Baby decor and the dividing line

As we near the end of my pregnancy, a world unbeknownst to me so far, has become more and more prevalent. Baby excess. Just the other day, hubbie and I warily approached Babies 'R' Us at the prodding of a friend who wants us to register for stuff. Key word here being "stuff".

image source and source
But what intrigues me is the broad range of nursery and children's room decor out there in the marketplace. Is there any consensus as to what people are doing? There are certainly design trends that follow along financial divides. But can we make those generalizations for kid's design?

I've got a fun game for you so you can make your own decision about this. I'll pull images from three sources, without identifying them. You try and guess whether it's the high, middle, or mass-level price point.

Let's take gliders for starters. We're matching Serena and Lily, Pottery Barn and Babies 'R' Us to the appropriate chair.

Chair #1

Chair #2

Chair #3

Chair #4

Ready for the matches?

Chair #1:
Serena and Lily puts out a glider that runs around $1,200 [plus $120.00 for delivery, placement in your home (up to 2 flights of stairs), unpacking and removal of the debris/packaging material.] Talk about white glove service. You can customize colors from a lovely, if limited selection.

Chair #2:
Comparatively, if you go to Babies 'R' Us for a glider, a Dutailier costs about $600. Surprisingly, the options are endless. Almost overwhelming. Look at how many fabric options you have, just within the color beige! Having trolled craigslist for a glider lately, I've found countless ads for these models.

Chair #3:
Pottery Barn's Dutailier-looking model runs about $600- $1,050,  with fewer fabric color options. I wonder if the quality is better, or if you're just paying for the Pottery Barn name?

Chair #4:
Also Pottery Barn. Their slip-covered model starts at $800 and goes up from there, depending upon your fabric choice.

Interestingly, from these three examples, the 'high end' had the fewest color options, all color coordinated to compliment the available collections. The middle level had a bit more, but still pretty limited. The 'lower end' (if you can even call a $600 chair lower end!) had a dizzying array of color choices, but most very conservative options, and no assistance in matching to any specific collection. Interesting statement about choices...

So, how do the gallery rooms, provided by various baby/children's  retailers differ? Do the color palettes change at all? Is there anything we can put our finger on, as far as differences due to price points? Once again, I won't identify the retailer each collection is matched to (Serena and Lily, Pottery Barn and JCPenney)

Room collection #1

Room collection #2

Room collection #3

Ready for the answers?


Room collection #1: Pottery Barn rooms titled Lindsey Butterfly, Coco Dot, and Sweet Lambie Nursery seem to have a fairly limited design reach. The color combinations draw heavily on your stereotypical gender specific colors pink and blue. Swap out white for dark brown, and you've got their range. Still very pretty and clean, but somehow, more expected. And their little girl rooms? Not as much variety there, either. They feel a bit too saccharine to me.

Room collection #2: With names like Natasha, Marlo and Ruby, each designerly room in the Serena and Lily catalog is polished and just feels high-end. Lots of white furniture and accents. Or could it just be that they have awesome photographers and stylists? Forget the kids. I would like to live in one of these little girl rooms! There seems to be a sense of sophistication, and it feels as though the decor is less 'matchy matchy' and more edited-feeling, along the lines of "less is more".

Room collection #3: Yup, that would be JCPenney. Well, its a little harder to compare these rooms, as its obviously a clear case of the client demanding that every product within each line be displayed in the picture. No editing down here.There seemed to be less of a branded "look" for this last set, and more about appealing to different age groups. I got the sense the pale candy-colored rooms were for younger girls, while I could imagine a tween in the brighter, more edgy spaces.

I would have preferred using Walmart for the mass-level price point, but alas, they don't do room collections, so it would have been harder to compare directly.

Of course, these comparisons don't even tap into the mass market appeal for character collections like Winnie the Pooh, the Little Mermaid, etc. That's a whole other can of worms for another day!

image sources from source, source, source, and source