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The New Nursery


Babies will forever be cute, but the nurseries they inhabit have evolved beyond “cute.” The current trend when planning for, decorating, and merchandising a baby’s room is to go in a more sophisticated, elegant, and organic direction than in decades past.


“It is no longer about kittens and puppy dogs,” says Charlene DeFrees, owner of the children’s store Beetle Creek Kids in Kennett Square, Pa. “It’s more about the obscure and the natural, like owls, turtles, trees, mushrooms, and monkeys.” DeFrees says that while themes are still in, character-driven themes are out. No more Winnie the Pooh. No more Curious George. “Parents want a room that is pretty and simple, even quirky,” DeFrees explains, “definitely not ‘cutesy.'”

Color schemes have changed in recent years as well. The classic lemon/lime nursery for either gender, or bubble gum pink for girls and baby blue for boys is passé. Parents are choosing pale greens, tans, and browns. Chocolate brown paired with pink, blue, or lime green is most popular, DeFrees says, and while stripes and polka dots are still a staple in nursery patterns, the stripes are tighter and the polka dots are smaller. “‘Sophisticated” is the word I hear most often,” DeFrees adds.

“I think today’s parents want the nursery to be an extension of their home’s overall interior design color palette and style,” explains interior designer Lynne Nelson of Philadelphia. “They want their children’s rooms to be as soothing and elegant as the rest of their house, and they want a room that will grow with the child, so a neutral, toned-down color scheme makes sense.”

New parents are also interested in choosing bedding, clothing, and accessories that are organic, hand-crafted, and unique. “There is a consciousness about what each item is made of, not just what it looks like,” says DeFrees. She also recognizes that new parents, moms in particular, want to choose accessories and gear that is an extension of their own style. “When a new mom pulls out a burp cloth and throws it over her shoulder, she wants it to be an attractive burp cloth, not a nasty old thing,” DeFrees says. “Choosing items that have a stylish sensibility, even if it is simply a brightly colored binky holder, allows a new mom to feel better about the sweatpants she’s wearing. Having those boutique-feel accessories adds a little bit of splash.”


Custom letter press birth announcements by
Red Oak Press
Kennett Square, Pa.

Beetle Creek Kids
Kennett Square, Pa.

Kennett Square, Pa.

Amy Michelle Go Totes
Carried by upscale boutiques nationwide

Erica Salmon

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