The Modern Baby: Part One

Babies happen. They can even happen in a modern home. And not only can infants fit in, they can provide just the excuse to take modernism to a different level.

We chat with Joana McKenna, the Creative Director of baby blog and interior design company Mason and Matisse, to find out how.

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

For obvious reasons, the crib is the most important piece of furniture because that is where the child spends the most time and the "right" crib can become a beautiful focal point in a nursery.

The Nifty Clear Collection which combines the clean lines of the mid-century aesthetic with Ubabub’s innovative clear acrylic sides, providing visibility for parents, easy assembly and converts to a junior bed.

I have seen a few convertible cribs out there. Are they worth the extra money? If so, why?

Cribs have evolved so much in the last few years that the conversion kits are relatively inexpensive and easy to assemble. Whether or not to purchase one is going to be a personal decision. Some parents love the idea of a toddler bed, especially in smaller nurseries, but some children are ready to move directly into a twin bed. Parents should really think about the space they are working with and how much money they want to spend before purchasing a crib.

Modern parents who want to include pink into their nursery design will love the new blush colored bedding from Oilo, which evokes the sweetness of a baby, but is still updated and modern.

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

Keep it simple! So often we work with clients who simply have purchased every baby item under the sun and we end up having to weed everything out so that the child has room to explore. Clean lines, pops of color and functional furniture is all you need in a nursery. Don't crowd the room with anything unnecessary. Instead, add pieces that are going to allow the room to grow with your child, like a vintage bookcase or a modern accent chair.

BabyHome is a Barcelona-based company that is entering the US market. Their portable crib, which has sleek and functional design, is lightweight and perfect for traveling.

What has been trending lately with nursery products?

The trends this year have been wonderful! Gray is still going to be a staple color and blush is the new pink, so you'll start seeing these colors individually and together popping everywhere from the walls to the bedding. Look for the super-chic white body frames in the latest strollers, which makes them look so clean. In terms of safety, this is the year that bedding manufacturers are getting with the program when it comes to the danger of baby bumpers and you'll be able to purchase nursery bedding sets without the bumper.

The hands-down must have for the modern nursery is the Mini-e! The Mini-e is a child sized replica sharing the same aesthetics as the classic Eames 1950s lounge chair and ottoman. For parents who want to keep the modern design of their home flowing through the nursery, this is for them.

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

Parents should look for wood and eco-MDF when it comes to pieces for the nursery. Timber components should be sourced from renewable plantations and have non-toxic finishes. Mattresses should also be hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-dust mites, anti-mold, and anti-mildew. Nursery bedding and blankets should be 100% cotton, organic and Oeko-Tex certified. Most importantly, read reviews by other parents, talk to friends who have bought furniture pieces you like to find out how they hold up to the usual wear and tear and buy pieces that complement your style and the way you live.

"One of our favorite products is Skip Hop's latest bedding line 'Complete Sheet,' it's clever and decorative sheet sets give parents the option to go bumper-less without sacrificing style," says Joana McKenna.

Anything else?

Remember that less is truly more! Create a room that could grow with your child, choose basic neutral color schemes and let the toys, books and art create the color pops.


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