Lauren Behfarin saw a need for sophisticated design geared toward growing families.
Arriving home from the hospital with your newborn for the first time, rocking your infant child back to sleep, reading a book with your talkative toddler — a nursery will become the setting for endless, lasting memories as your child grows.
From falling in love with their first smile to cheering along their first steps, parents will inevitability spend many heartwarming hours in their child’s nursery — which means the space should bring joy to both parents and children for years to come.
Designing the perfect nursery may seem intimidating, but luckily this interior designer understands the importance of creating a space filled with love, care and joy.
Five years ago, Lauren Behfarin designed her daughter’s nursery in preparation for her first child’s arrival. She quickly discovered a gap in family-friendly design, and created Lauren Behfarin Design. “Once I had a family, I wanted to do more work geared toward children and younger families,” says Behfarin, who previously worked for Drew McGukin Interiors.
With a growing clientele, the trendy NYC-based interior design firm now designs spaces for new parents and growing families that are vibrant and sophisticated yet comfortable and livable. Understanding the emotion and love that goes into each space created for a child, Behfarin has found that “nurseries and children’s spaces often become an extension of a home.”
Although she designs a range of spaces, Behfarin’s favorite projects are always nurseries for first-time parents. “Nurseries are always so fun, and so full of hope, life and excitement. It is such a special time to watch new mothers experience pregnancy and for parents to experience a baby for the first time. We are always honored when families include us in that time,” says Behfarin, who works alongside her associate, Abby Gruman.
As a parent of two, Behfarin values convenience and function. After designing a nursery, first-time parents may soon realize that a makeover is required less than two years later. In order to keep the transition as simple as possible, Behfarin tries to “anticipate the next steps of a child’s life” with her designs.
Using various patterns, textures and bold colors, the team is sure to incorporate fun elements that feel young while also considering the next five or 10 years of a child’s life. “As I experience these phases with my own children, I am really learning what works and what does not work long-term in a space. We are learning what elements transition with your child and which do not,” Behfarin says.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Behfarin also understands the need for storage in a compact apartment. Utilizing items such as cribs that turn into toddler beds or bunk beds that double as two twins beds, Behfarin “makes sure that clients have the best items for their children to grow.”
Whether it’s furniture that won’t cause injuries to a newborn or toys that won’t grow tiresome, first-time parents often look to Behfarin and her team for more than simple design tips.
“They’re looking for great design, but they are also looking for advice. We take relationships to heart when we have clients who are experiencing this for the first time,” Behfarin says. “I am here to guide, push and challenge clients, but I always deliver something that they love.”
How to Design the Perfect Nursery
Accent Walls — “There is always an accent wall, whether it’s a really cool decal, cool paint color or interesting wallpaper,” Behfarin says. “There should always be a fun backdrop to one of the walls in a nursery, and it’s usually the one with the crib.”
Minimal Themes — Cautious to not take a theme too far, Behfarin always suggests incorporating components from a theme, such as accent pieces or different colors. “There are ways to bring in a theme that are not too thematic,” she notes.
Neutral Colors — “There has been a shift toward gender neutral colors, such as grays, creams and whites,” Behfarin says. “People are prioritizing style. The standard pink and baby blue are not popular right now, and I think it is because style, form and function are so big in the city right now.”
Acrylics — This year, Behfarin is seeing a lot acrylics. “Homeowners are loving acrylic cribs with acrylic bars, or chairs with acrylic legs,” she explains. “Acrylic accents have shown up a more recently, I think as way to make a nursery modern.”
Organized Spaces — Whether it is a bunk bed with shelves, a coffee table with compartments or an ottoman with storage inside, Behfarin appreciates and understands the fluidity of space. “Homeowners are constantly reimagining how their space is being used,” she explains. “The hustle and bustle of the city has caused us to pay attention to creative and innovate ways to save space.”
Gone are the days where bedrooms consisted of loud, mismatched colors, oak-colored furniture, and stuffed animal infestations.
