Turning a Home Gym into a Playful Nursery

Turning a Home Gym into a Playful Nursery

Turning a Home Gym into a Playful Nursery


Lauren Tesoriere


Tour around with Homepolish's Pippa Lee as she shows us an incredible redesign in Chelsea that took a home gym to a twin nursery, complete with a custom jungle gym, rock wall, and light tunnel.

Photos by Nick Glimenakis.

You always remember the first moment you learn of a client. With Lauren, as soon as I saw that she was a mamma to twins AND into health-conscious design I just HAD to take the job. And boy, that was a great decision! We had a great working relationship from the get-go. She really grasped and valued my wellness approach to design. Meeting up with her for the initial consult, we had our work cut out for us: taking an old home gym space (see below) to a kids’ room. And it was also evident that we would be racing against mother nature. Lauren was VERY pregnant with her third child, and there’s nothing that moves a project along faster than the constant visual reminder that a baby is due at ANY MINUTE.

I’ll never forget the BIG moment of the project. On my second site visit to discuss the general furniture layout, Lauren looked at me and said, “You know, we have such high ceilings, and I was at the kids’ school the other day and they have this play loft…” I cut her off mid-sentence and said, “LET’S DO IT!” Nothing better than screaming in excitement at a very pregnant woman who’s just put her 18-month-old twins down to nap. I swear she agreed to the idea just to make me quiet!

West Elm

Pointillist Wool Rug


Jumbo Knit Shale Pouf


20″ Jersey Interknit Navy Pillow


While I have built and designed a lot of things in my career, this was the first time I have custom designed and built a kids loft! This was such a fun project and we really maximized every inch of space, working through the design together to ensure it would be an element the kids can use both now and well into the future. In terms of construction, we had the contractor and his millworker form the tunnel off site, and bring in the pieces of the loft pre-cut to speed up construction and minimize dust and disruption. We also moved a few lights around to align with the new layout.

Surprisingly, that jigsaw puzzle jungle gym was not our biggest challenge. That was actually getting the 10’ single-roll blackout blind into the apartment, as it couldn’t fit in the service elevator nor up the fire stairs (too tight of turns). Since they were on the second floor, we bought it up through the living room windows and maneuvered it through the apartment!

Pottery Barn

Grace Storage Unit

starting at $599.00
Pottery Barn Kids

Acrylic Wall Shelf

Pottery Barn Kids

Elephant Plush Rocker


In the end, we created what might be one of the coolest kids’ rooms I’ve ever seen. There’s a rock wall, invented by our brilliant contractor, a custom crawl tube by our millworker with color-changing LEDs, and we repurposed the gym floor mats to make a look-out platform. Best of all? We also incorporated wellness-promoting sustainable choices: no-VOC paint, sustainably sourced timbers for the millwork, non-toxic glues and resins, and all natural fabrics for the furnishings. We took it from home gym to jungle gym, in the best way.


Pippa is the absolute best! She was lovely to work with, patient, thorough, professional,
creative, communicative, sweet, easy-going, but tough on vendors.

- Lauren Tesoriere, Homepolish client



For related stories, check out:
An amazing kids’ room by Dana Frieling in Dallas.

In this tour: