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8 Ideas For Designing A Family-Friendly Apartment That Doesn’t Sacrifice On Style

IN A SLEEK NURSING CHAIR Every nursing mom needs a comfortable
glider—but many of the options are far from stylish. That’s all changed
with The Grano by Monte Designs ($1,195), a sleek glider-and-recliner
that comes in a range of colors, including white, stone, brown, orange,
green and gray. With its modern design it’s a great fit for any room in
the house, from the nursery to the living room. The chair offers
ergonomic arm height for feeding your baby, a high back for proper head
rest, and a removable lumbar pillow for extra support. The fabric is
water repellant and stain resistant.

A KID-FRIENDLY KITCHEN In many households, the kitchen is the center of
activity—making it even more essential that the room be
family-friendly. Robert Dobbs, a certified kitchen and bathroom
designer with Elgot, a design company based in Manhattan, says families
looking to remodel their kitchen may want to consider “u-shaped
kitchens, [because they] work well to keep kids on the opposite side of
the island [and away from the cooking area].” Also, Dobbs says to be
sure to “leave [ample] space between open oven or dishwasher doors and
cabinets,” as this helps enable safe passageway through the kitchen.
When it comes to flooring, solid wood or laminate floors are both
resilient surfaces that make for easy clean-up, while cork is another
good option because it makes standing for long periods of times easier
on your feet—and on a baby’s crawling hands and knees. For people with
small kitchens, Dobbs says internal storage options like pull out
pantries really maximize space.

AHEAD WHEN DECORATING YOUR NURSERY First-time parents should consider
three things before getting deep into plans for a nursery, according to
Ali Wing, founder of Giggle, a baby gear and furniture store. First,
consider how soon you might have a second child, and plan the nursery
around the possibility of a newborn sharing it with a toddler. Second,
unless you are someone who likes to redecorate often, design the room
so “you’ll like it as much when your baby’s a toddler as when she’s a
newborn.” Third, pay attention to safety issues. Be aware of electrical
outlets and cords from blinds and lamps, and keep the crib away from
them. Also, use paint with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or
wallpaper using non-toxic adhesives.

A COLORFUL CHILDREN’S WALL MURAL Do your children dream of being
astronauts, love everything about the ocean or adore animals? Nurture
their interests with a customized wall mural designed by Brett
McCormack’s Painted Worlds. McCormack, who is based in New York City,
has painted window displays for Rockefeller Center, designed holiday
windows for Burberry London and has been featured in “LiveDesign
Magazine” and on Home &Garden Television.

McCormack begins each
project with a consultation before completing a series of drafts for
the room’s detailed design. He then spends a few weeks creating each
personalized room, all with child-safe, non-toxic paints.


Debbie Weiner,
furniture maven and author of “Slobproof! Real-Life Home Decorating
Solutions,” draws on her own experience with a full household—including
a husband, kids, and multiple pets—to offer tips for keep one’s living
area both chic and kid-friendly. Here are just a few to get you

floor and table lamps for overhead lighting. This prevents broken lamps
and stained shades, and gives your family more room to play.

kids always look out the window, says Weiner, which can wreck havoc on
delicate draperies. Replace drapes with raise-able shades, which can be
made in many stylish fabrics.

with your “trouble spots” to find a carpet or rug solution to shedding
pets and spill-prone families. If you have a lot of red stains, buy a
red-patterned carpet; if black dog fur is dotting your carpet, find a
black-based design.

all, invest in durable seating. “A coffee table from Ikea is just as
good as a table from any other place,” Weiner says, “but you can always
tell a bad sofa from a good one.” When shopping for a sofa, make sure
it has a strong frame, a cushion with down and a thick fabric.

ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN CHOICES Practicing an environmentally conscious
lifestyle when your children are young will hopefully lead them to
become socially responsible adults in future years. Paulette Cole, CEO
and creative director of ABC Home, as well as a mom, is passionate
about keeping the business socially responsible. Cole offers the
following tips for New Yorkers who wish to set up a “green” nursery or
kids room:

*Start with a non-chemical foundation: use non-chemical cleaners and non-toxic paints.

*Buy an air purifier for your urban setting.

*Choose organic mattresses whether you are buying for a crib or a bed.

*Invest in organic mattress pads, duvets, pillows, and sheets. Cole
believes “one should keep everything on the bed organic and crisp.”

ABC, we have furniture such as cribs sourced from responsibly managed
forests,” Cole explains. “Health for the planet is the collective goal.”


of Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, was pregnant and looking to
buy furniture for her nursery, she found that there was a “void in the
market for good quality, sophisticated design at a reasonable price.”
She returned from maternity leave with a slew of ideas, creating the
store’s Baby & Child line, which recently launched. It features an
assortment of convertible cribs, elegant bedding, bathroom accessories
and more that Hansmeyer says are “subtle, but fun” and “seamless with
the rest of your home.” Check out their cribs that convert into a
toddler bed and “big kid bed,” and changing tables that transform into
dressers in styles “that are pretty timeless.” As Hansmeyer notes,
“Being able to buy something that will live with your child for 10
years” is worth the investment.

A DESIGN EXPERT FOR YOUR CHILD’S ROOM Whether you are having trouble
decorating your first child’s room, organizing a bedroom shared between
two or three siblings, or transforming your kid’s room from baby to
soccer stud, consider hiring some help. Kid’s Supply Co., for example,
can send a designer to visit your New York City home and help you
create the perfect floor plan for your child’s room. Or, alternatively,
bring the room measurements to an appointment for an in-store
consultation. The store also carries unique styles of furniture and
bedding that you can customize to your own needs. B —Reported by Kristen Duca, Darcy Newell, and Kate Willard


ABC Carpet & Home, 888 & 881 Broadway, 212-473-3000,

Brett McCormack’s Painted Worlds, 860-916-8866,

Elgot, 937 Lexington Avenue, 212-879-1200,

Giggle, various locations in Manhattan,

Kid’s Supply Co, 1343 Madison Avenue, 212-426-1200,

Monte Design Group, 1-866-604-6755,

Restoration Hardware, 935 Broadway, 212-260-9479

The Rug Company, 88 Wooster Street, 212-274-0444,

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