“We thought we had more time,” Tolbert, 30, tells PEOPLE. “We kept delaying and delaying, because we were so busy moving into the house and the rest of the rooms. We really hadn’t nailed down the nursery idea 100 percent yet and then when she came early, we were like, ‘Oh my God’ — we didn’t have anything.”
Luckily, home design website Modsy saved the day. “Modsy made it really easy for us,” says Roper Tolbert, 30. “We worked with their designer, and they use these renders and design your whole room for you, then show you where everything is supposed to go. So it just took all the stress out of it for us, which was really nice.”
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The resulting space is perfect for baby Emerson, now 7 weeks. “I didn’t want to go too girly, but I wanted to keep some pink elements in there,” says Roper Tolbert. “I wanted it to be really light and neutral and airy, and very bright and open. I feel like we accomplished that. I didn’t want it to be too frilly, but I still wanted it to feel like a girl’s room.”
Emerson’s room includes a gold canopy bed — Roper Tolbert’s favorite aspect — as well as a white bookcase and changing table. There’s also a gray and white rocking chair, which features a pillow bearing all three family members‘ names.
“A lot of the rest of our house is very contemporary, and I wanted her room to have a softness to it,” Roper Tolbert explains of choosing the chair. “I wanted to add a few pieces that felt vintage. A lot of people get gliders that are more traditional rocking chairs, but I wanted a piece that stood out. Even though it’s a statement piece, it’s still really comfortable.”
There’s also a giant 8-ft.-tall teddy bear looming in the corner — an element the couple says they purchased long before Emerson even arrived. Tolbert reveals he had to have the super-sized plush after spotting it during an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The nursery has some unique design elements, including a trendy shiplap wall. “We decided to do that in our bedroom when we built the house, and then extended it into the nursery to tie them together,” says Tolbert.
“It’s a really unique room. All the other rooms are just square bedrooms, but that space is just really different, which is why we wanted it for Emerson,” adds Roper Tolbert.
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Modsy uses 3D visualization technology to create an online model of users’ rooms, in which designers then curate products from 100 different retailers like West Elm and Target. Users can choose between two different programs, and ultimately decide which suggested products they purchase.
“The designer we worked with helped give us suggestions and it was really cool to see the room come together,” says Roper Tolbert. “It made it a whole lot easier for us since we weren’t yet prepared.”
Roper Tolbert — who just opened up about Emerson’s surprise early arrival in a vlog — says the infant is now “doing really well” and “growing great.”
“She’s at the age where she’s supposed to be getting her first smile, so we’re waiting for that — not yet though,” she shares excitedly.
The new dad reveals he’s taken to his duties as Emerson’s bath-giver, while his wife explains, “I’m in full mom mode now. It’s amazing how you just know what to do, even though there’s no manual.”