Feathering the Nest, amazon.com
Interior designer Tracy Hutson is a member of the design team on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and she's a mom of two boys.
Her new book is called Feathering the Nest: Tracy Hutson's Earth-Friendly Guide to Decorating Your Baby's Room. I spoke to her to get some of her green-living, budget-friendly tips.
Here's what she had to say about pulling together an eco-friendly nursery.
There are lots of green or eco-chic nursery items out there -- but many are pricey. How can pregnant moms who want to make more eco-friendly choices strike a balance between that desire and keeping things affordable?
You'd be surprised how many companies are on board with the eco-friendly trend. There are many great choices out there that are affordable. And you don't have to buy everything. Keep in mind, if you're crafty, there are many nice, affordable organic fabrics available today. You can make your own window treatments and bedding for baby.
OK. So what would your top eco-chic nursery tips be?
Think about paint and fabric choice.
Use non-toxic paint and choose soft organic cotton or natural fabrics and a natural fiber rug. A rug is so mportant because this is where your baby will spend time playing. You don’t want them on top of a rug with lots of nasty chemicals.
When it comes to approaching nursery design in general, what's most important for moms to keep in mind?
Relax and have a good time! You want it to be a fun, creative space, so enjoy pulling it together.
What's one thing you recommend for nursery design that moms are sometimes surprised to hear?
Less is more! Keep in mind that a baby doesn't need much in the beginning. Stick to the basics.
I've come across so many moms who complain about clutter in the nursery and they don’t even use a lot of what's in the room. Also, another tip is to repurpose furniture and other items from around the house. For example, you can use a side table from your living room or move in a piece of art that you like.
Any tips on using vintage or other used items for the nursery?
I love using vintage pieces in a nursery! You can create a one-of-a-kind look mixing old and new pieces. Flea markets are a fantastic place to find great artwork or child antiques to decorate with. You can buy lead test kits at your local hardware store, too, to make sure there are no toxins.
If a mom wants to make eco-friendly choices but can't do it *all,* or even several things, what would be the one green choice you would encourage her to make?
Using a non-toxic paint -- they're easy to find now. People really underestimate the power of paint. Be creative -- paint the ceiling or a fun stripe on the walls. You can really *make* a room with the paint.
Any other tips you'd add to encourage pregnant moms about making greener choices?
It’s easier than you think. Just focus on choosing products that you know will not be harmful to your baby -- they don't have to be expensive.
Also, I'm a huge fan of sharing things with friends. Our babies only need specific items for such a short period of time. Pass along clothes, toys, and things for the nursery that you no longer need, and let other moms do the same for you.
For nursery design ideas from CafeMoms, be sure to check out: