Monday, May 3, 2010


After recently finding out that four of my readers are pregnant, I started thinking about some nursery ideas. Although no one quite knows when the first nursery was designed, as with most design, it was most likely commissioned for royalty. In addition to the newborn child, the nurse or nursemaid would sleep in the room to tend to the needs of the child. Although most people do not employ nursemaids today, we still follow the tradition of designing a room dedicated to the expected child.
The focus of any nursery is the crib. Historical references to a child’s sleeping place go back thousands of years and denote many forms. The first references were of cradles made of woven reeds or logs that were hollowed out. Later in time, more ornate beds were constructed often with elaborate detailing. Although many crude vernacular cradles and cribs can still be found at flea markets around the world, few fine examples of infant’s beds have survived from past centuries. Following are a few exquisite historic examples:

Renaissance cradle from Tuscany, Italy (c. 1570), made of carved walnut at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Infant’s bed made of paneled oak, decorated with ebony (c. 1620-1650) at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Baroque cradle from the island of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, under Dutch rule in the Seventeenth Century made for a Dutch family, constructed from ebony and ivory (second half of 17th century) at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

18th century wooden cradle from the Ottoman Empire, carved wood, gold plated and festooned with 2,000 gems of diamond, ruby, and emerald, on display at The Treasures of the Topkapi Palace and the Magnificent Ottoman Dynasty’ exhibition in Tokyo

Crib commissioned in 1811 by Napoleon for his only legitimate son, ‘The King of Rome’ at The Imperial Treasury Schatzkammer in Vienna

To this day, expecting parents still take great pleasure picking out the ‘perfect’ crib for their babies. There are many things to consider when making your selection. Although, as a designer, I am very interested in the style, the most important thing to take into consideration is safety when selecting a crib. For the latest in safety recommendations, please refer to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Crib Safety and SIDS Reduction.
After safety has been taken into account, the fun can begin. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cribs on the market. Cribs come in about every color imaginable, and shapes include rectangular, oval and round. Many have added features such rolling, folding and converting into a bed. Make sure to choose a bed that is appropriate in scale to the room in which it will be located.
There are many considerations to designing a nursery. Most expecting mothers and fathers start by picking a theme based on a variety of subjects, such as a nursery rhyme, sports or little princess. Once the theme has been decided, a crib can be selected. Additionally, other furniture for the room, paint color(s), and soft furnishings can be chosen. Although no one today would likely ever have a crib made with such opulence as those pictured above, there is a way to get some real bling in the room--lighting, which many times is overlooked in the overall design of a nursery. While many nursery showrooms feature lighting that matches the bedding, I often look elsewhere for other ideas, creating a wider selection of options for my clients. I encourage my clients to be sure to consider the ceiling height when making lighting selection. Considerations in selecting a lamp are theme, shape, scale, and pattern.
What follows are some cribs that I love, which I have paired with bling lighting that is at once fun and light-hearted. I often tell my clients that every room should have a little whimsy, and a nursery is no exception. So whether it is you or your designer who is creating your nursery, infuse it with a healthy dose of caprice and HAVE FUN!


Beloved Crib from Luxury Lamb
Zanetti Lamp from Cyan Design

NATURALLY MODERN Roh Crib from Spot On Square
Bamboo Stem Lamp from Elk


Pumpkin Crib from Corsican
Pink Blossom Lamp from Moss


myHaven Crib from Young America
Trinidad Lamp from Quoizel


Baby’s Retreat Crib from Luxury Lamb

Canoe Lamp from Meyda


Sandra Crib from Miguel
Zion Lamp from ET2


Sophistication Black Crib from Luxury Lamb
Mirror Ball Lamp from Meyda


Spanish Galleon Crib from Bograd Kids
Crystal Ship Lamp from Z Gallerie

Studio Crib from Nurseryworks
Cascata Lamp from

Carousel Rocking Horse Crib from Little Miss Liberty
Plume Lamp from ET2


Race Car Iron Canopy Crib from Luxury Lamb
Race Car Lamp from Elk


Lola Crib from Tulip
Tessera Lamp from PLC

For more information on any of the items shown above, please contact me at:


  1. Very interesting read, Terrance. You came up with some clever crib + fixture pairings! Cool.


  2. Great post Terrance, I wonder how many babies fell out of #4?

    As I was perusing your parings, I was imagining what the babies would grow up to be...the one that struck me the most, Leather and Chrome...many dance clubs in that babies future. ;)


  3. Great blog T! I love the history of the crib! And you have some very creative pairings of cribs and lights. I never knew they made so many crazy cribs!!! There is one out there for every taste! We are going to start designing our nursery in a few weeks! I will keep you posted.



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