Baby, you've got style

Parents want sophisticated nursery furniture that grows with their child. Nicole Swengley picks the best
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Made With Love Coverlets from Mamas & Papas
Made With Love Coverlets from Mamas & Papas (prices start from £44). Visit
Design-aware parents increasingly demand the best for their babies, and manufacturers and retailers are responding with furnishings and home accessories that are as chic as any "grown-up" equivalents.

Take New Yorker David Netto's Cabine Collection, which John Lewis has introduced exclusively at its Oxford Street flagship store and online.

The dresser/changer (£895), in natural oak veneer and white lacquer, has four drawers and a partitioned tray on top.

Flip the top and the unit moves into adult territory as a smart storage unit. Meanwhile, the Cabine crib (£750) cleverly transforms into a day bed (conversion kit, £175).

London's timepressed parents are increasingly turning to comprehensive, design-led nursery collections embracing furniture, curtains, blinds, rugs, lamp shades and picture frames, as well as luxurious blankets and bed linens.

Mamas & Papas, for example, has several new ranges this autumn, including Once Upon a Time, a homely collection in neutral colours, and lively Hodge Podge, with orange and lime accents.

The Little White Company
Changing table with six canvas storage boxes in pink or blue (£271), from The Little White Company
With the trend for white furniture continuing its upward curve, the company has designed its new Orchard collection in white-painted poplar with smooth, curved edges.

The designs include a sturdy cot/bed (£475), wardrobe (£650), storage chest (£250) and changer/dresser (£475). Parents who cannot decide exactly they need can take advantage of a free advisory service.

Parents also want furniture that grows in tandem with their children. Enter Nurseryworks, a Los Angeles- based children's furnishings specialist whose designs are shipped to Europe via Moderntots, an online shopping site.

Its flexible designs include the Studio Crib, which has an integral changing table and storage cabinet and will convert into a toddler's day bed and built-in desk as children grow. It costs about £890, plus £125 for the daybed conversion kit.

Much less pricy is the Marlow cot bed, which converts from a baby cot to a toddler bed and includes teething rails. It is half price (at £99.99) at Babies R Us. A wardrobe (£149.99) and dresser £49.99) are available in the same range.

Bloom Fresco highchair (£240) from John Lewis
Bloom Fresco highchair (£240) from John Lewis
For sheer style and practicality it is hard to beat The Little White Company's changing table (£175). This multi-purpose unit - changing table on top with a hanging rail on the side - houses six canvas storage boxes (£16 each).

Another practical design is the peg rail (£25) - the perfect place to hang a hat, bodysuit, blanket and matching jersey drawstring bag (£28 a set), introduced this autumn. A wall shelf (£85), bookshelf (£130), bedside table (£110), chest of drawers (£395) and cot bed (£295; mattress, £85) are available in the same range.

Portable Moses baskets give new babies a feeling of safety and security. The Little White Company's natural palm basket (£65) comes with a hand-washable mattress and basket liner.

An optional pine stand costs £20. But if you are after full-on "ooh" factor, check out the new broderie anglaise Moses basket (£59) at JoJo Maman Bébé. Made from natural palm leaves, it includes a padded liner and carrying handles.

Bright, striped blankets (£16), fleece blankets (£26), cotton cellular blankets (£7) and a bright aeroplane carpet (£49), perfect for a young boy's room, and a cutout daisy rug (£49), fun for a girl's bedroom, are available on

Stackable storage cubes from Babies R Us at Toys R Us
Stackable storage cubes (from £16.99 each), Babies R Us at
Toys R Us (0845 786 9778)
Just as attractive is the range in Cath Kidston's new Cath Kids collection, which includes fabrics, wallpaper and bedding as well as pram blankets (£15) and cot sheets (from £12). A Shooting Stars design cot bumper costs £35, and a reversible quilt is £50.

Lulling babies to sleep should be easy with the La Siesta Yayita hammock (£67.95) from Bouncy Happy People. This wool-padded hammock has a removable blanket. Meanwhile, the Bounce Bounce baby entertainer (£69.95) from John Lewis keeps them chuckling.

Another company that's keen to up the ante for nurseries is Bobo Kids, a new interiors shop in Chelsea. It stocks an eclectic mix of modern, vintage and designer products.

A bright-red bed (from £295) with two under-bed drawers (£70 each) is one of the fun designs available. "The collection is designed to cultivate young people's tastes, offering modern furniture with adult appeal," says co-founder Julie Hamon.

Design-savvy parents should be delighted.

Classic and contemporary

Mamas & Papas
© David George
Leanne Gray found everything she needs at Mamas & Papas (0845 268 2000)
With two months to go before the birth of her first baby, Leanne Gray, 32, decided to turn a small study in her modern four-bedroom house in East Sussex into a nursery.

"I was really impressed by the Mamas & Papas store in Regent Street - it's a real one-stop shop, so I ordered everything from the company," she says.

Gray chose a cot bed (£475), dresser (£475), wardrobe (£650) and storage chest (£250) from the company's Orchard range. "I love the fact that it's classic yet contemporary," she says. "I love the rounded edges. Everything is solid and built to last.

"The sides of the cot bed are removable so it can be used until my child is about six years old - I felt this was a really good investment. The wardrobe has ample space, with a large bottom drawer for quilts."

Leanne also chose a number of products from Mamas & Papas' Once Upon a Time collection, including a Moses basket on a stand (£99), tab-top lined curtains (£70) and wool rug (£60). "The designs have such sweet touches," she says. "Even the lampshade (£30) has a tiny bear hanging from it."

"The company sent two guys to fit out the nursery," she adds. "It took only two hours and I was left with a complete nursery."

Wardrobe from Mamas and Papas
© David George
Spacious wardrobe from Mamas & Papas

Where to buy

Babies R Us: 0845 786 9778;
Bobo Kids: 29 Elystan Street, SW3 (020 7838 1020;
Bouncy Happy People: 01326 375755;
Cath Kidston: 0845 026 2440;
John Lewis: Oxford Street, W1 (0845 604 9049;
JoJo Maman Bébé: 0871 423 5656;
Mamas & Papas: 256-58 Regent Street, W1 (0845 268 2000;
Modern Tots: 00 1 877 289 0453;
NettoCollection: international orders on 00 1 212 343 1545;
Nurseryworks: 00 1 888 508 9540;
The Little White Company: 261 Pavilion Road, SW1 (020 7881 0783; and 90 Marylebone High Street, W1 (020 7486 7550)

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