Baby, it’s a brand new year. And when it comes to creating the perfect sleep space for little ones, there are more fun options than ever.
Styles range from haute to homespun, vintage to vanguard. A look at some of the best:
Traditional parameters like gender-specific motifs and colors, and room-specific furnishings, are giving way to a more free-spirited approach. Designers are deploying to the nursery dressers, credenzas, art, lighting, mirrors and seating more typically found in grown-up rooms like the master, dining or living room.
Joanna Gick and Jennifer O’Dowd, interior designers in Scottsdale, Arizona, like to use vintage dressers, toys and books as nursery inspiration. Art’s a big element, too.
“Gallery walls seem to be a hot trend,” Gick says. “The fun thing about them is they’re totally customizable to the child’s interests, and easy to swap out as they grow. We like to use mixed media, prints as well as wood and metal sculptures, to create a really interesting gallery.” (www.jandjdesigngroup.com)
Parents-to-be should view the baby’s room as a place to let their own imaginations fly, says Naomi Alon, owner of the Irvine, California-based Little Crown Interiors.
“I encourage my clients to think about the nursery as their inner child’s fantasy space,” she says. “This is the one room in their home where they can get away with neon pink wallpaper or an over-the-top chandelier. The nursery is just as much about the parents as it is about the baby, and making it a place where mom and dad feel comfortable is key.”
In one of Alon’s favorite projects, a nursery in Newport Beach, California, she used pink and gold damask wallpaper, a baroque mirror, organza furniture skirts and a big fluffy rug to create a glamorous, girly confection. (www.littlecrowninteriors.com)
Los Angeles duo Emily Current and Meritt Elliot designed gold, arrow-shaped lamps and finials, and gold-woven storage bins for their new Pottery Barn Kids collection. A bold, black-and-white diamond pattern graces a quilt. (www.potterybarnkids.com)
RH Baby & Child’s new collection features upholstered cribs resembling wing chairs; conversion kits allow them to be turned into beds down the road. There’s a big selection of chandeliers, too. (www.rhbabyandchild.com)
Antique (or antique-looking) furniture, quilts and afghans give baby’s room homespun charm.
Connecticut-based designer Eileen Blanchard crafts sweet pillows, bedding and soft toys using chenille and fabrics with vintage children’s prints and winsome cottage florals. (www.etsy.com/shop/scarlettscozycottage)
Artist Emily Isabella’s Homestead organic fabric collection features an array of animals, scenery and farm folk. (www.emilyisabella.com)
As in the rest of the home, decor in the nursery is revisiting the past. Midcentury and 1970s- and ’80s-era cribs and other furniture bring in style elements that can match the home’s aesthetic. Room & Board, DwellStudio and AllModern have great options.
Gick and O’Dowd did a feature wall in a boy’s room that featured a big, 1970s-style geometric design, and balanced it with a similarly bold rug.
Garnet Hill’s got butterfly chairs from Argentina with canvases embroidered with boho crewelwork designs. (www.garnethill.com)
And, Zulily has some pretty boho crib bedding with paisley and elephant prints. (www.zulily.com)
Land of Nod’s managing director, Michelle Kohanzo, thinks the 1980s in particular fit the vibe of kids’ rooms now.
“There’s no better decade for kid’s decor,” she says. “The trend is all about bold, playful color and pattern. It’s over-the-top and just plain silly.”
There’s nostalgic appeal for mom and dad, too. “This is exactly how I remember my own room growing up!” Kohanzo says.
Look for acrylic wall cubes, and banana and flamingo nightlights in hot neon hues.
Land of Nod partnered with Kansas City-based studio Ampersand on a whimsical bedding collection stitched with rainbows and geometrics, in retro color combos like pink, blue, red and turquoise. (www.landofnod.com)
Crisp stripes and a palette of whites, navy, reds, greens, yellows and oranges create a preppy vibe.
“Almost any color pops with navy,” says Gick, and it works for both boys’ and girls’ rooms.
Pottery Barn Kids’ Harper bedding collection pairs white with chevrons, dots or stripes in bright hues. Monogrammed wall art ties it all together.
Even parents-to-be who know their baby’s gender may prefer a neutral nursery. Beyond yellow, gender-neutral decor includes gray, greige and cream along with muted, chalky pastels.
Julia Rothman’s wallpaper patterns are a good example: Hand-drawn birds and clouds move across the wall in soft, daydream-y hues. (www.hyggeandwest.com)
Introduce baby to the big wide world and the skies above with printed bedding and accessories to spark imagination.
Rifle Paper Co.’s Safari wallpaper puts zebras, gazelles, ostriches and elephants in metallic gold on a hunter-green background — great for boys or girls. (www.riflepaperco.com)
RH Baby & Child has dramatic murals of constellations, maps and jet planes. Minted also has art to spark a child’s flight of fancy. (www.minted.com)
Put the sky overhead with one of Gale Fitzsimmons’ photo murals on the ceiling: Puffy white clouds bound across an azure vista, perfect for daydreaming. Or naptime. (www.muralsyourway.com)