Everyone wants the best of the best baby gear for their baby. But just because some baby products are basic doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. Luckily, as we made our way through the million or so square feet of exhibit space at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas looking for the best selection of baby gear we got a guide!
We were lucky enough to team up with baby interiors and gear expert Vanessa Antonelli, who is also the owner of NessaLeeBaby. She took time out from her buying meetings to talk to us about what matters to her customers in today’s busy baby market.
One of the top concerns of her customers is design. She says that more and more manufacturers are responding to customers needs for basic products that not only work well, but look great also. As she says, after all, if you’re going to put a big bouncer in the middle of your living room floor, why shouldn’t it look good?
Antonelli showed us some of her picks for basics made beautiful, including gear and products that work really well—and look really good.
While at the ABC Kids Expo this week, we’ve certainly seen our share of gorgeous and functional strollers. To top her list, Antonelli chose two.
The new Mios Stroller by Cybex features a mid-century design aesthetic inspired by designer Charles Eames. The lightweight passenger compartment sits on an ingeniously designed metal frame, and it looks amazing. Combining mesh construction with pops of colors for the hood, the stroller is lightweight and packed with features that parents will really appreciate. The Mios was designed in response to customers who wanted a smaller, lighter version of the company’s incredibly popular Priam stroller. It will be available at retail in early 2017.
At the high-end section, few strollers have the stunning look and extraordinary construction that are part of the Silver Cross Wave, which made its stateside debut at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo. The stroller brand has even been using this homegrown British brand for generations. With an anodized aluminum frame, outstanding fabrics woven at the company’s plant in Yorkshire, and stunning details, the stroller is as much a piece of art as it is a pram. Retailers at the show were thrilled to see Silver Cross returning to the U.S. All this elegance does come with a hefty price tag, but for many it’ll be well worth it. The Silver Cross Wave will be available at retail next year.
There are lots of wonderful playmats for babies, but a few standout for early activities such as tummy time and lay-and-play. For parents looking for a more subtle color palette, Mamas & Papas introduced the Magic Stargaze playmat. The latest version of the Stargaze Playmat & Gym is decorated in warm earth tones with rich mustard- and cabernet-colored toys to hang from the arches. It features electronic lights, sounds, and everything else to engage baby. Best of all, design-conscious parents won’t have to put it away when company comes over since it looks great with any décor.
Babies and toddlers spend lots of time on the floor. Their little bodies are, of course, closer to the ground. But that also means they’re closer to the dirt. Not to worry: Lorena Canals washable rugs combine striking design with toss-it-in-the-wash convenience. For 2017, the company is showing a variety of patterns in black and cream, which Antonelli says is totally on-trend for nursery design. She’s tried and washed the rugs, and is very pleased with how they perform. While parents may buy them for the nursery, they’ll be great for the playroom as kids get older (I wouldn’t mind having one in my entryway, and I’m a grown-up). The Lorena Canals rugs are available now with new designs launching through 2017.
Metallics in Baby Gear
Speaking of trends, Antonelli adds that one of the biggest trends in fashion is trickling over into nursery décor: metallics. For 2017, metallic finishes are moving beyond accessory pieces and into major ones, such as cribs. She chose the rose gold crib from Incy Interiors as one that her clients and customers would love. The crib will be available at retail early in 2017.