Baby on board? 3 tips for a modern nursery

So much has changed in “baby-land” over the past decade and most of those changes involved the nursery. With all the chemicals that go into furniture and carpet manufacturing, one of the most important considerations when designing a nursery for the baby is how to keep him or her safe from toxic fumes and other hidden dangers. Read on for tips about that as well as some design and décor ideas for you to consider.

Pastels make a comeback

Just two years ago designers told us that pastel colors for the nursery were a thing of the past. “Gone are the pink-or-blue color palettes,” Erica Rivera writes in the Star Tribune. “Newborns are increasingly coming home to rooms with gray color schemes.”

That was then and this is now and pastels are back, and in some amazing shades unheard of back in the day. Pantone started the ball rolling this year with its announcement of not one, but two colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. What makes these shades different from the traditional pink and blue is that the former is softer and carries just a tinge of peach while Serenity is more of a lavender-blue. But don’t stick with the traditional pink-is-for-girls-and-blue-is-for-boys if it bores you. Consider a spring-like green (Benjamin Moore Sounds of Nature), lemon drop (Lullaby Paint Sunshine Yellow) or soft lilac (Rock Harbor Violet from Benjamin Moore).

2016’s nursery furniture

Matching furniture has been passé for years now and 2016 is no exception. Say goodbye to furniture sets and hello to the mix-matched nursery. There are no rules, really. If you like the way it looks, you’re done. It’s the crib, however, that takes center stage. Designers are calling them “statement cribs,” and most have cleaner lines with a decidedly modern look. Examples of these cribs include Pottery Barn Kids’ acrylic crib and the über expensive Pod crib from Ubabub.

Make it safe for baby

Newborns and infants are much more susceptible to the effects of toxic compounds than older children and adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep in mind that your infant will eventually be crawling on the floor and playing and exploring near the walls.

Insist on low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint on the walls in the nursery. Other commonly found toxicants in the home include formaldehyde, emitted by building materials and styrene and 4-phenylcyclohexane from new synthetic carpets.

Carpets deserve a special mention since “off-gassing” can occur for up to five years after installation. Experts recommend that you leave a window open for the first 72 hours after the carpet is installed and use a fan to ventilate the gasses outdoors.

Your safest alternative, however, is to forget carpet and go with tile, hardwood or laminate floors and use area and throw rugs.

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