Green is the new pink and blue in the nursery.
EcoSalon Green Nursery Guide
When buying furnishings, a great one-stop shopping source for style without hazardous substance is Serena & Lily. The Bay Area-based company has brilliantly filled the void left by Laura Ashley Home, offering everything from high-count cotton crib bedding in an array of sophisticated prints (stripes and stars, houndstooth check, diamonds, Indian embroidery) to inviting slipcovered gliders, coordinated cotton rugs, lighting and monogrammed pillows.
To ensure your little one’s room is green from wall to wall, Serena & Lily also offers low-odor VOC-free signature paints (13 colors and two trim colors), which makes them the safest and least toxic paints on the market. In shades such as punch, juice, grass and sunshine, they make a bright backdrop for the furnishings and accessories, which now include the modern Loft Crib by designer David Netto.
If you live in an old home with traces of mold, you might want to consider other options for keeping the stylish nursery eco-friendly, such as buying an air filter and avoiding carpet. Some parents avoid rugs all together, and I really recommend this route if you own pets.
You might also want to select a crib mattress that resists dust mites, such as the Natura mattress, as well as encasing the crib mattress with dust mite-protective organic cotton covers. The best ones have zippered enclosures and are washable.
These greening tips are good to employ as your baby grows into a toddler and small child, and the room transitions from a placid nursery to a comfortable kid’s room. Always look at the fabric content information when selecting bedding and opt for pure organic cotton over the myriad of cheaper polyesters and other synthetics. Who wants their child breathing in that stuff all night? The best children’s room designers avoid plastic at all costs.
I don’t recommend heavy comforters for baby, but older children can take the heat…and the weight. Opt for comforters with alternative down material that is safe. A good source for duvets is Allergy Buyers Club, which uses high quality down alternatives to keep older children snug as bugs. The same rule applies to pillows and pillow cases. Select down alternatives and high quality organic cotton for your little ones.
The greenest nurseries don’t play around with toys, either. You’ll find a treasure chest of organic stuffed animals on the market, including some adorable bunnies and birds at Hazelnut Kids and Green Baby. As any mother knows, everything, and I mean everything, goes into the mouth, so keep it clean and green. (Organic, natural toys never seem to make those recall lists.)