Kids’ bedroom decor has evolved greatly over the past few years. Today, kid room décor is more sophisticated and purposeful than ever before.
In order to explore some trends in Children Bedroom Decor, we spoke to Dania Farhat, the CEO of Decor For Kids — an inspirational platform for everything kids decor.
Neutral colors are not only popular in common areas of the home, but in kid spaces as well. Neutral colors are great for kids’ bedrooms because as children grow, their tastes and styles change with them. With neutral colors, a room design can be easily transformed. All you need is to switch out accents and accessories, and you have a whole new room design!
Wallpaper has gained popularity again. It is a great way to add character, texture and interest to a space. Wallpaper prints have become softer and larger in scale. Wallpaper is now more commonly used on a focal wall and serves as inspiration for the entire room design.
Photo courtesy of @mrcurtiselmy
The floral trend is going strong. Floral decor used in kids’ bedrooms brings in a bright and cheery touch.
The paper flower business has boomed tremendously over the past couple of years. They are customizable and come in different variations, colors and styles. Floral wall decals are another type of floral decor. They also come in various sizes, colors and styles. This is a great way to add texture and variety to a space without being committed long term. Wall murals are used as a dramatic way to bring floral themes into a space. There are some beautiful variations available. Bold and larger floral prints are currently trending.
Themed bedrooms are very much on trend and the designs have gotten much more elaborate over the years. Themed rooms are fun because this allows you to get super creative, and allows the child to have their ultimate dream space tailored to what they are passionate about!
Personalized Wall Decor
Personalized wall decor is all the rage these days. They come in different variations and add a personal touch to a kid’s room. There are so many cute personalized wall decor options available.
Reflecting the creative minds of children, these luxury playhouses offer princesses, superheroes and monsters the chance to explore, learn and discover from the comfort of their own backyards.
Whether it’s a princess castle, cozy cottage or luxurious mansion, each playhouse also offers beautiful aesthetics that will make parents happy. While most adults value high-quality construction and contemporary design, many of us still have an inner-child within. Brian Grossman, partner at Grossman Design Build — a company that has begun building playhouses for children in the Make-A-Wish foundation — understands this. “We used to build forts and playhouses as a kid all the time and we always dreamed of being able to do something like this,” he says.
With the help of these adult-led companies — Lilliput Play Homes, Grossman Design Build and Charmed Playhouses, each creative playhouse can now embrace a sense of imagination that’s only truly be found in a child.
Lilliput Play Homes
After trying to find the perfect playhouse for their daughter, founder Stephen Chernicky and her husband decided to create the first Victorian Mansion playhouse and launch Lilliput Play Homes.
Since its inception, the family company has taken personal pride in the creation of every wooden playhouse and has emphasized the belief that children should have a special place of their own to grow and discover.
Families may choose from many available designs, including the Fairytale Cottage, Ole Fireplace or Victorian Mansion, or opt for a custom playhouse.
Photos credit of Lilliput Play Homes
Grossman Design Build
From foundation to furniture, this custom playhouse was built by Grossman Design Build, a full-service architecture and construction company. Whether it’s the stone exterior, sunny screen room or cozy interior, each area of this playhouse was designed with both parents and children in mind.
Having started building custom playhouses two years ago, the team has since built 10 for the the Make-A-Wish north Texas Chapter. “We are teaming up with Make-A-Wish to build modular, custom playhouses that we can ship across the country to anyone who wishes to buy one and then we will donate playhouses to Make-A-Wish with a portion of the proceeds,” explains Grossman.
The team was also featured on an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Uper, where they built a wheelchair-accessible backyard and playhouse for two young boys. When building a playhouse, Grossman finds “it is the most fun we have had building, because you get to be a kid again.”
Photos credit of Todd Kamp / TFK Photography
These hand-crafted, solid-wood playhouses and treehouses are designed for the most imaginative children. Working alongside industry-leading architects, this Canada-based company designs each playhouses to provide an out-of-this-world escape.
