5 Designer Nurseries That Defy Tradition

by ·

From the early days of planning my future home, I always dreamed of designing a nursery that was more for me than the little resident sleeping there—a sanctuary with a calming palette and adult accoutrements rather than a stimulating environment for baby. I admit the concept is a little anti-status quo, but the new wave of nursery design proves I can have it both ways!

The Great Color Debate

Designer Nurseries
Image: Ivanka Trump’s all-white nursery by designer Kelly Behun, Elle Décor

I’ve heard so many theories on what colors are deemed “baby-appropriate.” Some people merely rely on tradition: blue for boys, pink for girls, yellow or green to keep it neutral. Others follow science: black and white in the early months, bold stimulating colors thereafter. What’s the right answer? Well, I’m personally not one for tradition, so I say choose any color from the spectrum, or perhaps, no color at all. Ivanka Trump limited her daughter’s nursery to shades of white with ethereal and sophisticated results.

Non-Traditional Nurseries
Image: A dark and moody nursery by Lauren Liess Interiors

As for science, many argue that color choices have little impact on brain development. Dave Munger of Cognitive Daily writes , “In the end, I doubt it would make that much difference in a baby’s life. The first few months of infancy are over quite quickly, and are spent mostly sleeping.” How true. In fact, designer Lauren Liess created the dark nursery above with sleeping in mind. The lesson here is to use whatever color works for you!

The Myth of Baby Furniture

Contemporary Nurseries
Image: A modern nursery by Lee Kleinhelter, One King’s Lane

Baby furniture??? With the exception of a crib, I dare say there’s no such thing! The concept of baby furniture can not only limit design possibilities, but also the furniture’s usefulness. Why not select pieces that can be used down the road, whether growing with your child or finding their way to another room? Designer Lee Kleinhelter opted for a chic Eames lounge chair in her son’s nursery, which will undoubtedly be used for years to come.

Designer Nurseries
Image: Kristen Nix balances child-friendly with adult chic in her son’s room, PaperCity

As with all design, balance is the key to success. For example, designer Kristen Nix wasn’t afraid to mix sophisticated pieces with play furniture in her son’s room, choosing a Jonathan Adler buffet for storage and animal print underfoot. Meanwhile, the Musso Design Group incorporated contemporary lighting by Design Within Reach and a custom swivel chair in their nursery for an Atlanta area show house.

Image: Nursery at the 2012 Decorators’ Show House & Gardens by Musso Design Group, Atlanta Homes Magazine

Are you a fan of the nontraditional nursery?

Leave a comment

Recent Pins
Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.