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LA Daily News
The Hippest Crib on the Block

April 9, 2007
When Tori Spelling began planning her baby boy's nursery, she went straight for the hip online boutique Nursery Couture. "Because Tori and Dean (McDermott, her husband) are ultra-modern, funky people, they wanted to stick with the same theme for their nursery," Spelling's designer Katy Mimari says.

Photos of little Liam Aaron McDermott's streamlined, modern digs were recently splashed all over In Touch, Us Weekly and Life & Style magazines. You can't open a weekly these days without seeing which celebrity has the hot "new" baby trend.

And one of the biggest trends right now is a parent-friendly, design-conscious nursery, according to Target maternity clothing designer Liz Lange, who recently judged the baby nursery episode of Bravo's "Top Design."

Be a 'cool parent'
"It's not just buying designer furniture  but hiring a professional decorator to design the room," Lange says. "It's become another room in the home that you want to reflect your taste as a cool parent. You're not checking your good taste at the nursery door."

Among the tastiest additions to the modern nursery is midcentury furniture from Ducduc, David Netto and Nurseryworks.

And the high-end nursery also transforms as a baby grows. Cribs become beds. Changing tables become chests of drawers. "It's the mini-me thing, not baby rooms that are so babyish," Lange says. "It's another very tasteful room in the house."

Modern wasn't Northridge mom Jodi Groff's thing.

She had more of a "Zen nursery" in mind for her now-3-month-old daughter, Marlie. So she hired Shalena Smith of Ga Ga Designs.

Smith has designed nurseries for rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs, tennis star Pete Sampras and actress Charlotte Ross. She also designed one for Groff's now-20-month-old daughter, Estee.

"I wanted the girls' rooms to be consistent with the rest of the house, and it would be out of place to do big graphic circles and Swedish furniture," Groff, 34, says.

How much? That much?
In Groff's daughters' nurseries, less is more.

More than $16,000 went into Estee's elegant, uncluttered room with its $100-a-gallon metallic tone-on-tone striped wall, lilac shag rug and custom pieces, including Bella Notte crib bedding and a chunky, white changing table by Ga Ga Designs that converts into a dresser.

"No one is ever going to know that she used this as a changing table," Smith says, lifting the changing-pad frame off the top of the dresser. "What's nice is it grows up with the child."

The same espresso brown dresser with pink, rose-shaped glass knobs was used in the $12,000 room for Marlie.

The walls are embellished in subtle curls hand-painted in the same metallic paint. On the espresso brown Bratt Decor sleigh crib is custom Maddie Boo bedding with a plain ecru Koala Kids sheet.

"I did spend a lot to make it what I wanted it to be, but I didn't spend a lot because I thought I had to," Groff says. "When we were picking out furniture, I told Shalena that my husband wanted espresso brown ... and she said Bratt Decor was coming out with what's supposed to be the new hot crib."

She found out just how "hot" it was on a recent shopping trip to Little Red Barn in Calabasas, where she learned the crib had a 20-week waiting list.

Rocking that rug
Spelling envisioned a brown, blue and lime color scheme, modern pieces, dark wood, bubble motifs and a zebra rug by Jonathan Adler for her L.A. home.

A zebra rug?

"She previously purchased it," Mimari says. "She said, 'I know I want a modern nursery. I know I want to use Caden Lane bedding. But I'm in love with this rug, and I don't know how it's going to work.'"

And yet it fit perfectly with the ultra-modern Aerial Crib by Nurseryworks and matching changing table with the white-on-white circle designs, as well as the mini library by Oeuf.

"The library has all these cubbies, so it was a fun place to put little accents like picture frames and stacks of blankets," Mimari says. "It made it a little more eclectic, which is cool, because it opens the door to more mommies who maybe aren't in the mix of things in New York or L.A. to go, 'Well, maybe I can be more modern and not have it stand out from the rest of my home.' "

B&B and baby
Spelling's home nursery was echoed in a nook in the master bedroom at Chateau La Rue, home of the top-rated Oxygen reality series "Tori & Dean: Inn Love."

Mimari says the star wanted her newborn to feel at home.

For the B&B, Spelling chose the Platform Crib by Oeuf.

"The reason we ended up picking it to go in the bed and breakfast was because she only had a 6-foot wall to work with in the master bedroom, but she wanted it to function like a nursery," Mimari says. "A nursery typically has a crib, a changing table and then a rocker in it.

"But there wasn't enough to put all three and so what was really cool about the Oeuf crib is that the changer is on top  and it can be removed," she says. "And because it's a platform crib, it can float in the center of the room. It doesn't have to be pushed up against the wall."

You don't have to trade your newborn baby to get the high-end designer looks favored by the rich and famous.

Written by: Sandra Barrera


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