When Annabelle Moehlmann discovered she was pregnant last fall, she got straight to work. “I started browsing all my favorite fabric houses like two weeks in,” she cops with a laugh. As the founder of Land of Belle, the beloved online home accessories store, decor is very much in Moehlmann’s veins.
Of course, in order to decorate a nursery you need a room. For that, Moehlmann, who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, would have to make the ultimate sacrifice, forfeiting her walk-in closet for her daughter-to-be, Clementine. “It was a big project,” she says of the editing process, which saw an avalanche of things “go out the door, instructed by my husband.” One pile was sent to The Real Real, another gifted to friends and colleagues, and another donated.
Blank canvas in place, she set the scene with a favorite Cole & Sons wallpaper featuring a display of blooming ivory rhododendron blossoms inspired by the seventeenth century gardens of Chateau de la Bourlie in France. Moehlmann’s father and stepmother live in Paris, and it is also where she and her husband got engaged. “When I thought about designing the nursery, I knew I wanted to create a space for her that would be an escape from the city,” says Moehlmann. “I wanted it to be feminine and sweet but not clichéd, and for the details to evoke places around the world that are special to our family. It feels like you’re in a little garden when you’re in her room.”
Wanderlust is a running theme. A photograph of the Louvre and a map of Paris folded into the shape of a little girl's dress by artist Dawn Michelle Wolfe hang above a Serena & Lily daybed on one side of the room, serving as “little reminders of our favorite city,” Moehlmann notes. Elsewhere, a map of Florida cut into the shape of a bathing suit, also by Wolfe, nods to Palm Beach, where both she and her husband have spent time since childhood. Meanwhile, the Les Indiennes roman shades and daybed coverlet conjure trips to India, and a printed image of a Mario Lopez Torres screen that hangs above Clementine’s rattan crib reminds her of her honeymoon in Tanzania. “There’s actually a sweet story behind it,” Moehlmann says. “I initially started Land of Belle as an Instagram account where I shared images of interiors and decorative accessories that inspired me. When we opened our first pop-up, a couple visited and told me that they had found an image of an elephant screen on our Instagram and that their designer, Tom Samet, had it printed for them for their baby's nursery. When I found out I was pregnant, I wrote Tom to see if he had the image on hand and he had another print made and sent it to me as a gift. It reminds me of the early days of Land of Belle and the hard work that went into launching the company, something I hope to instill in my daughter.”
Clementine may be only six months old, but it’s been an eventful time to say the least. Since her daughter’s arrival, Moehlmann hatched and is now introducing a new venture, Land of Bébé, which curates clothing, home decor, and art for children. “I think when a lot of people buy things for babies it’s an interruption from their aesthetic,” she says, “and I really believe it should be an extension of it. I had so much fun decorating Clementine’s nursery. It’s become my favorite room in our home.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest