Photo credit: Kyle Caldwell
Lina Galvão and Erin Coren are two moms who know design, and kids. After instantly bonding as new moms in Brooklyn, they decided to use their 20+ combined years of interior design experience to create a design firm that’s all about creating beautiful and family friendly spaces.
Curated Nest Interiors is now based in Cos Cob, and offers everything from full home renovations to kitchen and bath designs and more specified décor help, all with function and family at the forefront. Because who better to create spaces that families will love, then moms?
We spoke to the duo about their partnership, working motherhood and more.
Why did you decide to base your business in Greenwich?
Erin: We chose to have our office in Cos Cob because we love the small village vibe and young families that have recently moved into the neighborhood. We see pups on their daily walk outside as well as kids getting out of school and it has a very homey small town feel that we love.
For someone who isn’t familiar, how do you describe Curated Nest?
Lina: Curated Nest is a full-service interior design company founded by two moms who create homes for busy families that are both functional and beautiful. Our philosophy of livable luxury incorporates thoughtfully selected pieces that will stand up to young kids and the wear and tear of family life, while still looking gorgeous and bespoke. We also do top to bottom renovations, from new builds to a kitchen reno to a refreshing facelift, all with family life and function at the forefront.
Photo Credit: Jacob Snavely
What are both of your backgrounds, professionally?
Erin: I have 16 years of experience in interior design and am a certified interior designer. My focus changed when I had kids and my friends were having children. After hearing everyone say, “we’ll invest in our home when our kids are older,” I started to focus on helping clients achieve a beautiful home that’s designed thoughtfully and beautifully with performance fabrics, concealed storage, and family-friendly products.
Lina: I have a Bachelor of Science from Yale University, a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, and studied Interior Design at Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to becoming a designer, I worked as a business consultant for healthcare organizations for 10 years, with an interest in how environments can promote patients’ well-being. As a designer, I’ve enjoyed working on projects ranging from New York City apartments to full home renovations. I love integrating solutions that promote child development in my designs for kids. My joy comes from bold designs and color inspired by my Brazilian roots. While I sometimes miss living in Brooklyn, I’m now living my best life by the beach in Fairfield County, CT with my husband and two kids.
What separates Curated Nest from other design firms out there?
Erin: Curated Nest is one of the only design firms that puts livable luxury and functionality first. We understand the reality of family life, and wholeheartedly reject the notion that people “can’t have nice things” until their kids are grown up. While we don’t have a signature style, our philosophy permeates every project! Curated Nest is not your average team of decorators. Our designers have extensive education, training, and experience (including in family life!), allowing us to work on projects ranging from new builds to furniture and decor.
Love your emphasis on nursery design – what specifically do you offer and what does Montessori design incorporate?
Lina: Our emphasis is on delivering a luxurious and high performing space for family living, which of course includes special spaces for all members of the family. Babies, tots, and kiddos get the royal treatment from us! We love having fun expressing little personalities in kid’s spaces, and making parents’ nursery dreams come true! We incorporate expertise on the latest baby products and furniture, including eco-friendly and safety elements, and aim to provide spaces that promote independence for younger kids. We often draw from Montessori principles to do so. For example, the transition from crib to big kid bed is a great opportunity to incorporate a low bed, allowing kids to get in and out without assistance, especially for night time potty. We’ve designed several fantastic kids rooms with a tent or house shaped bed, where the mattress sits on a low frame on the floor.
Photo Credit: Jacob Snavely
What are some design trends you’re loving?
Erin: We know kids bring a level of mess and with open floorplans being the case in most modern family homes, we love to incorporate beautiful storage units for toys to contain the clutter and promote organization. This could be a closed door sideboard behind a sofa with baskets of toys or games. That way the whole family can be together, yet everything has a place to live. There are beautiful case goods that don’t look like a piece of toy storage furniture, but the function is there, allowing the room to feel organized when closed. To us, having your kids toys at hand while being able to be organized in a beautiful environment feels like livable luxury!
We love seeing the curved furniture trend making a debut in the nursery and kids space, warmer tones and more variety in wood finishes, and a general trend towards nature, either in iconic elements like sunshine, classic safari, or through granny chic cottage-y vibes.
Playrooms are always the most fun rooms to design! The pandemic has changed our mindset on what a playroom can be. We love seeing more use of active environments, with monkey bars, indoor playsets, and climbing walls!
If someone would like to work with you, can you please describe the process?
Lina: We always start with a brief online questionnaire for each prospective client, allowing them a moment to think about what their goals and needs are. We follow up with a call to discuss our process, followed by an in-home consultation so we can see the space and meet in person. Interior design for homes is a very personal, long-term process, and we always want to make sure everyone feels comfortable together and that we are the right fit for the project, and the client is a good fit for us. We are a full service company, meaning we select every item from the sofa to the rug to the art work. We manage all contractors and vendors throughout the project from the initial consultation to the white glove delivery and accessorizing. Having this “interview” process up front is essential for ensuring the success of the project!
What is your absolute favorite design tip or trick when working with families?
Erin: We know every company works differently, however, we design full rooms and show the whole design at once (versus showing one off pieces of furniture or going shopping together), so the client can see the full thought process behind each piece and each suggestion for renovation. We find that when we follow our process and provide a cohesive design, it allows for less back and forth for the client, and they can focus on their family while we focus on providing a design custom to them.
Lina: We also ask when doing a walk thru with the family for them to not try to straighten up and organize before we come. We want to see how they truly live so we can help improve their home functionally, making sure each piece we select will improve their day to day and hold up when we are finished.
Photo Credit: Kyle Caldwell
What is your working mom mantra?
Erin: Work hard, play hard. We absolutely love what we do, we get excited about Mondays to come so we can create more beautiful designs. But weekends are always reserved for family time, so we can take the time to be focused on our young kids and recharge for the next week.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Lina: We are new to the Greenwich area and look forward to meeting other neighbors in the town. We get very excited when someone walks in to say hello and welcomes us to the neighborhood! Feel free to stop by and say hello; look for the “design your heart out” neon sign in the window! Or drop us a line at [email protected] And be sure to check us out on Instagram, @curatednest.
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places to:
Go for girls night
Go for date night
Get your hair done
Get your nails done
Have dinner as a family
Have fun as a family
- A walk on the beach is always a family favorite or a day playing in the backyard with friends and family relaxing.
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