Judging by recent press releases and shower invites, it seems it’s baby season. A couple of years ago, high-end modern design for kids was often cited as a trend. Now, I think it has passed that point and become the norm. In a way, it sums up everything we want in design, because when it comes to their children, most people aren’t willing to sacrifice quality, strict environmental standards or style.
One of the pioneers of cool, modern baby rooms is designer David Netto. Originally called Netto Collection, he developed his furniture line to suit his taste when he became a father. The line is now called Maclaren Nursery, and includes some new pieces, all still intended to transition to adult rooms. The nursery he designed for this lower Fifth Avenue apartment in New York, for instance, features the Moderne Changer (above). (David Netto is also known for stunning grown-up interiors, of course. Check out some of his designs and inspirations in our gallery.)
A lot of Netto’s pieces are perfect for open-concept condos or small spaces, since they don’t scream ‘kiddie’. Case in point: The new Louis changer/dresser (left) is as mod as it is practical. This makes particular sense when you consider that most people, including several of my friends, discover that they're expecting while still living in a small apartment, looking for a house. Anything from Netto’s collection is a worthy investment since you can build a nursery into a corner. Plus, they make great transition pieces later on. The Cabine crib, above right, for example, has a storage drawer and converts to a child’s bed.
There are a ton of great products and shops out there (and luckily most of them were started by busy parents, so you can usually find and purchase everything online). Another good choice is DucDuc. I love this sunny, fresh nursery showing their Dylan series.
The Toronto-based, parent-founded company, Monte Design Group, is another great example of good-looking, quality furniture for kids and babies. The simple, Scandinavian-inspired look of the Tavo high chair (left) could work in almost any space. It pulls right up to the table, eliminating the need for (and eyesore of) a tray. Made from solid maple wood and white bonded leather, it’s easy to clean, too.
You have probably seen Flensted’s abstract modern mobiles in plenty of hip spaces — this one is a fraction of the price of most of them and would be a great alternative to having a chandelier in a nursery. I still love the look of glam lighting in a nursery, but this Prize Hen cardstock mobile (above right) adds a sweet, pared-back vibe that’s a bit more fitting (and practical).
Personally, I seem to be missing the wedding/baby gene, but if I were to design a nursery, I would work around this Leander suspended cradle (available in Canada through Tulip Juvenile). I’m impressed that a swaying bassinet can look so good and I love the all-white scheme.
There are just as many design blogs, magazines and online sites dedicated to kids as there are great furniture and accessory lines, but that’s another blog topic. If you speak French though, one to check out in the meantime is Paris-based Milk Magazine. Which one is your favourite?
For more nursery decorating ideas, check out our Kids Rooms photo gallery.
1. Lower Fifth Avenue Apartment, David Netto Design
2a. Louis changer, Maclaren Nursery
2b. Cabine crib, Ella + Elliot
3. Dylan series, DucDuc
4a. Tavo High Chair, Monte Design Group
4b. Prize Hen mobile, Ella + Elliot
5. Leander cradle, The Infant Boutique