The Daily Record
The ABC's of Children's Rooms

Pacticality, simplicity and eco-friendly furniture and accessories are todays watchwords when talking about parents furnishing their childrens nurseries, bedrooms and play-rooms. When it comes to play areas, organization iskey, says Angel Fischer, an interior designer with Kirk Designs. Things have to be functional as wellas fun. Its not just about looking cute.

Most of our clients are concerned with how to manage the chaos, and they are looking for things that are durable, can be cleaned easily and are not tremendously expensive. And no one is doing themed rooms.

While most adults groan at the thought of shag carpeting anywhere, Fischer points out that it can be very forgiving when it comes to spills and can hide alot of flaws. She also recommends Pottery Barn as a great place to shop: The furniture can take a decent beating from children and not be utterly destroyed.

Consumers are also looking for eco-friendly products. This is a big concern for our clients, says Mary Bauer, president of Bratt Decor. All of our wood comes from sustainable forest farms, and we dont use any wood from the wild.

And the use of nontoxic paint is very important.

Bauers husband, Stephen, designs Bratts furniture, which is manufactured in Vietnam and China, and has even made its way into J-Los nursery.

Bauer notes that buying quality furniture for childrens rooms will save money in the long run, especially if more than one child is expected. We really try to educate people  even budget-conscious ones  that you really end up spending less when you buy good furniture, she says. Ive had people say, My third child is in the same crib as my first, and it still looks as good as new. And, especially when it comes to cribs, be sure that the safety standards are up to par.

Both Fischer and Bauer agree that pink and blue are no longer the only colors to be found in nurseries, and that younger parents are more sophisticated when it comes to childrens rooms. People are using more soothing colors, such as beige, brown and earth tones like moss, says Bauer, who adds that she sells cribs that can convert to beds for toddlers and changing tables that can convert to dressers. If they are using pink, it wont be that bright bubblegum pink, but rather a dusty pink. Were also seeing very pale shades of color, as well as neutrals like beige, white and cream.

I think that parents are more realistic when itcomes to making spaces for their kids, says Fischer.They realize that they really cannot have a white sofa in the living room. They want to give their children a nice area, but nothing so juvenile that it will not be in character with the rest of the house.