Archive for March, 2011

The Growing Trend of Theme Rooms

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Note:  A guest post by Little Crown Interiors!

In 2008, when we started Little Crown Interiors, we were constantly asked for “non-theme,” “non-babyish” nursery designs.  The idea of designing a room around a theme was totally out-of-the-question for our clients.  However, we’ve recently noticed a rising trend in theme rooms – the sophisticated, lasting kind, and we wanted to share some of our favorite ideas for implementing a theme in a nursery design…

First, the word “theme room” no longer means 45 pieces of matching items from a bed-in-a-bag type of collection. Today’s theme room combines lasting luxury pieces with less expensive trendy items, resulting in an eclectic mix that’s both beautiful and remarkably changeable.

Big name luxury designers from Jonathan Adler to Room Service offer items that can be incorporated into a theme room, and stand the test of time when the chosen theme no longer feels relevant.

 

This investment-worthy Jonathan Adler shell lamp is perfect for a Nautical Theme room, but would transition beautifully into virtually any room of the house when the little one is ready to move onto something else.

 

 

And, how cute would this little pillow from Room Service be in an owl-theme room?  We would pair it with the adorable new Retro Owls Crib Bedding from Carousel Designs.

 

 

One of our best tips for creating a luxurious feel in a theme room is to pair a sophisticated pattern (such as the chevron pattern fabric in the crib skirt of the Retro Owls Crib Bedding) with the more whimsical pattern (like the cute little owls on the bumper).  The combination reads both cute and chic.

 

 

 

 

 

Another of our favorite suggestions for creating a contemporary theme nursery design: go larger than life.  Choose items that overtly emphasize the theme, and then keep everything else subdued.  Show a commitment to the theme, without going overboard.

 

We recently created a butterfly theme room for a baby girl, and applied this technique.  With the help of the fabulous team at weeDECOR, we designed these huge fabric wall decals – the butterfly theme is so clearly present, that we could take a more fine-tuned approach to everything else.

 

 

 

Finally, we always recommend making wise financial choices for all nursery designs, and double that advice for theme rooms.  Thematic items should be either trendy and replaceable, or lasting and worth the expense.

 

Little Crown Interiors – the creative design duo of Naomi Coe and Gerri Panebianco – is SoCal’s “go-to” interior design firm for elite nurseries and children’s rooms.  With over 60 gorgeous projects under their designer belts, Naomi and Gerri have captured the imagination of parents and press alike, thanks to Naomi’s innovative, color-fabulous and ultra efficient (ninja-like!) design skills combined with Gerri’s instinctive approach to each new Mom’s needs.

 

Baby Bottle Options: Glass or Plastic?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I try to stay informed about the products we use as a family. So when my sister sent me a recent article, “BPA-free plastics may still pose health risk,” my initial feeling was….PANIC. Clearly my sister forgot she was dealing with an alarmist! Well, maybe not an alarmist, but when it comes to my kid’s health, I take these things seriously. Considering the amount of BPA-free products we use – including baby bottles, sippy cups and water bottles – it got me thinking about this seemingly unresolved issue of plastic safety.

Bisphenol A (also called BPA) is a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic bottles, in addition to a slew of other consumer products.  When these plastic bottles are heated, they leach high levels of BPA.  BPA is a chemical linked to an increased risk of prostate and breast cancers, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and early puberty.  Though the jury is still out on whether the levels of BPA are high enough to cause any real health effects in humans, this revelation prompted major manufacturers of baby bottles (and other products) to produce BPA-free products.  The majority of these BPA-free products entered the market in January 2009.

This latest article raises new concerns:

  • A “large majority” of BPA-free plastic materials were shown to leak other harmful materials.  The leaking of these materials increases when the bottles are subjected to dishwashing, microwaving, and sunlight.  This is a problem since many of us clean our baby bottles in the dishwasher, warm or sterilize them in the microwave, or put them on the back porch to catch some rays.
  • The chemicals of concern are called EDCs, short for endocrine disrupting chemicals and have “been linked to adverse health effects such as birth defects, reproductive cancers, and behavioral and learning disorders.”

Ironically, I used glass bottles with my second child…I bought them on a whim cruising the aisles of Target. The only real disadvantage I saw with the glass bottles is that they are breakable, which I’ve since realized can be a big downside when small active children are around.

I know these studies are ongoing and the levels of chemicals may be harmless, but I can’t help but wonder now when I am choosing bottles for my 2 month old. Let us know your thoughts on this.