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Nursery dreamin’: Check out Amy Burstyn-Fritz’s space for her new little one

Amy Burstyn-Fritz in her three-week-old daughter Grace's nursery in their Toronto home on July 21, 2016.

Amy Burstyn-Fritz in her three-week-old daughter Grace's nursery in their Toronto home on July 21, 2016.

JENNIFER ROBERTS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The elephants in the room

Amy Burstyn-Fritz nixed her walk-in closet for a nursery, but drew the line at traditional colour schemes

A lot has changed for Amy Burstyn-Fritz and Graham Smith since their Lawrence Park home was featured on an episode of the Property Brothers two years ago. On the show a spare bedroom was converted into a dressing room to house Burstyn-Fritz's enviable wardrobe. Now that closet has been transformed once again: This time into a nursery for the couple's first child, Grace, who was born in June. Working with designer Rachel Deeks, a friend of the Toronto-based couple, they followed something of a family tradition and dreamed up a space that eschewed stereotypical pink- or blue-everywhere colour schemes. "My parents didn't find out the sex until I was born, so my nursery was gender-neutral with yellow, blue and white as the main colourways," explains Burstyn-Fritz, who is currently on maternity leave from The Knot Group, a public-relations and event-management agency.

Arty linen fabric by Pierre Frey, by special request through Primavera Interior Furnishings (www.primavera.ca).

Arty linen fabric by Pierre Frey, by special request through Primavera Interior Furnishings ( www.primavera.ca).

Eames Elephant by Vitra, $430 at Design Within Reach (www.dwr.com).

Eames Elephant by Vitra, $430 at Design Within Reach ( www.dwr.com).

While browsing on Pinterest, the expectant mom fell in love with elephant-print wallpaper by French design studio Minakani, which ended up becoming the inspiration for the room. "I've always loved the symbolism of the elephant. Once I decided that would be Grace's spirit animal, I got a little carried away: There are currently 10 prominent elephant items in the room and counting." Burstyn-Fritz commissioned her friend Maryam Keyhani, a Canadian artist based out of Toronto and Berlin, to create a triptych of elephants, all donning Keyhani's signature chapeaux. "Collecting original pieces of art is really valuable to me, and I loved the idea of the artwork in my baby's room being the first piece of her own collection." To add another burst of colour, Deeks sourced the painterly Pierre Frey fabric for the cushions and window coverings.

"When I pull the blinds [down] it feels like I'm unveiling a work of art," says Burstyn-Fritz.

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Como Glider chair by Monte, $1,295 at Monte Design (www.montedesign.com).

Como Glider chair by Monte, $1,295 at Monte Design ( www.montedesign.com).

Rhea crib by Oeuf, $895 at Ella and Elliot (www.ellaandelliot.com).

Rhea crib by Oeuf, $895 at Ella and Elliot ( www.ellaandelliot.com).

In order to let the wall decor shine, the pair opted for a minimal, Scandinavian-inspired crib and change table by New York-based Oeuf. "We wanted natural- wood pieces for the larger furniture and loved the style and craftsmanship of Oeuf's designs, which are also eco-friendly." Both came from Burstyn-Fritz's favourite kids' store Ella and Elliot, as did the comfy modern rocker by Toronto-based Monte Design Group. "The rocker is the hardest piece to source for a nursery. You want it to look aesthetically pleasing, but you want to make sure it's very comfortable." The Tibetan lambskin ottoman from Boo Boo & Lefty adds to the coziness for those inevitable long nights. The famous Eames elephant stool was a no-brainer.

In a bittersweet tribute, Grace's library, displayed on a clear Ubabub bookshelf, was selected many years ago by Burstyn-Fritz's late stepfather David Pecaut, who, before he passed in 2009, inscribed some of his favourite children's books for Burstyn-Fritz's future offspring.

Eikon shell pendant, from €340 at Schneid (www.schneid.org).

Eikon shell pendant, from €340 at Schneid ( www.schneid.org).

Animals wallpaper by Minakani, starting at €245.83 at Bien Fait Paris (www.bien-fait-paris.com).

Animals wallpaper by Minakani, starting at €245.83 at Bien Fait Paris ( www.bien-fait-paris.com).

In just a few weeks, the couple gained a new understanding of the patience parenthood requires. "Graham and I have been together for 16 years and had settled nicely into a rhythm that has now completely turned on its head. But we have a really great foundation and understanding of each other so [we] know how to work as a team." As for that epic clothing collection? After it went through a major purge, it has now been consolidated into a shared wardrobe. "It's the first time in seven years of living with Graham that we have had to share a closet, which is a big adjustment!"

Editor's Note: The original version of this story stated Amy Burstyn-Fritz co-founded The Knot Group. In fact, she joined as a partner in 2011. This digital version has been updated.

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