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Article: Kids’ Bedrooms Both Fun And Functional


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A Little Bit Ladybug, A Little Bit Citrus And Toile

(ARA) - With themes ranging from nostalgia to critters, and color palettes varying from translucent to pastel bright, next year’s children’s rooms will be as individual as the tiny people who inhabit them.

According to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, juvenile industry retail sales were $6.02 billion in 2000, an 11.7 percent increase from the previous year. While 2001 figures have yet to be released, all indications are that Americans will continue to spend money on decorating their children’s rooms.

For the most part, primary colors and pale pastels will be out. In their place will be more interesting unisex tones of cranberry, burgundy and country blue, as well as hotter, fruit-inspired hues -- both of which lend a lot more longevity to the room.

“We’re seeing an incredible switch from classic nursery soft blue, pink and yellow to citrus brights -- even for babies’ rooms,” says Stephanie Anne Kantis, a premier baby and children’s furniture designer and retailer. “Raspberry, lime, tangerine and lemon will pair beautifully with secondary neutrals such as white, off-white and cream to create a fun, fresh look.” A bit less vibrant, but just as contemporary, will be saturated pastel brights, adds Glenda Heffer, senior design director of Hollander Home Fashions. Kiwi, hyacinth, lake blue and clear aqua hues will be easy to live with, as they’re strong yet not overly bright.

When it comes to decorating themes, what’s old will be new again. Vintage- and Americana-inspired bedding and accessories will evoke the warmth and comfort of yesteryear, with country fairs, fire trucks and airplanes being especially popular. On a more whimsical note, Kantis notes that parents are already building entire rooms around “critters” like ladybugs, bumblebees and grasshoppers, resulting in a fun, casual look. And perennial favorites such as classic Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter and Mother Goose will never go out of style.

PoshTots: Extraordinary Baby FurnitureBedroom furniture will reflect this traditional bent, incorporating simple, classic lines and woods covering the spectrum from white laminate to maple and cherry. According to Pam O’Hallaron, ASID, co-owner of, painted pieces with a slightly distressed finish will also be very well-received -- especially among parents. “Their natural blemishes aesthetically enhance the pieces, plus help conceal the inevitable nicks and scratches that children ‘contribute’ down the road.”

Khakis, denims and plaids will prevail in the world of fabrics, as will an old standby with a fresh new look. “When people think about chenille, they immediately think of Grandma’s old bedspread,” explains Merrilee Franklin, co-owner of Jennilee’s for Babies and Children. “The ‘new chenille’ comes in burgundy and denim as well as softer shades of pink, blue, buttercream and mint, and patterns include flowers, stripes and dots. It’s a terrific way to blend contemporary colors with a traditional favorite.”

Toile is also going to be huge next year, according to both Franklin and O’Hallaron. This French-inspired, ageless look of a dark pattern repeated on a lighter shade will be seen in everything from frogs and angels to carousels and jugglers. Coordinating fabrics and accessories will make it simple not only to outfit a baby’s room, but also to then successfully transition it into a “bigger kid’s” room as the child gets older.

Durability and quality will be the other key ingredients of a functional child’s bedroom. “With Americans spending more and more time at home, they’re decorating their houses to reflect their personal tastes as well as a warm, comforting ambiance,” says Todd Imholte, president of Environmental Graphics, an industry leader in the production of decorative wall murals for more than 25 years. “Even during uncertain economic times, they’re willing to spend money on quality pieces and accessories that they can enjoy for years to come.”

Murals, either hand-painted or preprinted, will remain popular next year. Environmental Graphics’ eight-panel, 8-foot tall by 13-foot wide murals are available in 21 nature- and sports-themed styles, including the kid-friendly “Storybook Hollow” and 2001 ADEX award-winning “Dolphin’s Paradise.” “’Storybook Hollow’ dovetails nicely with the classic nursery themes that will continue next year,” adds Imholte. “And our cloud-filled “Daydreaming” mural will be an ideal backdrop for virtually any decorating style.”

Courtesy of ARA Content


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