Home Style 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.
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.
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.
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
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.