Pink and blue and any other hue

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Chances are, when you came home from the hospital as a newborn, you were swaddled in soft hues of blue or pink. In the modern world of baby decor, those shades have a new partner – chocolate brown.

New parents are finding the rich color embellishing everything from bibs to blankets to bedding. And with the shift in popular colors for infants comes another trend. These days, your wee one can be as stylish as you are, never having to sleep under a cartoon character mobile or in a space surrounded by images of farm animals, if it’s not your thing.

Want junior to wear onesies emblazoned with images of your favorite 1980s rock band? No problem. Think skulls and cross bones are cuter than puppy dogs and Disney princesses? You’re covered, too.

Retailers are creating contemporary baby bedding, clothing and other decor with decidedly grown-up tastes. Recent designs feature everything from polka dots and bold stripes to paisleys and even retro patterns in colors as untraditional as orange, navy and aqua.

Designer Deb Chisholm, owner of Polka ToT Designs based in Mobile, Ala., said she looks for patterns and colors that would work well in any room of the home for her nursery and children’s bedding collections.

“Today’s modern mom wants the nursery to look like the rest of their house,” Chisholm said. “Pink and blue is a thing of the past. Nobody does that anymore. Brown is huge. We go through bolts of it. We do a lot with pink and brown. We do a lot with aqua and lime green.”

Chisholm takes phone and Internet orders, then has custom bedding created by her staff at a local workroom. Crib bedding packages start at about $375, though customers can also buy items by the piece.

“Not everybody wants barnyard animals and safari,” she said. “We’ve tried to take fabrics that are home decor fabrics and use it in baby bedding and children’s bedding applications. It kind of gets people away from themes.”

The Internet business owner said she scours upscale fabric stores and other venues for new trends in decorating.

“I’m always looking for new designs and what would be new and funky and fun and different,” she said.

Mary Lou Cothran, owner of JavisDavis, an Internet children’s custom bedding business based in Fairhope, Ala., said her clients want clean designs with few fussy details.

“We sell to people all over the country and we have definitely noticed an upsurge of the modern look,” Cothran said. “… I think a lot of the young girls today, they like a clean-cut kind of sophisticated look.”

Cothran said one of her best-selling crib sets is a pattern called Tokyo. “It has an Asian influence and very clean lines.”

Cothran, who has been designing children’s bedding for national retailers since the 1970s, also has noticed that brown has become popular paired with more traditional colors for nurseries.

“Lately we’ve been selling a lot of things (with) pistachio green and robin’s egg blue from our modern collections.”

She said the company also is selling more tailored crib skirts than in previous years.

Plenty of other online companies offer of-the-moment and retro T-shirts and other apparel for children as young as newborns. The site www.myretrobaby.com features a black infant onesie or bib shirt (priced at $22) with the words “AB/CD For those about to read we salute you.”

On the Internet: www.polkatotdesigns.com; www.javisdavis.com.

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