Frenshe: David, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in interior design?
David Ko: I’m a California native and currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. Growing up I always had an interest in fashion and unbeknownst to me at the time — design. All I knew is that I enjoyed making spaces feel pretty and personable. I never knew an interior designer or had any exposure to that industry so the thought of it being a career path never crossed my mind.
Upon graduating from college, I moved to LA to pursue fashion. When applying for jobs, I had a friend who worked for an interior design firm reach out and said they were looking for help. She knew I had a good eye and sense of style and thought it would be a good idea to meet with the designers. I was hired and it was there that I learned the ins and outs of the industry, quickly realizing that I thoroughly enjoyed everything about design. I worked for one more design firm before I began to get my own clientele and decided to start my own company. Maison Ko was founded at the beginning of 2019 and I have been working for myself ever since.
F: What are the key things you take into account when helping a new mom design a nursery?
DK: One thing to keep in mind when designing a nursery is that while yes, the room is for the newborn, it should also be a personal reflection of the parent/s. New parents end up spending so much time in the nursery that having the space feel relaxing and inviting for them just as much as the baby should be a no brainer.
F: Nurseries are so personal. What are some ways that new moms can seek to make their nurseries unique and non-traditional from a design standpoint?
DK: A comfortable place to sit. You are in that room sitting down a lot more than you would think, so having a glider or even a banquette to nurse and rock your newborn is so important. A lot of furniture stores now sell design-forward gliders that won’t be an eye-sore.
F: Since non-toxic home pieces are on the rise, how can new moms look out for non-toxic items for their nursery?
DK: For furniture, look to see if they are labeled as Greenguard Gold Certified. This means that the furniture has been independently tested and verified to meet the rigorous standards for chemical emissions and VOCs. If it’s not, then select pieces that say low or no VOC finishes, are made of solid wood or are upholstered with organic materials. There are also a ton of great organic sheeting and mattress options so you can avoid anything that has been treated with chemicals (another certification to look for is GOTS — Global Organic Textile Standard).
F: If you could give anyone one piece of design advice, what would that be?
DK: When it comes to designing your nursery, I would definitely suggest thinking about how the room will change once they are no longer a baby and you need a bed instead of a crib. It could save you money and from a lot of headaches down the road if you can figure out where the other furniture pieces will eventually live, for example, if doing a custom built-in, how can you adapt it to your current needs as well as your future? Apart from the nursery, changing your mindset on your home and not feeling tied to a single piece for the rest of your life. Think of furniture more like clothing, if it goes out of style, it’s ok to switch it out (as long as you’re being conscious of how you’re getting rid of your furniture!). Also, always always always check your measurements and specs, especially if something is custom!