Beyond Pink and Blue
Pam DiCapo, owner of the Brookside baby boutique Lauren Alexandra, delivers unique designs and chic, not-so-basic baby decors.
When Ryan and McKenzie Muehlfelder began planning a baby nursery for their daughter, June, little did they know that it would set off a painting redo of their entire Sunset Hills home just south of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.
“When we did that room, we realized how ugly the rest of the house was,” Ryan says with a smile. “We thought, ‘Well, now let’s just do our bedroom.’ Then we painted everything.”
The soothing pale blue palette of June’s nursery carries over with similar hues into the rest of the house, where the Muehlfelders have lived for six years. McKenzie says when expecting the arrival of June, now 8 months old, she and Ryan knew who to call to design the nursery: family friend Pam DiCapo, owner of the stylish baby and kids boutique, Lauren Alexandra, in Brookside.
Designer Pam diCapo in her baby and children's boutique, Lauren Alexandra
In addition to offering clothing and accessories, the boutique, named after DiCapo’s two daughters, provides full-service interior decorating services, particularly high-end and one-of-a-kind nursery design.
“I’ve known Pam forever, and I just knew that she knows how to get it done,” says McKenzie, 29. “I just like Pam’s style. She knows how to put different patterns together that I don’t how to do.”
June’s room is full of different textures, such as a wood-and-tin chandelier, a custom slip-covered settee, scalloped-edge curtains of Belgian linen, and a wood- paneled accent wall similar to the one in DiCapo’s shop — the wood sourced from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber in Peculiar, Missouri.
Using reclaimed wood in a nursery captures DiCapo’s love of the unexpected. For her, designing nurseries is all about modern, eclectic, happy and fun textures and furnishings without ever incorporating anything super babyish.
“That just not what we do,” she says. “People come to us when they want the nursery to fit in with the rest of their home. So when you turn the corner you’re not going to have any sort of juvenile theme. We’re definitely trying to mesh with the rest of the house. Oftentimes the nursery has the best bedding in the house and then the parents end up getting an upgrade for themselves.”
She can’t remember the last time someone came into her shop wanting the traditional baby theme rooms of blue and pink.
“Now the colors are coral and any shade of robin’s egg blue to aqua to turquoise mixed in with that,” she says. “Gold is just on fire. Anybody having a girl wants gold.”
She predicts that rose gold will be a popular color scheme on the horizon, and she has a strong opinion about the yellow-and-gray palette many have recently used as a neutral.
“I never bought into the gray and yellow,” DiCapo says. “I have a tendency to run the other way. I feel like when people come to us, they’re going to be paying for something that’s unique and more of an individual scenario. They can go to their Pinterest to do their gray and yellow. They can go mainstream for that. If you want a nursery that is a one-of-a-kind design for you, then you come here. It’s a little more magical than everything you see online.
“The main thing I think people should know is that gray is not the only neutral color for a baby’s room. I feel like gray and yellow has been going, going, going and now it’s going, going, gone. In the general neutral world, we’re using more cream, white, flax and natural textures. You can use those for your crib ensemble or whatever you choose to make your room more interesting.”
DiCapo is fascinated with design aesthetics that come from overseas.
“I always end up somehow loving what they’re doing in Australia,” she says. “It is the most innovative, creative, forward. Their look is more clean and minimalist, and it’s a little funkier. I don’t see our town going after that right away. It will take a little while, I think. I just have a tendency to be attracted to that because I have done this for such a long time — 21 years — so I try to bring things in that are a little bit more unique than what you see in your general baby and kids trade show.”
Popular now in nurseries, says DiCapo, are designs with feathers and arrows, open bookshelves with clean lines, pendant lighting, drop shades and modern, neutral wallpaper.
“We used to paint everything,” DiCapo notes. “We’d paint stripes, we’d paint murals, we’d paint polka dots. Whatever. Now, it’s wallpaper. I really believe what goes around comes around. People are so creative, and what used to be comes back. Wallpaper is huge.”
One of her favorite nurseries she designed had periwinkle walls with modern, clean wallpaper on an accent wall, a pewter crib, black accent pieces and white wooden angel wings on a wall. Those clients, like most, became her dear friends, resulting in one of the joys of her business.
“All day long I hear ‘Ahs. Look at this. Look at this.’ Everybody is really happy,” DiCapo says. “One of the things about the baby business is, other than getting married, this is the highlight of your life. It’s the best thing that ever happens to you in your life. It’s such a happy time for everyone.”
Lauren Alexandra boutique is located in Brookside at 322 W. 63rd St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 822-2539, laurenalexandraworld.com
Some of DiCapo’s favorite lines at Lauren Alexandra