While the majority of playhouses on the market are very simple and straightforward, Charmed Playhouses understands that children want designs that are bright, wacky and fun.
Photos credit of Charmed Playhouses
Redefining “resort-style living,” these luxury real estate communities are taking it one step further by offering unique and unexpected amenities that buyers didn’t know they needed:
Los Cabos, MX
A private oceanfront residential community, Maravilla Los Cabos stretches across 260 acres overlooking the sparkling Sea of Cortez. Prospective buyers can choose between villas, townhomes, or opt for custom homes and home sites that embrace the natural environment and history of the area. Amenities run the gamut at Maravilla.
Built on the edge of a canyon where two arroyos meet, the hidden campsite is two miles from Maravilla and offers residents the opportunity to experience the Baja desert uninterrupted. The campsite features a main palapa with a kitchen. The luxury camping tents feature one bedroom with a separate living area and outdoor shower. Residents also have access to picnic packages or chef service for dining. A camping butler is on hand for overnight stays as well. Activities include world-class hiking and mountain biking with plans for archery and ax-throwing sites.
Splash Pad and Park.
Perfect for family frolicking, The Park features badminton and basketball courts, and fields for soccer, Frisbee golf, croquet and horseshoes. Parents can sit back and relax while the kids enjoy the jungle gym, splash pad and playground area.
Not only is the 60,000-square-foot clubhouse the community centerpiece and social hub, it has several standout features including a 3-level infinity pool with a water slide, lap and plunge pools, a full-service spa, fitness center and 2-story climbing wall, lawn sports courts, an outdoor amphitheater and indoor theater, as well as fully-equipped kids’ activity center.
Palmetto Bluff, SC
Situated in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry between Charleston and Savannah, Palmetto Bluff is surrounded by rich history, stunning beauty and cultural heritage. The largest remaining waterfront property on the East Coast, this 20,000-acre development is surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront and features extensive nature trails and a vibrant Village center. Palmetto Bluff also offers a new approach to a beloved camping delight with a s’mores cart for residents and guests.
The cart is custom-designed with six bins, offering a variety of flavored and classic marshmallows, a tray of graham crackers, bins for roasting sticks and a mini refrigerator to keep house-made milk and dark chocolates perfectly crisp. After a day of biking along the property’s many trails, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding along the May River or golfing on the May River Golf Course, unwind by “s’moring” which begins at 7 p.m. each night.
The Carolinas, SC–NC
Situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This collection of residential communities is set among a million acres of protected national forest reaching north to Asheville, North Carolina and south to Greenville. Homeowners can choose between three distinct community settings — Mountain, Lake and Asheville — and enjoy every clubhouse, golf course, wellness center, hiking trail, tennis court, marina and restaurant across all seven communities. Plus, it offers a unique, exclusive wine club.
A Wine Club.
Dubbed “uncorked!” The Cliffs Wine Consortium is a monthly wine club led by The Cliffs Beverage Director, Eric Cooperman, a certified sommelier and wine specialist. Exclusively offered to more than 6,000 Cliffs members, the program offers unbeatable wine deals up to 40% off retail price. The subscription-based program encourages members to enjoy different wines, including an array of varietals and regions. The Cliffs offers tastings on a weekly basis and hosts wine pairing dinners.
Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Napa Valley
Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Napa Valley is the brand’s first Napa Valley property and slated to open early 2019. Initial site work has begun on the hotel and 20 residences under the management and direction of Bald Mountain Development. When open, owners and guests will have access to the Resort’s impressive amenities, including an exclusive, experiential and world-class on-site winery in the heart of the renowned Calistoga AVA, which will be led by renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.
Your Own Family Wine Label.
Led by renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, this winery and vineyard is one of the most unique offerings available to residents. Residence owners can collaborate with Brown in the winemaking process and coordinate sessions with him to partake in harvesting, fermentation, blending and bottling. They can also store their wines in the Residence Owners’ Private Wine Library until the perfect occasion arrives.
Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Napa Valley, Maravilla Los Cabos, and The Cliffs