It’s a new year, a new you, perhaps a new baby, too? I spoke at length to some of the best New Jersey-based design experts, and they all weighed in on hot new trends in baby nurseries. The consensus is “Bye, bye pink and blue—hello, new hue!” Whether you're designing a nursery around a family heirloom or creating a "green" space for your new addition, these NJ experts give tips and ideas for perhaps the most precious room in your home.
Sherri Blum of Jack and Jill Interiors says it’s “back to nature with a rustic appeal featuring weathered wood accents, burlap-like or linen fabrics and earthy neutrals such as beige, ivory and gray. Wood paneled walls are very popular now.”
And don’t forget to invest in dimmers. “Ceiling lights on dimmers makes it easier to check on a sleeping baby,” says Blum. In other words, avoid glaring lights, or baby may be up all night!
The professional design team at Pottery Barn Kids says, “Modern is in, especially when mixed with vintage, such as a modern crib with an antique chair. Anything goes these days from grey with yellow to aqua and chocolate.” (Note: New Jersey has five Pottery Barn Kids store locations.)
Melisa Fluhr, Co-Founder of Project Nursery, an online resource dedicated to baby's first room and beyond, shares one of her favorite links for those mommies who prefer internet shopping. “Skip Hop just launched the one of a kind Complete Sheet for 2012. Bumper-free crib bedding has never looked so good. It’s a stylish alternative to the traditional crib bumper.”
Fluhr also advises mommies to maintain an organized closet for their little ones. “You will be amazed at how quickly your child will grow out of his or her clothing.”
Designer Lori Jacobsen of Montville shares some green tips for new moms. First up: invest in an air purifier for baby’s room and be sure the filter is cleaned. “Also, choose natural fiber carpets and rugs made from organic wool and cotton. If existing flooring needs to be refinished, use a non-toxic refinishing company and steam clean existing carpet instead of using a carpet cleaner.”
Jacobsen’s a big fan of SavvyRest mattresses. “They carry non-toxic, organic crib mattress made from natural latex and certified organic wool.”
Jo Ann Stephens Alston of Bernardsville says, “be sure that a no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) adhesive is used when your baby’s floor is laid.” Since synthetic rugs will emit some VOCs, Alston suggests using cotton area rugs with a no-slip pad underneath them on the wood floors. “Sherwin Williams has a line of paints especially designed for use in baby’s rooms. Expectant mothers should not be exposed to paint fumes, and the room should be well ventilated for at least one month after painting.”
Designer Jennifer Meyer of Short Hills recommend an ottoman or “pouf to rest your feet. This will be far more comfortable for late night feedings.” Leather poufs are “fun, very durable and can be used later as a seat for your child.”
According to Meyer, there are very attractive rockers and gliders available now from multiple vendors. “Ideally the chair should be easily cleaned. Pottery Barn offers slip cover options. The beauty of the slipcover is you can remove the cover for laundering or change later for your next baby’s room.”
When it comes to a changing station, Meyer likes “trays on top of dressers. Purchasing a product such as this will permit the use of the dresser for years, with the simple removal of the tray top.”
Designer Emily Harding also shares a hot idea for the changing area.
“Try painting an old dresser to use as a changing table. Replace drawers with baskets for storage, giving the piece a unique, new look,” she says, adding that wallpaper for nurseries and children's rooms “is making a comeback.”
“And if it's still intimidating,” she continues, “try just wallpapering one wall and hanging a great piece of art on the opposite wall for balance.”
The designers also weighed in on the importance of family heirlooms.
“Family heirlooms can sometimes inspire your nursery design style or even your nursery's theme,” says Fluhr. “Not only is it meaningful but it allows you to share a cherished story with your baby.”
The design team at Pottery Barn Kids concurs.
“The best family heirlooms are the ones that have stood the test of time and are used or displayed such as vintage silver baby cups and spoons. They are the perfect size and the well-loved dings remind you to use the new silver baby cup received as a gift. Even a vintage hand-knit sweater can be displayed in a frame in the baby’s room.”
When it comes to nursery design, the designers say to “just relax!”
“There is no need to spend the college fund on designing the nursery,” says Meyer. “With a little creativity and smart sourcing, you can create a great room to welcome baby.”
Editor’s Note: Be sure all products purchased for baby’s room meet required safety standards.
Photo credit: Thumbnail photo courtesy of Emily Harding.