How one couple turned their spare room into a jungle dream nursery

Photographed by Josiah Nevell

Featured in Capital #85
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New parents Nicola and Reuben have used their combined knowledge of art and design to style their Miramar home, and give their spare room a dream jungle makeover. 

Nicola Provost and her partner Reuben Morrison are enjoying their first months of parenthood. Baby Fox (named after Nicola’s grandmother, whose maiden name was Fox) has already been deservedly spoilt, and is settling into her recently renovated nursery.

When Nicola and Reuben bought their home in 2018, it was just “blank canvas sun trap, with a lift.” It’s since been filled with auction finds, travel mementos, family heirlooms and all the accessories that come with a baby. The home’s Miramar location is close to Reuben’s work as director of Lux de Lux Ltd, a company which provides lighting for feature films. Nicola is currently on maternity leave from her role as Zambesi store manager, although she’s excited to be gearing up for this year’s World of WearableArt where she will be a model. Both her parents and Reuben are on hand for baby-sitting duty through the fittings, rehearsals, and performances.

Redecorating the spare room was really fun. We painted the walls and roof “Greenhouse” by Resene. It’s a very calming colour, and I often find myself staring at a roof during middle-of-the-night feeds. When Fox was first born we had lots of parties with family and friends and we all gravitated to the nursery. It’s such a nice space to be in. 

The lamp is the newest addition to the lounge, arriving when I was in labour. It’s from Webb’s auction house. Auctions are definitely one of my addictions; I can often be found in the nursery feeding Fox and scrolling through catalogues.

The black chairs are from Babelogue. I had seen them online, and then visited the Auckland store – I just couldn’t get them out of my mind. They’re 1970s Arkana, made in Great Britain.

The photographs are by Wellington photographer Harry Culy. We bought the white one at an exhibition, and always regretted not having the black. I was lucky enough to purchase a black one after Harry’s exhibition at City Gallery.

Fox was very spoilt, and was gifted a custom-made baby blanket. Inspired by the winter 2022 Zambesi collection, it’s striped and made with pure merino wool. It’s the perfect size for her cot, and also accompanies us on walks. 

As well as being used a lot for the obvious, our Mocka change table is also a great storage space. The green crates from Hay are amazing for keeping nappies and wipes. We’ve learnt pretty quickly that the change mat cover spends just as much time in the wash as it does protecting the mat. 

Everyone told us we’d need a chair with a stool – and they were right. You’ll find us here every three to four hours feeding. Eventually it will relocate to the record room as a listening chair.

Growing up we both loved Animalia by Graeme Base, and we still love the illustrations. It was the inspiration for the nursery, and being the year of the Tiger we thought Fox would be right at home in her jungle.

The animal mobile was a gift from Grandma and Grandad. It’s handmade with felted wool by Tik Tak Design Co. Quite often I find Fox lying in her cot, chatting away to the creatures.

The drinks cabinet in the dining room belonged to my Nana and Poppa. The warrior on top was a birthday present I bought Reuben, from The Asian Gallery that was once in Kilbirnie. The plate is from Turkey, and the stamp and ink are from China. The rat artwork is a pointillist piece that we picked up from a Nelson market. 

My wardrobe is my favourite room in the house. The biker jacket is one of my most loved pieces. It’s leather with beaver fur sleeves, by designer Rick Owens. It has accompanied me to a lot of parties, and is always first in my suitcase for winter holidays.   


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