Homefinder cover: nursery & playrooms

The Dunwoody mother-to-be wanted her son’s nursery to be a reflection of her home’s traditional style. Koetje found a blue toile that she wanted to use in the bedding. At Babies R Us, she chose a crib and changing table-turned-bureau by Baby Cache.

“I know what I liked,” said Koetje. “But I needed help pulling it all together.”

That’s where Vicki Brown of Vicki Brown Interiors in Hilton Head came in. Brown advised Koetje on where to place the furniture in the room, what color to paint the walls, how to use the blue toile and what style of window treatments to use.

When Koetje was expecting her second child, she again called Brown. The request this time was to “pink up” the nursery, using a pink-and-white polka dot fabric.

Koetje is typical of today’s style-minded parents, according to the New Jersey-based Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a trade group.

Parents want a nursery that reflects their personality, lifestyle – and looks like the rest of their home, said Amy Chezem, a spokeswoman for JPMA. It is more like a baby room for adults.

Designers like Megan Meloy of KooKoo Bear Baby & Kids and Celia Tejada  at Pottery Barn Kids, agree. They offer these nursery trends and tips:

Trends

- Color. Gray is the new neutral – for boys and girls. Gray works well with bright or pastel colors. Pair gray with dusty pink , orange, yellow and turquoise. Gray furniture is also popular.

- Style. Modern. Clean and neutral. Calm & serene. Not so babyish.

- Furniture. Practical. Multifunctional. Timeless. Cribs that grow with the child and go from crib to toddler bed and then to a full-size bed are in demand. So are dressers with changing table tops that can be removed as baby grows and used in the child’s room or another room.

- Accessories. Simple and elegant. Minimal.

- Eco-friendly. Safety, durability and craftsmanship are key. So is green design and low-VOC paint.

- Grandma’s house. Grandparents are (buying) and setting up nursery and play spaces for grandchildren in their homes.

Tips

Nursery

- Draw a floor plan. Take note of the room’s dimensions (for any furniture you plan to buy) and features, such as windows and heat registers. Many sites, such as Carousel Designs, offer on-line design help.

- Before buying a new or used crib or other baby gear, check for recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www. cpsc.gov).

- If you plan to reuse the same room and furniture for other children, choose nursery furniture and colors that are gender neutral.

- Keep electrical outlets covered and electrical cords tucked away. Same goes for playrooms.

- Create a gift registry. Be specific about colors and what you want. That way you won’t be disappointed.

Playroom

- Consider essential pieces, such as a play table and a storage unit/media center. Make them the foundation of the room.

- Anchor taller furniture to the wall and keep games, books, plus storage baskets, buckets and bins within a child’s easy reach.

- Divide room into play areas. Use a large table and kid-size chairs for games and art projects in the middle of the room or against a wall. In a corner, add a reading nook with comfy, bean-bag chairs. Use any extra wall space for a chalkboard or art gallery.

- Playrooms see lots of action. Furniture should be sturdy and easy to clean.

- “Wow” factor. Add colorful murals, large mobiles or oversized wall decals to create a magical and memorable room.

Resources

For products, ideas and design help, check Pinterest.com and these sites:

www.babybedding.com

www.bbraithwaite.com

www.ikea.com

www.kookoobearkids.com

www.landofknod.com

www.potterybarnkids.com

www.rhbabyandchild.com (restoration hardware)

www.target.com

www.babiesrus.com

www.walmart.com

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