written by:
August 31, 2012

For even more nifty nursery ideas, we checked in with the owner of online children's emporium fawn&forest and modern parent, Summer Robertson. Fawn&forest was founded two years after the birth of her first child, in part because she was disatisfied by the baby and nursery things on the market. Below, we chat about the "modern baby movement" (it's a thing) and her advice for nursery newbies. 

Sparrow crib from Oeuf.
"Oeuf has remained a leader in the industry, producing solid, quality furniture. Plus they are a great company. (I don't mean to give too much "Oeuf love" but this company in their design process, production, and in their foundation epitomizes "modern nursery.")"—Summer Robertson
1 / 7
Naturepedic mattress.
"Naturepedic was one of the first organic crib mattress companies to open the door for organic infant sleep. They are spectacular."—Summer Robertson
2 / 7
"The Monte Joya rocker is made-to-order in Canada with amazing construction and design quality."—Summer Robertson
3 / 7
Ferm living products.
"Ferm Living is a Danish design company that designs quality (and luxurious!) baby and home products at a reasonable price."—Summer Robertson
4 / 7
DwellStudio Draper Stripe rug
"The DwellStudio Draper Stripe rug is basic enough to grow with the child and can later be used in other areas of the house."—Summer Robertson.
5 / 7
Frazier & Wing mobile.
"A mobile in the nursery is essential and depends on your style. Frazier & Wing mobiles are available in a broad array of colors and can later be hung elsewhere in the home."—Summer Robertson
6 / 7
Wall sticker by San Francisco.
"Wall Stickers are a modern nursery invention, adding simple, fun non-permanent decor that makes a big impact. LittleLion Studios has great focus wall designs while the smaller accent decals from Mae are also fun. ABC House (shown) is by Ferm Living."—Summer Robertson
7 / 7
Sparrow crib from Oeuf.
"Oeuf has remained a leader in the industry, producing solid, quality furniture. Plus they are a great company. (I don't mean to give too much "Oeuf love" but this company in their design process, production, and in their foundation epitomizes "modern nursery.")"—Summer Robertson

When we first started talking, you mentioned "the modern baby trend" and how its evolved since you had your baby. Can you elaborate on that? 

The modern baby movement started in 2005, meeting the desire of modern-minded parents unwilling to compromise their aesthetics with overly ornate, matchy-matchy nursery furniture, and plastic baby gear. With design, function, and longevity in mind, brands such as Oeuf and DwellStudio emerged as forerunners with thoughtfully composed furniture featuring clean lines and bold, yet basic nursery decor. Today, buying a modern nursery is as easy as walking into Target. Parents are now taking the established modern nursery aesthetic and blending it with their personal tastes in a way that resonates with the rest of the home.

What is the most important piece of furniture parents should focus on for the nursery?

The centerpiece of the nursery is most often the crib; it sets the tone for the space. What I love about modern cribs is that the design is inherently simple. They don't need much. You can often skip the crib skirt and bumper, add in a few nice crib sheets, and you're set. The crib should also grow with the child, converting into a toddler bed, which extends the life of the investment. Functionally (or selfishly) speaking, a comfortable, well-designed rocker or glider is essential. Parents will be spending endless amounts of time feeding and holding baby, so they should have the most perfect spot to relax.

What is worth the splurge and what is not?

Parents should definitely put the money into an organic crib mattress. Standard crib mattress are extremely toxic, filled with flame retardants and nasty chemicals. Babies spend an atrocious amount of time sleeping in the crib, so having a baby inhaling chemical fumes while sleeping is a horrible idea. A basic organic crib mattress by Naturepedic starts at $259.

Parents can save on a changing table. A simple changing pad can safely be placed on top of a dresser and instantly becomes a changing station. Plus, most seasoned parents end up changing diapers on the floor!

How can parents maintain their aesthetic with a baby in tow?

Edit! It's inevitable that parents will wind up with a bunch of baby stuff with the first child. As you go along, it becomes apparent what is necessary and enjoyable and what is annoying clutter. I think parents will find that not a whole lot is truly needed. With the mindset of constant editing, parents can maintain a modern, uncluttered aesthetic as their child grows. Aesthetically pleasing baby products are quite accessible, so it becomes less of an issue of ugly baby stuff and more of an issue of too much baby stuff cluttering a well-designed home.

What construction qualities should parents look for when buying pieces for the nursery? 

Longevity. Sound quality is something modern furniture companies take pride in, it's in the foundation of their design. With that in mind, parents should consider what they want out of these big-ticket item purchases. After the baby, will the rocker or glider look good in other rooms of the home? What does the crib to toddler bed conversion look like? Will the piece grow with our family for future children? Is it enjoyable to look at?

Click through the slideshow to see Summer's top seven picks for the modern nursery!

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016
the blue lagoon iceland geothermal spa hotel water visitors
The famed geothermal spa outside Reykjavík, Iceland, is entering a major new phase—paving the way for the area’s first five-star hotel.
June 19, 2016
heaven on earth maya lin topography what is missing california academy sciences wood video
A new monograph by Rizzoli explores the memorial project by the renowned artist.
June 19, 2016
gable game austin texas cantilevered home facade windows upper level car port
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to indoor/outdoor living. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
June 18, 2016