Menounos, 45, gave Us Weekly an exclusive tour of her baby girl’s nursery, during which she showed off her “favorite” and “most important” part of the room.
“I [told my designer], ‘I have these cross-stitching pieces from my mom and my grandma, and I really want you to incorporate them into the room,” she shares. “And they were the last pieces that I have.”
Hanging above Athena’s changing table is a cross-stitched picture of a little girl praying made by Maria’s late mother, Litsa Menounos, while a trio of floral and vintage cross-stitched designs resides about Athena’s crib.
“That just lit me up when I saw this. I was like, I wouldn’t have known even what to do and how to do it and of course they do ‘cause they’re the pros,” Maria — who shares Athena with her husband, Keven Undergaro — tells Us. “And so, for me, it’s not like I don’t want the Architectural Digest house. I want something that means something.”
Among Athena’s many toys is a “little pink elephant,” something Maria said she hopes holds great value to her daughter one day. “I still have my first stuffed animal my dad got me in the hospital and [I know] how much that’s meant to me,” she explains. “So, I wanted to be able to get her first toy or stuffed animal. And so it’s this.”
In addition to a well-stocked bookshelf, rocking chair and a large pillow for “tummy time,” Athena has plenty of adorable outfits for her parents to dress her in. “She’s got a little butterfly outfit,” the “Heal Squad” podcast host tells Us. “I call her my petaloúda, which is butterfly in Greek. So I’m only speaking to her in Greek, [as is] my dad. And then, Abuelita Violeta speaks to her in Spanish. And so, we want her to be multilingual.”
For all of Athena’s clothing items, Maria is partial to a pair of baby Nike sneakers gifted to her by a fan. “This is one of my favorite little pieces. This was given to me by a listener from my show who I helped with her brain tumor,” she notes. “And so, she custom designed these shoes with the lemon logos from my show, ‘Heal Squad.’”
One unique feature of Athena’s nursery is a full-sized bed for the baby girl’s nanny — or her parents — to rest on while Athena naps. “If [Athena’s] sleeping for a little bit, the baby nurse can pass out,” Maria explains. “We all have a little place to chill, so we have the bed here for that reason.”
For the room’s design, Maria tells Us she wanted it to be “very chill” and “really nice and simple.” In fact, most of the nursery’s’ décor is from Target and Wayfair. “I didn’t wanna be, you know, fussing about making the perfect nursery and we have to have this and we have to have that,” she shared.
She continues: “I also want her to grow up as normal as possible, even though she’s still in abnormal circumstances. I want her to grow up like me a little bit. So, I figured last minute, my designers had done my studio — the ‘Heal Squad’ — I said, ‘Could you help me out with the room?’ And, of course, they made it beautiful, but on a budget, so that was really nice.”
Check out Maria’s full nursery tour in the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.