Nursery decor fit for Long Island princes and princesses

Some Long Island parents have spared no expense on their babies' nurseries.  Complete with custom furniture and design, they're called royal nurseries.  Videojournalist: Thomas A. Ferrara (June 19, 2013)

As the world awaits the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton's heir, eager parents everywhere are excited to see what the royal nursery will look like. In fact, it has been reported that there will be two baby nurseries -- the first at their recently renovated apartment in Kensington Palace and the second at Middleton's parents' estate in the small English community of Bucklebury.

But what will they look like? Will they be designed by the famous children and baby's furnishings store in London, Dragons of Walton Street (which, according to The Daily Mail, designed the nursery for this baby's dad and his brother, Harry, and cousins Beatrice and Eugenie)?

The world wonders.

Yaphank designer Tricia Foley was in London recently, and while she did not view either nursery, she has some theories. "I think of little pastel printed wallpaper, soft wall-to-wall carpets, full curtains to the floor in pale taffeta, Beatrix Potter china and tea sets for children as classic accessories," says Foley.

Here is a peek at some regal nurseries here on Long Island designed by the proud parents (and grandparents, for some) as well as their design team (painters, contractors).


LITTLE PRINCE Anthony William Lapadula III, 10 months old

PARENTS Marcella Lapadula, 31, a stay-at-home mother, and Anthony Lapadula, 36, an executive managing director of a brokerage firm

LOCATION Massapequa

THE TALE Marcella Lapadula says she wanted her son's room to be sophisticated yet masculine. Massapequa Park decorative artist Debbie Viola came up with a harlequin pattern wall design to match her client's request. "When thinking about what defines a king, a crown comes to mind," says Viola. "Most crowns are encrusted in jewels or diamonds. If they are rounded, the edges are pointed. In translating that to a design, a harlequin diamond pattern was the obvious choice."

The first step was planning the layout of the furniture, particularly the crib. Then Viola, along with Marcella, decided to place the design on one wall. Rather than keeping the ceiling white, Viola added some dimension by painting the diamond in the center with a shade of blue a little deeper than the walls. She used a trowel when applying the metallic plaster. “The metallic paint has reflective qualities that add depth and drama,” says Viola.

For the final step, she applied a thick, pearlescent finishing product that she explains, added luminescence to the layers underneath and adds character to the space. On the adjacent wall, Viola painted a saying:

"Precious & Priceless / so lovable too / the world's sweetest miracle / baby boy is you."

Additional regal touches include a bed crown and the bedding. "The crib crown was a must. I knew the crown would tie everything in nicely," says Marcella.

THE COST The total cost of the room was $10,000.

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LITTLE PRINCESS Scarlett Rose Albano, 10 months old

PARENTS Mary-Scarlett Albano, 31, sales executive for a swimwear company, and Michael Albano, 32, a sales rep in the surgical supply industry

LOCATION Huntington

THE TALE Grandma Rose, an interior designer, and Grandpa Michael Albano Sr., a contractor, went all out for their granddaughter's nursery, where even the stuffed animals were custom-made. High-end baby furniture retailer Bellini helped select the color palette and design theme.

The English wallpaper was the inspiration, Rose says. She selected a polka-dot design in ivory and pale pink. "Once the wallpaper was chosen, I had the paint custom made to match it," Rose says. Michael Sr. added a white chair rail, decorative molding and panel doors for the room. "We had a painter paint the room and hired someone to hang the wallpaper," she adds.

Bumpers made from silk shantung, in a combination of stripes, polka dots and a damask pattern, line the crib. With all the lush bedding and the fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the family placed a digital monitor underneath the mattress that sends an alert if the baby is in distress. A valence features the reverse of the wallpaper. All of the furniture features Swarovski crystal and pearl detailing.

Another standout is the chandelier. The ivory-colored armoire, changing table, dresser and crib that converts to a youth bed, as well as a full-size bed, is furniture she believes her granddaughter will never tire of in her tweens, teens and 20s.

THE COST "The furniture alone was $10,000. You spend a fortune, but it lasts. I still have my son's furniture in my guest room," says Rose, who estimates that the total cost of the room was $15,000.

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LITTLE PRINCESS Victoria Noelle Reid, 5 months old

PARENTS Paula Reid, 32, an insurance sales representative/manager, and Kenneth Reid, 33, a medical device salesman

LOCATION Merrick

THE TALE Paula and Kenneth Reid say they knew they needed three design elements to pull off the opulent look they wanted -- a wrought-iron canopy bed with draping, crystal chandelier and backdrop that includes Paula's three favorite colors: silver, pink and white. To execute their vision, they worked closely with a team of design experts.

Contractor Bobby Rafferty of East Meadow put up the wainscoting, painter Julie Marten of Port Washington came up with the brocade pattern on the walls, and Bracha Schulof, designer and owner of children's furniture boutique Petite Pram in Cedarhurst, helped select furniture.

Paula's mother made the curtains, canopy and mobile. Kenneth found a few additions: a white shaggy area rug and crystal chandelier, both on overstock.com.

Since the walls had a lot going on, Paula opted for a simple bedding set and found something that fit the room on ababy.com. Other details that made the room pop were the crystal knobs she found at Bellini and a white mirror she found at HomeGoods that she had painted silver with pink accents.

For wall art, she placed a few newborn photos of her daughter taken professionally.

THE COST "We never really had a budget, but we tried to be practical with some things and with others, we were comfortable with spending a little extra money if it was worth it," says Paula, who spent a total of $7,000 on the nursery. "The furniture was the most expensive but worth it."

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