When Jessica Simpson and fiancé Eric Johnson asked Rachel Ashwell of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture to design their daughter’s nursery a few months before Maxwell Drew arrived, the couple had a very clear vision in mind.
“Jessica is very pretty and feminine, but she didn’t want this to be over-the-top frilly,” Ashwell tells PEOPLE. “The words she used were ‘gypsy’ and ‘bohemian,’ so we brought in lavenders and mauves with a bit of pink and aqua.”
On one wall, Ashwell hung vintage butterfly wallpaper that “definitely set the tone,” and filled the room with luxe furniture from her boutiques. As a complement, the designer scoured flea markets to find vintage pieces that she converted into shelving units — and even a custom changing table, which she made by screwing a changing table top to a dresser.
One reason the experience was so satisfying was because Simpson, 31, and Johnson, 32, completely shared her vision, and loved nearly every idea she proposed — so much so that they asked her to design the rest of their home for them as well.
“They were probably the most un-neurotic people I’ve ever known,” says Ashwell. “Jessica wanted [the nursery] be cozy and cute, and she was very respectful of Eric, asking, ‘Do you like this?’ And he was nicely opinionated.”
“I found being around them very inspiring to think, ‘Wow, [this is] a real collaborative vision,’” continues Ashwell. “I even wrote them a little note saying, ‘It’s been such a privilege to be part of making your home for you, because I know it’s going to be a house of substance.’”
For photos of what’s inside Maxwell’s nursery — and an update on how Simpson and Johnson are handling parenthood — check out this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
If anyone has the scans from the issue please send them in, thank you! Also thanks for all the comments regarding my dog, I greatly appreciate each message, tweet, e-mail! xo