Inside Jessica Simpson’s ‘Bohemian’ Nursery

05/09/2012 at 03:00 PM ET

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.

Jessica and Eric chose this Finn Rocker in a different fabric for Maxwell – Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture; Inset: Jamie M

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.

— Lesley Messer

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kelli on


L on

Is it weird that I think Ashwell would have been a better baby name? Her sister is Ashley, after all!

Traci on

I love Jessica Simpson and I think her new little girl’s name is so precious with so much meaning. Congratulations Jess and Eric.

Steph on

@ L Ashwell is the designers name, not the baby’s. The baby’s name is Maxwell…fyi.

christa on

She has great style, we can see it on her fashions. Now baby Maxwell has a wonderful nursery. I am so happy for Jessica.

Janice on

Sounds very pretty. I like the rocker.

CCP on

FYI @Steph: I’m sure @L knows that the baby’s name is Maxwell, and that the designer’s name is Ashwell. She’s just saying that she thinks Ashwell is a better name that Maxwell.

Becky on

Congrats on the new baby.

at L on

@ L – i think it’s weird that you have an opinion on the name chosen for the baby of a couple that you don’t know. not sure why you’d care…

JoyFromChico on

Uh, Steph, it’s pretty clear that L knew the baby’s name wasn’t actually Ashwell, she was simply saying it sounded like a “better name,” that’s all…fyi. I actually agree too!

KD on

She doesn’t want a frilly nursery and would die if her daughter wanted to be sporty…yet she chose a nursery decorated in a gypsy type fashion and named her child with what most ppl associate boy names!!! confusing!

Diana on

To the people who think she should have named HER baby something else…when you have a baby make sure you ask everyone of us if it’s good enough…since it will be your baby you must make sure that we all agree that it’s appropriate for us since you think your opinion matters so much so must ours.



Just saying on

what a breath of fresh air to read this. So much negativity out there today against this couple its nice to see a valid source come forth with a real opinions & knows them well. Would love to see more positivity other then attacks..on this couple..

Well done Jessica & Eric thank you for keeping it real.


@Steph you should spend your time in school learning reading comprehension instead of making idiotic comments on… fyi

boohoobytch on

love it and it’s not some hideous monstrosity like Mariah’s, J-Low’s or Beyonce’s (I’m sure)

Melody on

I hope they show pics of baby Maxwell’s room! TOO, enough of the bullying towards Steph!! I feel she gets the point, so no need to keep shaming her!!

dee on

Happy for them.

Lisa on

@me, Well said!!!! I could not say it any better! Bravo 🙂

Sally on

@everyone….I received straight A’s throughout my entire school career and I read that statement the same as @Steph did. If @L didn’t think that Jessica’s baby was named Ashwell, why would she compare the name to Jessica’s sister Ashley meaning they were similar? Furthermore, the statement “Ashwell would have been a better baby name” totally contradicts the fact that Ashwell was described as an adult who sells Couture nursery furnishings.

Btw, congrats Jessica! Can’t wait to see the pics!

Susan Lewis on

I’m loving that rocker.

I wouldn’t have named my daughter Maxwell, but Jessica did. So what? It sure is better than Bear Blu, Blue Ivy, and Pilot Inspektor. I forget who it was that named her daughter Honor Marie; THAT is an exceptionally cool name.

CCP on

@Sally: It doesn’t matter how many As you got in school, you’re an idiot who can’t read, just like @L.

KGurley on

@Susan Lewis: It was Jessica Alba that named her daughter Honor Marie.

A.L.L on

Is it really and truly important to fued online with people you probably don’t know over the joy of somebody’s new baby? For god sakes! It was their choice and it doesn’t really matter what any of us think because she (Maxwell) is not our baby to name!!

Congrats to the new parents! What a creative name and I’m sure Maxwell Drew is just gorgeous (like her mom!

look on

@ me, would you like us also to ignore a misspelling in a name, a mispronunciation or a car heading the wrong way on the freeway? Are we to ignore the fact that Ms. Simpson gave her daughter a boy’s name? Perhaps the lines will soon be completely erased, but for now, finding displeasure in a boy’s name that’s given to a girl is still realistic.

sylvia on

I think the name Maxwell is horrible for a girl.

Karen on

I’m sure Jessica’s a great mom, but that is truly the most unremarkable chair I’ve ever seen in my life.

iahqwn on

I can’t understand the need for all the bullying going on here. I would hope that we are all adult enough to leave that type of behaviour behind in Middle School

Carrie on

Love the rocking chair. The room sounds beautiful and hopefully we will be able to see a picture. Jessica and Eric sound so over the moon happy it’s wonderful.

Cheryl on

Why does almost everyone making comments have to be so bitchy and catty?? Couldn’t you simply say CONGRATULATIONS!

Gigi on

Maxwell is still a stupid name for a girl!!!

janeen on

Wow really?? I read L’s comment twice and it clearly says I THINK ASHWELL WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER NAME. How in the heck did that little comment turn into something so big. Steph read it wrong and commented before she looked it over twice. Some people on here werent any better cause they said I hope they show pics…well it clearly says it will be in this weeks magazine. So cant people go fight some where else?

zuko on

@ at L: do u also think it’s weird that u have an opinion on the opinion of someone online that u don’t know? r u sure y u care?

