorite items and a designer's sense of style, you can make your child's room a very special place.

Ivette received her BA from Florida's 'Ringling School of Art and Design', and also trained at the Heritage School in Beaverton. She worked several years at Brock Designs in Portland before setting up her own business, 'Newport Design and Home', in 2004. (For information, call 503/348-1715, or explore her Internet website at: www.designandhome.com.) She is also active in the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and is Treasurer for the Columbia River Chapter.