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Designer Kara Cox Features Bella Notte Linens Featured in FLOWER Magazine’s Ivy House

Flower Magazine Ivy House Nursery

Last fall, a bespoke Georgian home located in Louisiana's capital city of Baton Rouge was transformed into a stunning showhome by fifteen renowned interior designers for FLOWER Magazine’s showhouse series. Named "Ivy House," this 6,000 square-foot elegantly decorated residence boasts classic styling and was conceptualized by Baton Rouge native Andy McDonald in collaboration with Ivy Residential Concepts, a third-generation design/build team also based in the area.

Margot Shaw, the founder and editor-in-chief of FLOWER magazine, set the tone for the showhome opening with her vision: “A celebration of design in the deep South and all of its lush landscapes, unique architecture, vibrant colors, and rich flavors.”

Shaw’s vision rang true for Designer Kara Cox who breathed life into the nursery of Ivy House with Bella Notte’s Petit Bella line. 


Kara Cox Flower Magazine Ivy House Nursery Designer used Bella Notte Linens

 The powerhouse behind Kara Cox Interiors, Kara Cox, is passionate about crafting unique designs for each of her clients that are fresh, tailored, and timeless. She values forging meaningful connections with her clients, delving into their lifestyles and aspirations to create personalized spaces that resonate with them. Kara's portfolio has garnered national acclaim, featured in leading interior design publications such as Traditional Home, House Beautiful, and HGTV Magazine. Hailing from central North Carolina, a hub of the furniture industry, Kara has cultivated a profound appreciation for superior craftsmanship and a commitment to supporting local artisans, which is present in her design philosophy for the Ivy House nursery.


Crafting a room poised to evolve with a child, Cox designed the nursery of our dreams – a harmonious mixture between childhood, development, and playful imagination. Drawing inspiration from her upbringing amidst central North Carolina's furniture district, Cox crafted a space that pays homage to her roots. Valuing the enduring quality of fine furniture, Kara crafted a nursery intended to adapt with the child's growth and milestones. 

"If you buy good quality furniture and use colors you love, the room should not need to change drastically as children grow.”

Bella Notte’s Petit Bella line for babies and children was the perfect fit for Cox’s philosophy, as this line is designed to grow with baby, through childhood and beyond. Cox chose to outfit the crib with Bella Notte’s Linen Whisper Baby Blanket and Linen Whisper Crib Skirt, creating a cloud of comfort and style. Adorning the crib in different textures and weights established a haven of luxurious elegance.


Recognizing her role as an educatorFlower Mazine Ivy House Peek Into Nursery and mentor to her clients and other interior designers in the field, Kara ardently advocated for integrating artisan creations in her curations. Drawing from her distinctive childhood experiences, Kara appreciates the familial connections and skills inherent in artisanal goods, contrasting them with the ubiquitous, mass-produced furniture prevalent in modern households. Bella Notte’s hand-crafted and small-batched dyed to order linens were the perfect selections to create a unique nursery.

We had the privilege of sitting down with Kara Cox, the visionary behind the decadently designed nursery and accompanying bath for Flower Magazine’s Ivy House, where she shares her insights into the process of crafting spaces brimming with creativity, freshness, and passion for each individual. This exclusive interview uncovers the journey from bare beginnings to final, captivating design.


Q: Your nursery is enchanting, and we especially loved your ability to merge tailored luxury with comfort. What is your design process for creating a nursery? 

A: I always design nurseries in a way that can grow with a child. I don’t like to use themes or patterns that are only for children because if you buy good quality furniture and use colors you love the room should not need to change drastically as they grow and their needs are different. This room pairs stripes, florals and solids in a way that feels feminine and whimsical without being too childish. 


Ivy House NurseryQ: Your nursery uses so many variations of pink hues but never feels cloying or saccharine. We know that pink is one of your favorite colors, how do you keep the shade sophisticated and interesting in your designs? 

A: In this case, pairing the pink with the soft, sage green fern wallpaper from Liberty Collection allows it to have a nice balance in the room. I also think you need to choose pinks that are not candy-clear colors. Blush, coral, mauve…these are all shades of pink that do not feel overwhelming, just soft and romantic. 

Q: One of the things that caught our eye in your nursery was all the beautiful seating arrangements. The room felt completely welcoming. What is your guideline for integrating seating into nursery design?

A: This room specifically called for a daybed in the nook that had been created by the inset in the room. Every nursery needs a comfy chair for snuggling. I love the idea that the daybed can be used by mom or dad for an extra sleep space in the room and then transition into a child’s bed down the road. The room is small but cozy and has everything you need without a lot of wasted space. 

Q: We were intrigued with the artwork you chose, which seemed more sophisticated than what we normally see. What is your philosophy about art in the nursery?

A: I always think children should be exposed to original art at an early age and learn to live with it in their homes as they grow up. This is something I’ve enjoyed collecting with my family and teaching my children about as well. The original abstract landscape over the crib is by Louisiana artist, Ashton Shaw Despot, and I wanted to incorporate something that was an homage to the location the home was in. 

 Q: We love that you chose various Bella Notte textiles, colors, and styles to dress the crib. It was a wonderful mélange of linen and cotton chenille with ruffles. The Linen Whisper blanket and crib skirt added 4 “of delightful ruffles.  What are your thoughts about how best to combine textiles, patterns, colors, and styles and still have the room remain calm and peaceful?

A: I love that Bella Notte offers a mix of different patterns and textures in the same colorway, so it is easy to mix and match. I think mixing textures and weights of fabrics is important to create interest with bedding in particular. The gift designers have is being able to coordinate items without “matching” them. I wish homeowners were more brave about coordinating textiles within a room than feeling the need to match them. 

Q: Everything we make at Bella Notte is handcrafted and so we were especially happy to learn that you appreciate quality craftsmanship. Why do you think it is important to include artisan creations in the home?

A: Mostly because you are supporting a trade that links directly to someone’s family. If we continue as a society to purchase big box items and not pay more attention to how they're made and by whom, there are going to be a lot of skills lost in the next generation. As someone who is trusted to specify those products, it’s important to teach my clients that quality and craftsmanship matter. 

Conscious Everyday Luxury from Bella Notte Linens

It was a joy for Bella Notte to work with Kara, and to be featured in the Ivy House. We love to work with designers to achieve the perfect spaces for their clients. If you have not worked with us before, but would like to, we’d love to hear from you!

If you are designing your own space, we can help! Reach out to us to take advantage of our complimentary design services to help you create the perfect space in your home.