Robin on

I’m sorry, but Maxwell for her daughter’s name is just way too ugly and masculine sounding. What’s up with these UGLY celebrity baby names anyway? I don’t care what anyone says, a person’s name is closely tied to their self-esteem and sense of identity. Society will make sure that they disapprove of a name if it’s ugly or weird. ( Yes, I’m a case in point! ) Drew would have been a way more attractive and normal sounding name for her daughter. I hope they call her by this middle name, instead.

Robin on

I love the rocker, hate the baby’s name! Maxwell for a girl’s name? Oh please. Why are celebrities so afraid of giving their children normal, attractive sounding names? An individual’s name is closely tied to their identity and self-esteem. Drew as a first name, instead of the middle name, would have made more sense.

Catherine on

Is this really news? Come on now!

wendy on

Congratulations to Eric and Jessica. I know they will be the best parents any child could ask for. I love Jessica and I think she is very beautiful, smart and sweet. I wish them nothing but the best.

God Bless them 🙂

nfspen on

Nice! A $2,000 rocker! I would have it too if money wasn’t an issue. Congrats!

Ann on

Her child name probably wouldn’t make big news say she had a son instead of a daughter. I was hoping she named her daughter Erica after her fiance because the fianace middle name was Maxwell. I get the whole naming your child after someone significant but why give your daughter a dude name?

Laura on

Why don’t you all just get a life!

DB on

@ CCP, when did it become acceptable to call people names online? Why would you resort to such hateful behavior? Do you do this in your *real* life?

Dahlia on

Love this!!!!! Congratulations on your baby!!!

harr on

Love the name Maxwell n Maxie for short. Congrats to Jess and Eric. Great couple!!

Carol on

@janeen Well said! She named her daughter after someone she loves dearly, big deal if that name happens to be Maxwell!

Carol on

She named her baby after someone she loves dearly, it is just so happens its a boy’s name. But us as a society has labeled it a boy’s name so let it go and quit with the mean remarks.

Mabel on

Does anyone else find it a little strange that Jessica gave her baby the middle name of her ex brother-in-law (Drew Lachey)? I know it’s a family name, but surely there were other family names that she doesn’t share w/her ex husband’s family!

Nick on

Give her a couple of years before you proclaim Jessica a great mom.

Shannon on

Maxwell? bwahhhhhhh

nicole on

a pic of a chair?! thats it.

Kathy on

Congrats to Jessica, but a Frilly Nursery for such a masculine name for a baby girl!!

Jill on

Janeen, speaking of names, have to say I Love your name. I used it for my now 5 year old daughter. She has received so many compliments on it.

Jill on

Although I personally don’t care for the name, I really feel that the line between masculine and feminine is very blurred these days. Why is Maxine OK for a girl, but not Maxwell? “Ine” is feminine and “well” is masculine? I never heard of any other name with “well” in it, so I don’t see why it’s particularly masculine by itself.

SHar on

Jessica describes all kinds of beautiful furniture she put in the nursery. The headline is *Inside Jessica’s *Bohemian* Nursery and we go to it and all that is there is this ugly chair. Would have loved to see some baby furniture – not just daddy’s comfortable chair.

Madeline on

I have one of those “names.” I’m 40, and every friggen day of my life I’m acosted for it in some form. Cute, or respectful, your kid is gonna pay if it’s stupid.

carol on

Who Cares What Jess And Eric Name Their Child. Just Be Happy For Them. Maxwell Is Not Just A Boys Name. Congrats To You Both And Enjoy Gods Most Presious Gift. Love The Growing Years They Only Happen Once The First Time.

Jilllouise on

If she so desperately wanted to use the name Maxwell she could have changed it up just a little and named her Maxine. much better suited for a girl.

jillian on

I read that she is calling the baby Maxi and Drew is a family name also, But not from her ex brother in law, And pictures of the nursery are going to be in this weeks People

Emily on

Wouldn’t this article have been more appropriately titled “See Jessica Simpson’s rocking chair”? Just sayin….

Jillian on

I read that she is calling the baby Maxi and Drew is a family name also, But not from her ex brother in law,

– jillian on May 10th, 2012

Umm…..Drew is a family name. Her moms maiden name. Of course the name has nothing to do with her ex brother in law!


Fransesca on

I think everyone will always have an opinion one way or another about a name. But that is a good thing otherwise all babies would be named the same if everyone favored the same names. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the name Maxwell for a girl either, but it clearly had special meaning so: good for them. Also, I have to agree with CCP regarding Sally and Steph. What is there to misread regarding L’s statement?? She clearly says that she thinks Ashwell would have been a better baby name than Maxwell since Jessica’s sister’s name is Ashlee. So the “Ash” part in the name Ashwell would have been a nice shout-out to her sister. This statement was clear as day.

R on

Jesus people shut up! It is just like a bunch of caddy girls fighting… On none the less! Wow