We all have distinct memories of our childhood bedrooms. When Sweet Laurel Bakery cofounder Laurel Gallucci’s now 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Nico, looks back on his, it will surely make him think of crowded sleepovers with his cousins and curling up on the soft yellow sofa for story time. Laurel and her husband, Nick, will recall something different. They’ll remember upgrading to the 1950s Los Angeles cottage from their one-bedroom apartment in Venice, California, finally being able to spread out, and deciding to vault the ceiling to allow for maximum natural light. No one, though, will forget Nico’s bunk bed.
“My husband recently reminded me that, in the case of an earthquake, the safest place in the house is inside Nico’s bunk bed,” says Laurel, laughing. Nick, a sustainability engineer and designer, worked with local carpenter Bryan Lau to build the structure into the wall studs. Lau took the liberty of incorporating hidden drawers into the steps and installed a large compartment at the bottom, which can be used as a trundle or additional storage. The whole thing turned out to be especially convenient when, partway through the remodel, the couple found out they were expecting their second child. “We designed the room with more than one child in mind,” shares Laurel, a perspective she learned early on in life as the eldest of seven siblings. “I always shared a room growing up and it was so much fun. I want Nico to have that.”
Laurel called upon her business partner, designer Claire Thomas, to help bring her little one’s retreat to life from there. Here, the founders and friends share three ideas for creating a kids’ space with room to grow.
Carve Out Storage for the Long Term Floors by DuChateau; Yellow mohair blanket and jade throw pillow from Nickey Kehoe; Candlewick pillow covers and bed blanket from West Elm; Icelandic sheepskin throw from Hawkins New York. photography by trevor smith
Laurel and Nick were decisive when it came down to ripping down walls; if they were going to do it, they were going to do it once. In the process of converting the space adjacent to Nico’s from a guest bedroom to a laundry and master bath, the couple expanded the footprint of their son’s closet. The deep nook—which now features child-height clothing rods, a shoe organizer, and tons of upper shelves—can hold all of Nico’s belongings and still has room to spare. This left them with plenty of square footage to work with when installing the bunk-bed stairs.
“I always shared a room growing up and it was so much fun. I want Nico to have that.” —Laurel Gallucci
photography by trevor smith
“He’s really into his Thomas books right now—like, really into them—so we keep all of them and his toys in there,” says Laurel, admitting that the top few drawers are still empty. “More room for baby number two!”
Commit to the Classics Velvet and Little weed pillows from Nickey Kehoe. photography by trevor smith
The Victorian-esque floral wallpaper was partly a result of Laurel’s love for rose gardens and afternoon tea and partly an excuse to bring in their antique sofa. (It was the first piece of furniture the couple bought together after they got married.) “Laurel and I are 85-years-old at heart,” says Thomas, laughing. “We didn’t want it to feel old lady–ish with doilies, but more like ‘Grandma let you go through her house and take her best pieces.’”
Now upholstered in an easy-to-wash, suede-like fabric, the yellow couch completes the playful, woodland vibe. “Nico loves the birds,” says Laurel. “He talks about them all the time.”
“We didn’t want it to feel old lady–ish with doilies, but more like ‘Grandma let you go through her house and take her best pieces.’” —Claire Thomas
Bring on the Bells and Whistles photography by trevor smith
“Nick and I are very practical people. We live for function,” Laurel says. Fortunately, Nick’s forte is building spaces that are both incredibly livable and have a low carbon footprint. He worked with architect Hamilton Tyni to introduce systems that most would never think about, like an HVAC for every single room (which helps them avoid unnecessary heating and cooling) and electric car charges along the perimeter of the corner lot, because, 10 years from now, it will be a boon.
In Nico’s room, going the extra mile meant putting a hidden light switch underneath the top bunk so he can turn on his reading lamp without ever getting out of bed. “Every part of the house has a special touch in some way, shape, or form,” says Laurel. The slumber parties to come will be one for the books.
Marcel sconce, Hudson Valley Lighting ($116)
Fanciful Sure Strip Wallpaper, York Wall Coverings ($107.98)
Conradijn Cunaeus by The Masters, Society6 ($42.99)
Candlewick Pillow Covers, West Elm ($39 – $44)
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