Today’s trend for children’s furniture, particularly eco-friendly furniture, is a modern look. Photo courtesy of ducduc
You can make your baby's haven beautiful and environmentally friendly. Photo courtesy of CoCaLo Naturals
If you’re painting the room, choose a zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint formula—they can be customized to match most any color. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore
Choose wall- or ceiling-mounted lighting to keep electrical cords and plugs out of your child’s reach.
Create an Eco-Chic Nursery
Keep your baby safe and comfortable with eco-conscious décor choices.
- by Michelle Porter Tiernan
Decorating the nursery is a top priority for many moms-to-be. Here’s how to create a healthy, safe, eco-friendly space for your little one without sacrificing style.
Clean, Simple Spaces
Today’s trend for children’s furniture is a modern look, says New York-based interior designer and mom Amanda Moore. Examples are Nurseryworks, ducduc and Netto Collection, which all offer contemporary lines of children’s furniture.
Wall murals and playful rugs add color and warmth to a modern nursery design. Moore, founder of eco-friendly nursery design service First:Place, says her design firm avoids traditional pastels or uses the colors sparingly on accent walls or murals.
For the most eco-friendly nursery, choose natural wood furniture or furnishings with a non-toxic finish. Unfinished, untreated wood is the safest bet, says Moore.
Avoid nursery furniture made from synthetic materials such as press board and plastic that give off formaldehyde gas, says Moore. “It’s quite likely that little teething gums will come into contact with crib rails and other surfaces,” she points out.
Handcrafted or sustainable wooden cribs, bassinets, high chairs and rockers are more eco-friendly choices. Muu’s modern collection and Green Depot’s line of more traditional pieces both have high eco-friendly standards, explains Moore.
Q Collection Junior offers popular storage pieces such as toy benches and bookshelves. Eco-friendly gliders and rockers are another must-have item for parents.
Baby Bedding that Breathes
Buying eco-friendly bedding is one of the best ways to create a natural nursery. As a growing baby, your child’s body is very sensitive to toxins, and crib bedding touches your baby’s skin for hours daily.
Keep your baby safe and comfortable by choosing natural fabrics like cotton instead of synthetics. Also, look all-natural crib bumpers, pillow inserts, changing pads and covers.
Moore recommends OMI and Naturalmat when shopping for a crib mattress. “Splurge on a non-toxic, all-natural mattress and mattress pad and bedding that is either made from organic cotton or the highly renewable bamboo plant,” she says.
Natural Walls for Little Hands
Select only breathable, natural content wallpaper installed professionally with non-toxic wallpaper paste, advises Moore. If you’re painting the room, choose a zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint formula—they can be customized to match most any color.
Safe Place to Crawl
If the nursery has a wood floor, warm up the space with an area rug. Look for natural fibers like hemp, wool, cotton or sisal that are backed with PVC-free backing, and put a PVC-free rug pad underneath, says Moore.
Consider purchasing modular carpet tiles, such as those from FLOR. If stained, they can be tossed out and replaced individually which keeps unnecessary waste out of landfills.
Little Extras for Little Ones
Follow these tips to accessorize your eco-friendly nursery:
- Lighting: Use less energy—and save money—with new, warm compact fluorescent lighting in fixtures and lamps. “Look for lower Kelvin or “K” ratings on the package for the warmest glow,” Moore says.
- Window treatments: Choose natural-woven shades made from highly renewable grasses. Look for fabrics like hemp or organic cotton for drapes or roman shades. Earthshade has a good line of PVC-free roller shades for a truly modern, minimal look, Moore says.
- Toys: A nursery wouldn’t be complete without toys. Buy wooden, non-toxic toys like those from EcoToyTown. Some major toy companies no longer use harmful plastic additives, but wood and natural fabrics are still ideal.