Parents

Tips for the modern baby nursery

Gone are the days of cutesy teddy bears and frilly florals. With a new generation of hipster parents, baby gear is going modern. Lifestyle expert Elizabeth Mayhew offers these tips for creating a cool space that you'll enjoy spending time with your new baby in.

As you may have noticed, there is a current "modern" baby boom in the design world. This new aesthetic is due in part to a growing number of hip, urban (often older) parents, who want their baby gear to fit in with the rest of their home. By the time they have had kids, have a distinct design sensibility in place. Maybe they live in lofts, converted industrial buildings, or a 70's style ranch house in the suburbs.

What they all have in common, is a love of clean, simple, well-made furniture and accessories. For their living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms, they shop at West Elm, CB2, Design Within Reach, and when it comes to the nursery, they want the same aesthetic to hold (no Pooh bears please!).

The celebrity parent boom has made the baby the accessory du jour, and you often see the modern baby gear they buy for their own children featured in magazines. In turn, other parents who name, dress and surround their kids with the stuff of the stars are following their lead. Enter the birth of a new industry with stores, product lines, e-commerce sites... even a magazine (Cookie).

Most of these modern baby manufacturers are high quality. They use sustainable woods, great fabrics and solid construction. And it does not come cheap. There is no question that this is an upscale market with a Netto crib starting at $1,500. But it is a trend that is starting to filter down.

Here's how to get some of the looks:

Floor tiles Modularity is a hallmark of modern design, so you don't get more "modern" than floor tiles that allow you to custom color and size your rug.

Toy Poodle Carpet Tiles $14 per square, florcatalog.com

Diaper caddy
Form and function become one in this sleekly designed diaper caddy that allows you to store all you need for a quick diaper change in any room of your house. It's big enough to hold a dozen diapers, cream, ointment, q-tips and cotton balls.

Toolbox Diaper Caddy $38, skiphop.com

Crib bedding No Peter Rabbit or Pooh bear on this crib set. Instead, dots and lines make a modern graphic statement in the crib (they say babies only see black and white for the first several months anyway).

Dots Crib Set $324, dwellshop.com

Baby blanket
A whimsical line drawing of a frog makes this fleece blanket sweet, but not saccharine.

Frog Blanket $40, modernbasics.com

Rocking chair Upholstered in stain resistant fabric, the Collins rocking chair is a cartoon-like version of an Art Deco design.

Collins Rocker $1,295, ducducnyc.com

ArmoireThe simple lines of the PJ Armoire are inspired by Mid-Century furniture and the chalkboard doors will encourage your child to become the next Andy Warhol. Drawers and shelf inside are finished in orange lacquer for a fun pop of color.

PJ Armoire $1,450, ducducnyc.com

Dresser/changing station This chest of drawers can function as a changing table through the diaper years, but once you no longer need the changing station, it lifts off to reveal a sleek white lacquer and walnut dresser that can be used in the room as your child grows (or in any room of your house) Walnut Dresser $890, oeufnyc.com Changing Station $218, oeufnyc.com

Bassinet The bent plywood and chrome construction of this bassinet resembles designs from the 50's by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller. Although it's pricey, you can buy a conversion kit that transforms the bassinet into a play table and toy bin.

Nest Bassinet $600, moderntots.com

Crib
Interior designer David Netto was a pioneer in this modern baby boom; when he was expecting the birth of his daughter, he was unable to find baby furniture that suited his aesthetic so he created his own. Inspired by 1950s Scandinavian design, he pared white lacquer with natural ash for his Loft Crib.

Netto Loft Crib $1,490, egiggle.com

Chair & ottoman
This boxy upholstered chair and ottoman is a scaled down version of a grown up's modern club chair....Honey, I shrunk the chair!

Ava Chair $260, egiggle.com

Ottoman $100, egiggle.com

Artwork
Modern science becomes an abstract work of art...this company sends you a kit to collect your (or your child's) dna, you return it to them in an envelope they provide, then they have a lab print it onto poster size. You can choose to have your dna printed in 8 different colors and 3 different sizes. The process takes about 4 weeks.

DNA artwork $390, dna11.com

The design of each letter of the alphabet in this poster is inspired by Mid-Century Danish wooden toys.

Binth Alphabet Poster $85 unframed, binth.com

Accessories Stuffed animals $110 for set of 3, dwellshop.com; stuffed Animals $40 - $53, softgoodsdesign.com.

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