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Designer tips for today’s coolest nurseries

Gone are the days of standard pink and blue for your baby’s nursery. Parents-to-be are embracing neutrals, metallics and bold colors for their baby’s digs. We asked some of the top interior designers for their best tips when creating a non-conventional nursery.

Use “grown-up” elements

Metallic details are very fun!

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Credit: Honsen Interiors

“Nurseries are becoming more sophisticated and the furniture selections are a crucial part of the design,” interior designer Alyssa Judlo says. “Easily alter the look of a dresser or changing table by exchanging the hardware to something more substantial.”

Sloan Wyler, interior designer/owner of HomeFlair, suggests parents choose pieces and decor that will grow with their baby instead of those they quickly will outgrow. If your nursery is “baby” themed, you may need to turn over the space more frequently to keep up with your child’s ever-changing preferences.

“Using less ‘themed’ decor offers more longevity and adaptability,” she says.

Want to add another sophisticated touch? Suzanne Danilek of Suzanne’s Designs recommends adding black and white photographs of your baby to capture that special newborn moment.

Add metallics

“Metallic details in girls’ rooms are very fun and work well throughout childhood into the teenage years,” says Danilek.

Don’t know where to start? You can incorporate metallic touches into a fabulous rug, basket or lamp.

Mix and match

Wyler notices many people making the mistake of thinking all of their furniture must match (white crib, white changing table, white dresser, etc.). Mixing and matching styles gives the nursery a more eclectic vibe and makes the traditional nursery nontraditional, but still provides all the core furniture for functionality.

Interior designer Brianne Bishop often advises clients to repurpose a vintage dresser as a changing table to make the room eclectic and avoid the look of the conventional “three-piece furniture set.”

Paper the walls

The number one tip designers love to embrace? A fantastic wallpaper that transforms the space.

“There are many papers that include multiple colors, which allow you to still incorporate blues and pinks into the color scheme,” explains Judlo. “Some of my favorite brands are Candice Olson and Thibaut.”

Similarly, Lauren Behfarin, principal of Lauren Behfarin Design, says wallpaper not only brings color, but is also an interesting focal point.

If you don’t want to wallpaper the entire space, consider adding texture to just one of the walls with a wall covering. Bishop sees this as a great way to bring interest to the space, outside of painting with a color.

Choose an unexpected color

“When designing a nursery, I like to use playful and colorful elements that are not your typical pastels,” says Behfarin. Likewise, Bishop is keen on a subdued palette. “Using a warm gray with blush or green undertones keeps it slightly playful without being too intense with color,” she says. “By having the main finishes in the room neutral you can bring in color through small accents such as art, a baby mobile, rug, pillows and a pouf.”

Black and white also is a modern way to achieve a nursery that doesn’t align with gender, says Allison Delaney, interior designer of Honsen Interiors.

Or go bold with colors such as banana leaf green, royal blue, salmon or clementine. “Bring in these bold hues as accents with wallpaper on the ceiling or a painted dresser combined with neutrals. Rugs and drapery are a great way to infuse color into the room as well,” she says.

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