Baby Love

Tired of doing your kids’ rooms in the latest comic book character or TV show theme? A growing number of young moms are passing up on passé approaches to decorating their children’s rooms and are instead creating fabulously stylish spaces. At Nell Hill’s, we’ve got a serious case of baby fever and are having a blast helping moms and grandmas create wonderful looks for their little ones’ rooms.

If you’re in the process of decorating a kid’s room, here are some tips for creating a space that will celebrate your child, grow with him or her through the years and, best of all, reflect the sensational decorating style you’ve established in the rest of your home.

Baby Fever at Nell Hill’s

Baby fever began to spread at Nell Hill’s a few years ago when a growing number of new moms started coming in, looking for ways to create lovely spaces for their kids. Not content to buy generic products emblazoned with characters from the latest kid TV show or movie, these moms craved a more sophisticated look in their kids’ rooms. They wanted a decorating motif that was fun yet timeless enough to grow with their kids and that harmonized with the beautiful style they had already established in their homes.

I was thrilled! This was a take on baby décor I could get excited about. Even though we have never before carried lines specifically for babies, young moms and grandmas have shopped here for decades for furnishings, rugs, artwork and accents for kids’ spaces. Now we’re carving out more and more floor space at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff to showcase the amazing baby furniture and products I flipped over at market. We also have an array of fabrics perfect for curtains, pillows and upholstered furniture in kids’ rooms. And we’ve started carrying a popular, affordable line of bedding that’s a hit with tweens and teens. We’re now in the baby business and loving it.

Decorating Tips for Kids’ Spaces

If you’re decorating a room for a little one, here are some tips for making it a wonderful haven that will tickle you and your child pink for years.

1. Pick a Palette that Lasts. Primary colors and pastels will always work for babies, but if you want your child’s room to grow with him or her, consider picking a more enduring color palette. I recently helped a young mom create custom linens and furnishings for her baby’s nursery and was thrilled as she gravitated toward navy and cream patterns. This smart mom knew her son wouldn’t care for light blue and tan when he was a rough and tumbling toddler and savvy grade schooler, so she wanted to go with colors that would keep pace with him. She picked a geometric pattern in navy and cream for the drapes. To carry the color scheme into her son’s bedding, she had us make custom fabric slipcovers for the crib’s headboard and footboard that sported the baby’s monogram. When he grows out of his crib, she plans to remake the monogrammed slipcovers into keepsake pillows.

2. Select Fabulous Furnishings. We all danced with delight when the crates of baby furniture started arriving from market this spring. I was over the moon about this great line of heirloom quality furniture, which includes the cribs and changing table pictured here.

For older kids, wrought iron bed frames are a great pick. Thanks to their timeless style and solid craftsmanship, these classic beds are a perfect fit from the moment your little one is ready for a big bed up until you send him or her off to college.

My friend Lisa has done an amazing job outfitting her girls’ rooms with vintage furnishings. She is partial to pieces that look like they have a history, so she scoured resale shops and antique stores for unique furniture that needed a little TLC. Then she used her considerable imagination and artistic skills to remake the pieces into treasures that gave her daughters’ rooms loads of personality. You’d be amazed by how you can transform a bargain find using nothing but some paint.  If you have a copy my book Nell Hill’s Feather Your Nest, check out Lisa’s handiwork on pages 76-81. (If you don’t, you can order a copy today at Nell Hill’s Online.)

3. Get Creative with the Bedding. A great way to make your child’s space truly unique is through custom bedding. Whether you’re outfitting a baby crib with a skirt, bumper and quilt set or spicing up your pre-teen’s pad with a funky duvet and loads of crazy pillows, this is your chance to let your child’s personality shine through.

Pick an interesting mix of textiles for your bedding and pillows, being sure to incorporate touchable fabrics and trims like chenille stripes, pom-poms and rick rack. For fun, personalize a pillow or two with your child’s name or monogram.

We’re carrying a linen fabric right now that I’m crazy about. It has the wonderful natural look of linen, yet is soft to the touch and easy to care for. You can toss it in the washing machine and start it in the dryer, removing it before it’s fully dry then laying it flat so it won’t wrinkle. We’re also using lots of outdoor fabrics for kids’ rooms right now because it’s virtually indestructible. Another perennial favorite of mine is a good matelasse quilt. Just toss them in the washer and dryer. The more you wash them, the softer they become.

4. Finish off with Accents. What would a nursery or kid’s room be without huggable stuffed animals? Instead of making them an afterthought, why not pick cuddly plush animals that harmonize with your color scheme? The cute doggie pictured here is just one in a new line of big, soft plush animals we’re now carrying at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff.

There is so much stuff to sort in a kid’s room, you’ll want to pick containers that work hard but also add to the style of the space. Store cotton balls in graceful glass apothecary jars. Keep baby’s jacket on an adorable hook or coat tree. Put diapers and wipes in antique wooden boxes. Store toys in lidded baskets.

Another way to heighten the style of your child’s room is to replace the generic ceiling light fixture with an unusual chandelier. Don’t forget great accent lamps, which work perfect as night lights.

Bring personality to the walls of the room with great artwork. My friend Lisa filled her girls’ walls with memorable vintage pieces like framed pages from old nursery rhyme books, a pair of plaster cherubs salvaged from an antique store and a wall shelf she used as a crown for a bed canopy.

5. A Few Things to Spoil Baby. I just had to finish off today by showing you some of the super cute gift items we’re carrying now for babies – I couldn’t keep my eyes or my hands off of them at market. Take a look:

Have fun making your little one’s space superb!

Next Week … In honor of Father’s Day, we’ll be talking about Man Caves. These guy-only retreats don’t have to be horrid holes in the corner of the basement or the garage! I’ll share some tips for making your man’s space as stylish as the rest of the home.