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OC Family - Dream rooms and nurseries

May 2011
Dream rooms and nurseries
Your child’s first surroundings should be special – and safe

Gone are the days of only two room-decorating choices for your little one: blue or pink for boy or girl and, if you wanted to get crazy, the occasional gender-neutral pale green or yellow. Emerging trends in nursery and children’s room décor have opened up a multitude of possibilities to parents and kids. Decorating themes, murals, 3-D effects, textures and patterns can give your child a vibrant sanctuary, while meeting the needs of every mommy to be.

Studios like Little Crown Interiors are quickly becoming the norm for parents who want efficiency, safety and the latest décor. Owners and co-founders of Little Crown Interiors, Gerri Panebianco and Naomi Coe, have established themselves as visionaries of one-of-a-kind spaces for children.

“It’s really impossible for us to give our body of work an overall style, as every project is uniquely different and designed to be a perfect fit for each family,” saysPanebianco. “However, as an overall ‘feeling,’ we strive to keep things fun, efficient and stress-free.”

The designers attribute the rise in custom children’s rooms to three main factors: safety, the popularity of breastfeeding and the economy.

Safety is often a make-or-break factor for parents when deciding what products to use. “The abundance of poorly made, inexpensive baby items has led to a culture of ‘recall fear,’” says Panebianco, who points out that parents are faced with the concern that they’ll make the wrong decision and put their kids at risk. Because of this fear, parents are willing to spend some extra cash for higher-quality necessities.

Breastfeeding is quickly becoming the preferred choice over formula, so more mothers want a specific space for sharing these moments with their little one.

In today’s economy, it would seem that cutting corners with expenses would be a top priority, but according to Coe and Panebianco, it’s exactly the opposite: the trend seems to be that parents are willing to spend more money on better, multifunctioning furniture that their infants can grow into and keep through toddlerhood and beyond.

“They are willing to make that investment, rather than end up spending more in the long run on multiple furniture suites,” says Panebianco.

When beginning a project with a family, Coe and Panebianco start with one word: safety.

“By taking safety factors into account first, we can quickly determine the rest of the items needed,” says Panebianco. “And from there, it’s all about combining our creativity and design skills with the family’s values and aesthetics.”

The two designers center their unique talents on both functionality and their clients’ creative vision.

Now, more than ever, multifunctioning furniture and efficient designs are what attract parents to many choices. These priorities translate into a stress-free environment for parents. Coe and Panebianco feel that they are called to “create an atmosphere of calm” for the families they work with, by applying the latest in safety standards to each design.

“We make sure the blankies are where they need to be, that there are no middle-of-the-night tripping hazards, that they choose the right diaper pail, etc.,” says Panebianco.

Regarding emerging trends, “non-baby” nurseries remain at the top of clients’ requested lists, which Coe and Panebianco again attribute to the “room-to-grow” concept. As a part of the “non-baby” nursery, clients often want unconventional colors to be incorporated into the design.

“Turquoise in a girl’s room, plum in a boy’s room, orange in a gender-neutral,” Panebianco says. “The idea is that by creating an unconventional color scheme to begin with, it can always have a current and modern feel and can be easily updated with minor changes.”

This design duo has completed more than 60 projects, each showing their innovative approach.

“When everything functions, everything is safe, and the room is beautiful, then we, as designers, have done our job well.”

Pick a theme

Gerri Panebianco and Naomi Coe are two young and talented designers on a mission to make every parent’s dreams come true when it comes to a child’s nursery or room.

Whether a given living space’s theme is based on an African safari, a Parisian getaway or a race-car garage, these two professionals put safety and efficiency into every unique design, giving every parent much-needed peace of mind.

Coe brings the design know-how, and Gerri has the new-mom experience: together they are quickly becoming the go-to dream designers. Their goal is to combine the aesthetics of each individual family’s vision with the most up-to-date safety technology for smooth sailing – from infancy to toddler and beyond.

Written by: Katelyn Barreca


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