The Big Reveal

Daphne interior designer Brooke Chamblee designs a surprise nursery.

Above This framed peacock mural by artist Inslee Fariss was an integral style element for both of the nursery designs. Chamblee planned to use neutral fabrics and coordinating accents to highlight the piece’s pink hues for the girl’s room or blue tones for the boy’s room. // Photos by Laura Rowe

There are so many ways to do a gender reveal these days: poppers, fireworks, powder… But what about a gender reveal that puts mom and dad at ease when coming home with a newborn and elevates the home as well?

Cameron and Evan Allen did just that, taking an unconventional, yet innovative, approach. Working with Brooke Chamblee Interiors, a Mobile-Bay-area design firm, they crafted two different visions for their newborn’s nursery, a different version for either a girl or a boy. Chamblee and her team were the only ones to know the gender of the baby as well as which nursery the Allens were about to have. 

Once Cameron Allen went into labor, it was go-time for Chamblee and her team. Though the room had taken months upon months of planning, the team meticulously put together and arranged this beautiful nursery for the Allens in just a single day. Once the lovely baby boy John Gregory Allen II was released from the hospital, the family came home to a serene oasis waiting for them. “I couldn’t even walk straight in; I needed a minute to gather myself before I got to see such a wonderful surprise… It was so special,” remembers
Cameron. Chamblee intended the room to be as much a refuge for mom as it would be for baby. “I wanted the nursery to be calming and welcoming, a place to relax,” says Chamblee.

- Sponsors -

With blues and greens, this is a room to take a deep breath in. Time seems to slow down as the light comes in through the big window, highlighting the hints of gold and the timeless patterns. “She chose such calming colors, sometimes I pause and have to take it in,” remarks Allen.

Consuming the far wall is a huge, classic piece of art. “That was the inspiration piece,” says Chamblee. This particular artwork was included in both the boy and girl versions of the room. Should the baby have been a girl, Chamblee’s team would have leaned into the pinks of the print, keeping core features of the room like the gliders and the crib. 

Left Framed vintage egg prints accentuate the room’s more delicate features without drawing focus away from the more prominent artwork. Right This antique gold leaf mirror complements the nursery’s soft earth tones and highlights smaller accents in the room like drawer pulls and light fixtures. 

Beyond the crib, she made this room a place for the family. “It’s a family of four and they wanted it to function not just as a nursery for the baby but a space for the family to spend time together,” she says. Using durable fabrics that can handle daily family life was very important to Chamblee’s design process. “It’s the grind of having small children; diaper changes, bottle feedings, and laundry and all that, there’s a serenity to it that helps calm some of that chaos,” says Allen, reflecting on how much this room helps her and her family’s daily routine.

With fabrics and patterns that could last a lifetime, Chamblee hoped to create a room that could mature with Greg as he grows. “We chose a scheme that we felt like everything could stay with the exception of the crib,” she says. “We used fairly timeless patterns that the child could grow up with. So, the crib could just change to a bed, and you could keep the draperies, the wall color and the other elements of the room.”

With the busy world we live in, especially those with families and young children, it is important to take time to slow down. This room is a reminder for the Allens that  it is okay to escape the hustle and enjoy time with our loved ones. 

Pinks and Petals

Brooke Chamblee translates the little boy’s blue room to a rosy room for a girl.

While the final design for baby Greg’s nursery dispensed with the pink and floral accents chosen for a girl’s room, Chamblee’s feminine design board is still worthy of admiration. In lieu of the blue rattan dresser, hexagon pendant light and blue-tinted textiles, baby girl Allen’s nursery would have featured a bleached French commode, a white botanic chandelier and blush fabrics. 

Let Chamblee’s dainty design board inspire your own pink nursery plans.

Brooke Chamblee design board for baby girl nursery

“This fabric was our starting point for the girl scheme. I love the multi-color print where you can pull out several colors while still focusing on the pink! A perfect place to start the room, using this for draperies.”
Seychour Fabric • Robert Kime

Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore was a contender for both nursery schemes, but Gorgeous White was the perfect  shade of pastel pink for a little girl’s room.
Gorgeous White Wall Paint Sherwin Williams

“I love the contrast of white plaster for a chandelier surrounded by a color painted on the walls.”
Alberto Large Single Tier Chandelier • Julie Neill for Visual Comfort & Co.

A comfortable armchair that swivels and glides in all directions makes late nights with the baby serene.
Lutz Skirted Swivel Glider Highland House Furniture

Zeimoto Fabric in Dove • Namay Samay
Dotty Stripe in Pink • Chelsea Textiles

“I am a big fan of mixing in antiques and I love the warmth that this bleached French commode adds. A perfect piece to start as a changing table and be passed down for generations.”
Bleached French Commode Aubergine Culinary Antiques & Oriental Rugs

“A delicate floral painting is an elegant way to soften a space.”
Tulips no. 12 acrylic painting • Rebekah Webb

“A nursery is a great place to start collecting art. I love the texture in this abstract piece by Alexis Walter.”
Zydeco chop chop” mixed media abstract Painting Alexis Walter

Get the best of Mobile delivered to your inbox

Be the first to know about local events, home tours, restaurant reviews and more!