How to Create a Modern Nursery

Creating a modern nursery - design by Brianne Penney - LightsOnline Blog

For years “the baby’s room” had a predictable look, decorated with images of cuddly teddy bears and cartoon animals. The gender of the newborn was often emphasized with either pastel pinks and dolls for girls or powder blue with cars for boys.  

Over the last 10 years, nursery décor has been elevated to a sophisticated palette of soft grays or warm sand tones that often complement the design scheme in the rest of the home. This understated elegance is particularly well-suited for the growing popularity in gender-neutral themes. Here are a few ways to create a modern nursery for today’s homes.  

Today’s Lifestyles Are Different

How to create a modern nursery - Design by Kresswell Interiors and photo by Karin Pedersen - LightsOnline Blog
Design by Kresswell Interiors. Photo by Karin Pedersen.

According to trend and lighting expert Jeff Dross, principal at Lighting by Jeffrey in Cleveland, this design shift also has to do with practicality. “In the past, when Americans were raising larger households, a nursery could be decorated and furnished in juvenile-themed decor and used for years,” he explains. “As one child grew and moved to a bunkbed in the next room, a younger sibling would be moving into ‘the baby’s room.’ With today’s smaller families, the nursery is no longer a permanent space. After one or two children and four years later, the room takes on a new life. This metamorphosis can more easily be accomplished with more neutral décor from the start.”

Plus, younger generations are much more on the move than in the past. According to recent U.S. Census data, the average American changes residences 11 times over the course of their life, and homeowners are estimated to move approximately every 10 years.

“Another reason for a more muted, baseline color in a nursery is the quicker resale of homes today,” Dross suggests. “Americans are much more nomadic, and often jobs will demand relocation. Many people decorate not only for themselves, but for the anticipated resale value of the property. They move to a home with the knowledge that they will be there only 7 to 10 years. A pink room with flying elephants really restricts the draw on the prospective buyer. It is easy to remove one wall of whimsy; it is much harder and more costly to redecorate the entire space.”

For that reason, the lamps and lighting fixtures selected for today’s nurseries have more universal age appeal versus child-themed designs. “As furniture choices have matured, so has the desire to blend lighting with the more tailored furniture and window dressings,” Dross observes. As with the rest of the home, stylish flush mount and semi-flush lighting fixtures, mini chandeliers, and lamps are illuminating today’s nurseries, making a more sophisticated design statement.

Creating a Calming Environment

How to create a modern nursery - Photo by Brianne Penney - LightsOnline Blog
Design by Brianne Penney

The shift to a subdued palette of neutrals versus the primary brights of generations past has a lot to do with the desire to create a peaceful ambiance. “Sparks of color can be added, but in a way that allows for them to be easily swapped. Throws, pillows, and even floor coverings elevate the baseline gray or neutral surroundings,” Dross states. “When the child claims a ‘favorite color,’ it can easily be implemented.”

For parents who enjoy an edgier take on design, many interior designers are opting for an accent wall, where boldly patterned wallpaper on a single wall provides a focal point in an otherwise neutral room. There is an abundance of peel-and-stick removable wallpapers and decorative decals on the market that provide design versatility without long-term commitment.

Even less complicated is utilizing wall art or wall sculpture to provide color, pattern, and surface interest to walls. These decorative accents can be simply removed and relocated to other areas of the home to keep the decor looking fresh far easier than repainting walls.    

Organic Touches

How to create a modern nursery - Design by Esther Lee and photo by Janet Kwan - LightsOnline Blog
Design by Esther Lee. Photo by Janet Kwan.

Just as many young couples today are focused on health and wellness by choosing to spend more for organic foods, sustainable materials, and upcycled/recycled goods, they are following the same practice when it comes to their babies’ needs.

Botanicals, florals, and natural materials have been trending as design themes for several years in infant bedding and décor. Organic cotton clothes, natural rattan and wood in furnishings, changing baskets instead of changing pads/tables, and even the return of cloth diapers are growing trends among today’s parents.

Lighting pendants and fixtures featuring wicker, wooden beads, natural capiz shells and grasses, and distressed wood not only complement the organic theme, but easily fit in with the rest of the home without being pigeon-holed in the “baby furniture” category. Instead, it’s a look that can be easily adapted to older children’s and teenagers’ bedrooms as well as the master bedroom and virtually any other room in the home.  

Find What You Need at LightsOnline

No matter your personal style, LightsOnline has a comprehensive assortment of lamps and lighting fixtures to create a modern nursery both beautifully and affordably.

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