Dancing with the Stars pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd took their nesting stage very seriously in the months leading up to the Jan. 4 birth of their son Shai Aleksander.
“We wanted him to be comfortable and settled in his little corner of the world,” Murgatroyd says of designing the perfect nursery for Shai, whose name is pronounced “Shy.”
Positioned just off the master bedroom in the couple’s New Jersey home, the room initially wasn’t ideal for a baby.
“I walked into the space and my eyes bugged out of my head. There was a fireplace! And no closet!” says nursery designer Vanessa Antonelli, who hid the gas fireplace’s switch and commissioned a closet to match Shai’s custom Romina crib.
Murgatroyd, 30, and Chmerkovskiy, 37, who plan to wed later this year, wanted the nursery to be neutral with hints of blue brought out in the toys.
“Maks has always loved elephants,” Murgatroyd says of the decor, which includes safari wallpaper and family heirlooms.
“And Shai loves to be rocked to sleep, so [the Rocker Refined chair] is the most-used piece of furniture,” says Murgatroyd, who spends about 17 hours a day in the room nursing and caring for Shai.
Her son has spent every night in his crib since coming home, “but there’s always time for morning and afternoon snuggles with Mommy and Daddy,” she says.
For more from Murgatroyd and Antonelli, including why the color scheme of cream and gold was chosen, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.