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Baby Steps: How to reconcile traditional with trendy to create the perfect nursery

Nursery By Design. Don't let the dizzying effects of color palettes and crib styles intimidate you. Take it one piece at a time, and soon you'll have the nursery of your dreams.

Today's nurseries break tradition by moving beyond gender-specific pastels and Mother Goose storylines, and taking a modern turn. Theres no need to limit yourself to customary baby tones  design a nursery fit to your taste at a pace that suits you.

Contemporary Parenting

Born from a need to simplify our busy lives, today's baby sanctuaries keep it clean with a contemporary look. This industry shift moves away from visual over-stimulation and takes on a less-is-more mentality.

The mod look is super hot right now, says Lindsay Clark of childrens furniture store Bratt Decor, Baltimore. So much so that the company recently launched a new line dedicated to the trend. Its focus is on clean lines and minimal detail. Taking standard pieces like the crib and using a palette of mochas and wheats gives the traditional an updated look.

But the Beverly Hills-based team behind the childrens furniture brand Serena & Lily encourage mixing it up. While their current line offers sophisticated colors like chocolate and oatmeal, according to co-founder and designer Serena Dugan, Dont feel confined to a style. If you want the modern crib but have vin- tage bedding, choose a playful piece of modern art, mounted in an ornate antique frame to pull it together. Art and accessories bridge any contrasting styles to achieve a cohesive look.

Individual Development

You'll need to create a space as unique as the baby who will occupy it. Avoid the cookie-cutter showroom look by adding some personal touches.

"Seek out unique items from flea markets and online auctions to create a one-of-a-kind room for your baby," Dugan suggests.

Clark suggests adding some personal touches to your nursery. Decorate the walls using special photographs of family and friends. It creates an environment of love and support and helps parents during those inevitable sleepless nights that they will spend rocking their little one to sleep."

Another great way to highlight individuality is to use your baby's name in the decor.

Spelling out his or her name on the wall using hand-painted wall letters, spicing up your crib with a monogrammed pillow or bumper, or hanging personalized art on the wall are all great ways to bring the baby into the room, says Susie Fougerousse, owner of Rosenberry Rooms, Cary N.C.

Bare Necessities

When shopping, Dugan recommends separating essentials from extras.

Splurge on a cushy upholstered glider or the favorite item that defines the style of the room, she says. Save on a changing table that is actually a dresser with a changing pad Velcro-ed on top.

Every nursery will need a crib, but before buying one, Clark suggests doing a pulse check with the rest of the furni- ture in your house.

It is important to view your nursery as a cozy, little exten- sion of your home. And before you pick the large pieces, choose the textiles first. Your bedding and upholstery steer your style selection.

To warm up your retro mod room, Fougerousse says, go with an area rug and a table lamp with low-wattage light bulbs for softer lighting.

As your baby decor and accessory collections expand, storage space becomes sparse. Look for pieces with hooks and hidden drawers to maximize your growing needs.

Avoid Gadget Overload

New parents easily fall prey to getting caught up in the craze of the industry, so remember that just because a product is on the market doesn't mean you should buy it.

Avoid gadgets in search of a problem. There is a whole world of parenting products that do nothing better than taking up space, says Jeanice Skvaril, the creative director of Boodalee, a Greenbrae, Calif., childrens bedding store.

The only time to go overboard is when it comes to safety regulations. The crib has made headlines in recent months with recalls and updates, so this is one craze worth listening to.

Cleanse Your Color Palette

While the mod twist drives the latest turns in the baby industry, its the traditional color schemes that seem most affected. Muted, sophisticated neutrals make their mark.

Great for both genders, go for darker tones based in browns and blacks and pair with light neutral hues or white.

Serena & Lily created new colors to meet this design demand.

The saturated Chambray replaces powder blue, as vivacious berry pink, Juice, and delicate Shell upstage pastel pink. Choosing accessories with an antique silver finish adds a touch of tradition to your modern scene.

With your newly modified nursery, remember too much of one look can stifle even the sleekest selections. At the end of the day, it's not the furniture that fills the room with love, it's the love that will give the room its character.

Are Hand-Me-Downs Still Hot?

The timeless tradition of hand-me-downs never goes out of style. Updating old pieces with modern accessories will keep your look fresh. But remember, for items like the crib, safety standards change frequently, so you need to make sure your passed-down crib passes inspection.

For todays twist on the timeless hand-me-down, design teams meet growing parental needs by creating furniture pieces that grow with your baby.

One way to extend the life of your furniture is to purchase a crib that allows for conversion into a toddler bed, says Lindsay Clark of childrens furniture store Bratt Décor, Baltimore. With the new Chelsea Lifetime crib, parents could potentially use the same furniture in their childs room up until they move out of the house.

Talk about a long-term investment.

© CTW Features

Written by: Kate Sullivan




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When designing your nursery start with the crib then add the other accessories like changing tables, armoires, crib bedding, sheets, rugs, lighting, and accessories to complete the look you want in your baby’s room. Luxury, style, and timeless elegance are the hallmarks of Bratt Decor design and will transform your baby’s room into something spectacular. Baby rooms, nurseries, and baby spaces are sacred spaces and deserve your best. Our designer infant furnishings and decor offer a variety of luxury designer cribs including wrought iron cribs, oval cribs, convertible cribs, four poster cribs, canopy cribs, sleigh cribs, lifetime cribs, and gorgeous carved wood cribs. Our newest crib, the Parisian is an iron crib design which converts from a traditional iron baby bed, to a four poster version, and a canopy. All of our cribs convert, some to toddler beds or daybeds and the lifetime to a full size bed. Additionally our oval/round sleep systems, start as a cradle and then convert to a standard crib and toddler bed and exude contemporary elegance. Chelsea collection includes a sleigh crib which coverts to a toddler bed, a lifetime crib that converts from a crib to a full bed, in both iron and wood, a gorgeous oval crib, the Darling, which starts as a cradle goes to a crib and then a toddler bed. Other accessories in the Chelsea collection by Bratt Decor include armoire, night stand, 7 drawer dresser/changer and darling oval dresser/changer and bookcase. We also offer a variety of finishes to fit your look. This collection has everything you need to complete your baby room with style and sophisticated design. J’adore, our newest crib, is a round crib, wrought iron design, that grows with your baby. The Casablanca premiere is a gorgeous wrought iron crib with timeless appeal, and also converts to a toddler bed. This site offers you a dreamy journey into the world of elegance, style, and quality for your baby’s room. We offer beautiful baby bedding, custom crib bedding, lighting, nursing/rocking gliders and chairs and rugs to complete your nursery. We also have an exclusive line of crib mattresses designed for our cribs that fit like a glove. Bratt Decor has been making furnishings for baby since 1995 and are the gold standard in terms of safety, quality, and designer excellence in the nursery.