Exclusive: Serena Williams’ Nursery for Baby Adira - Home & Texture
Kid’s Room Serena Williams’ Baby Nursery

Exclusive: Meet the Designer Who Made Serena Williams’ Nursery Dreams Come True

September 15, 2023 at 2:38 PM PST
Kid’s Room Serena Williams’ Baby Nursery

Exclusive: Meet the Designer Who Made Serena Williams’ Nursery Dreams Come True

September 15, 2023 at 2:38 PM PST

Opulent, elegant and luxurious may not be the first words that come to mind when you picture a nursery for a newborn, but if you’re the Queen of Tennis, there’s no better bedroom design than one that’s fit for a royal.

On August 22, Serena Williams welcomed a new addition to her family, and the nursery for baby Adira River Ohanian is nothing short of grandiose. Complete with rich colors and textures, monogrammed pillows and a canopy topped with a crown, this nursery speaks to a regal sense of style that’s few and far between in the realm of nursery design.

“I walked into @poppedoll @byselinabyfernando in the Netherlands and saw a baby bed that took my breath away,” Serena said in an Instagram post.

The Dutch interior designer behind the By Selina brand, Angel, spoke with Home & Texture about Williams’ nursery, the behind-the-scenes design process, and what she’s planning to offer in her upcoming collections. Read her exclusive interview and view photos of Williams’ breathtaking nursery below.

Photo credit: Hennyvmx

Home & Texture: Can you tell us about the initial inspiration and vision you had for designing Serena Williams’ baby nursery?

Angel: Serena actually fell in love with an already existing design we have in our “5th Avenue Collection.” This was the show nursery she saw at our dealer “Poppedoll” when she was in the Netherlands and the inspiration for her to contact us. The initial vision we had when designing the “5th Avenue Collection” was that it had to have an exclusive “royal” appearance, made of high-quality materials—not like something you’ve ever seen before in a nursery. To top this off, we even added a 22K leaf golden crown above the canopy in our show nursery.

She loved it just the way it was—there were only a few details we had to adjust, like the color for instance. The show nursery has a royal blue color, but Serena did not know the gender of the baby at the time, so we had to go with a neutral color. After some consideration, we found the burgundy, which was a winner. This combination with the golden details was really unique and a perfect match.

Photo credit: Hennyvmx

H&T: What were Serena Williams’ specific requests or preferences for the nursery’s design, and how did you incorporate them into the final concept?

Angel: Serena did have one special request—she wanted to do something special for her daughter Olympia. Serena saw a rocking chair of another brand in our dealer’s store, but the adult chair was too large and the children’s chair was too small for Olympia, so she asked if we could do a mid-size rocking chair. We never produced a mid-size rocking chair before, but no doubt, we said yes to the request.

Initially, the chair was meant to be placed in the nursery, so it had to be burgundy. But later in the process, Olympia picked a new color herself, which was ocean blue. Producing the rocking chair was a challenge, especially considering the short time we had for the whole project, but luckily, we made it work.

H&T: Can you share any design trends or innovations that you incorporated into Serena Williams’ baby nursery that you think will resonate with parents looking for nursery inspiration?

Angel: Our decorative air balloons are really a showstopper. They hang from the ceiling and give the nursery a dreamy fairy tale touch. Serena saw the air balloons when she was in the Netherlands and said that she absolutely loved them. There is also one feature that was actually made by chance for Serena’s nursery but came out really beautiful—the runner we placed on the blanket.

Because the burgundy fabric is of a heavier quality, we could not use this as material for the blanket, so we used our standard white fabric instead. But this is a plain white fabric, and we wanted to add some of the burgundy. This is when we thought of a runner, which is decorative and removable but is definitely the finishing touch. We are now even adding runners to our new upcoming collection.

Photo credit: Hennyvmx

H&T: Can you share any standout features or design elements in the nursery that you are particularly proud of? Was there anything that Serena liked most about the nursery?

Angel: I am proud of the whole design and how everything came together, but there is one standout feature—the canopy. The burgundy fabric was a heavier quality than we usually work with, and we also had to do a satin lining. Everything together was a bit of a challenge to produce, but the result was certainly worth the hard work. The heavy fabric with the satin lining makes the canopy really voluminous and gives it a rich appearance.

Serena was present in the nursery when we were installing the back panel in the crib, and the moment the panel was placed, Serena was like, “Wow! I really love this, I want this panel in a bigger size for myself!” Overall, Serena was really happy with the whole nursery. She even texted us later that evening, saying that she was really proud, that it was beyond beautiful and that she was just speechless. These kind words made us speechless, too!

H&T: Can you share any interesting moments or behind-the-scenes stories from the design process of the nursery?

Angel: As soon as we could start with the production, we knew we had to really put in the hours because of the short time we were given. When we met Serena, she was already seven months pregnant. We usually have a delivery time of eight to 16 weeks, depending on the order size. Now we only had six weeks to produce because it also had to be shipped to the U.S., which added at least two weeks to the total delivery time.

There were days I was working 14 hours straight and did not have dinner until 11:30 p.m., but every second was worth the effort. From the moment we met Serena and were given the honor to work on this design, to the personal delivery at her home where we had a warm welcome, to the nursery reveal Serena did when baby Adira was born where she specifically mentioned us, was like a golden experience for us—one we will never forget.

Photo credit: Patrick Smits

H&T: What’s next for you in terms of upcoming projects? Is there anything you’re currently working on?

Angel: Currently, we are working on a big expansion in our product range, which we are really excited about. It’s still in the early stages, but we are expanding in exclusive custom-design panels and beds for babies, children and adults, with the option for a custom 3D LED logo, letter or name designed in the panel. For this expansion, we are going to launch a third brand named “Headboards Design” and a second website exclusively for these custom design beds. We have thought of a somewhat new concept, which includes cribs with a big wall panel that grows with the child.

Now, parents buy a beautiful tufted back panel for the crib, but when the baby gets older and the slatted base must be lowered, the back panel doesn’t fit anymore, so there is only a short time to enjoy it. With our new concept, the panel is placed on the wall behind the crib, instead of in the crib, so during the whole baby time you can enjoy the panel. And when the child gets older you can replace the crib for a bigger bed, so the custom panel can be enjoyed for an unlimited time! And now with this new addition to our company, we can focus on all ages, which includes adults also.

You can stay up to date with the By Selina brand and their upcoming collections on their Instagram, @byselinabyfernando.

This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.



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