Creating a space for your precious newborn is something that you will only get to do once in your baby’s lifetime. As a parent, you want to cherish every stage and moment that you can in your baby’s new life. Designing a nursery should be a special experience that is shared with both parents without feeling like another task that has to be done before the baby arrives.
As a new mother, I was personally excited about designing my daughter’s nursery. I had many questions. Where should I start ? What is my theme for the nursery ? What room in my house would be the best place for the new baby? Professionally, I knew that I would have to become my own client. Here are five decorating secrets I used for designing the perfect nursery.
1. What’s your Theme or Color Palette?
Start with a clean blank palette, bare walls and no furniture. You can now start the process of decorating the room from vision to completion. Think of a theme or a color palette.
By theme, I mean think of something that makes you smile whether it’s butterflies in the sky, or the appreciation of animals, flowers, or even sports! If a theme doesn’t work for you, maybe it’s a certain color palette.
Colors have a way of creating a mood in any space. For example, yellow is the color of energy, green is the color of growth and nature, lavender and blue are calming, relaxing colors. When choosing colors you may want to have a main color as the base for your palette then choose a contrast or complementary color as your secondary or you may want to have a pair of complementing colors as your main colors and have neutrals as your secondary colors to create a balance.
Another option is to have a monochromatic palette, where you use different tones and shades of one color. In any palette, it is important to balance it with neutrals such as whites, grays, browns, tans, blacks, etc.
2. The Must-Haves
When designing any room it is important to begin with planning. Part of the planning process is having a space plan or floor layout of how your furnishings are going to be placed in the room. This saves a lot of time and headaches by making sure all the furniture will fit in the room. As an interior designer, I know how important of a process it is to measure and determine the proper placement of furniture and decorations. Make sure you measure first the room including the windows before choosing furniture and accessories. After space planning, it is also important that you make sure you include all your needed items. Start with your largest pieces, such as the crib, changing table, dresser, armoire, and a comfortable chair. There are many new crib regulations, so make sure you do your homework before purchasing one. Also, consider opening a baby registry at your favorite baby retail store to include your furniture. Every piece of furniture should have a functional purpose, for example if the room doesn’t have a closet it is a good idea to include an armoire as a storage unit for your baby’s clothes and blankets. When you are buying furniture be sure to think of multi-functional pieces, this will save space and money.
"It’s so important to think of their nursery as a transitional space that they can grow into."
3. Be Transitional
Your little precious baby may seem so little and tiny now, but as they say “they grow so fast”. It seems like just the other day I held my daughter in my arms for the first time at the hospital and to think that was almost four months ago is unbelievable! She’s already out grown her little newborn clothes and soon she’ll be sitting and crawling, then standing and walking. Before you know it she’ll be too big for her crib. As much as we as parents want our little ones to stay small and innocent as long as possible, time waits for no one. It’s so important to think of their nursery as a transitional space that they can grow into. The needs of your child change so fast between now to the time they are teenagers. When purchasing large furnishings such as a crib, find out if it can be configured into a full size bed or buy a toddler bed before purchasing a large bed. Make sure you are purchasing quality pieces that can withstand your child’s wear and tear.
4. It’s Not Only a Baby’s Room...but it’s YOUR Baby’s Room
Who says that your nursery has to look like, predictable, or like a catalog picture, or showroom set-up nursery. This is your nursery so claim it and make it yours!. Get creative and have fun with it! This is your chance to bring out that little child spirit inside of you out. As a designer, I like to mix and match furnishings to give the room a unique style. Allow your room to tell a story through it’s uniqueness. If your grandmother or older sister gives you an old table that you can possibly use but it’s not the right color or the chair has an old fabric...change it and make it your own! Every room needs something old and classic, whether it’s an old lamp base with a new shade or an old picture frame. Add a custom look by mixing a matching used with new pieces. Create a “grown-up” nursery that is mature and sophisticated yet innocent and playful. Make it a nursery that your child can grow and mature into. For example, when choosing window treatments select floor panel drapes or a soft roman shade in an accent fabric. This will create that unexpected design that will make your nursery look like a “custom design”.
5. Accessories Make the Room
This is the fun part! No matter what room you are designing, the room isn’t complete without the final touches of accessories. The accessories in your nursery will define the style of the room. When accessorizing be sure to use accessories that have colors from your palette. Take this opportunity to make the room personal, after all it is your little one’s room. Tell a story by framing pictures of you and your baby and using that as wall decor. Think of the entire room including flooring, wall decor, and the ceiling. If you have hardwood floors, you may want to think of placing an area rug near or under the crib to add softness, texture, color, or pattern. These final touches give you an opportunity to add sentimental items that you can share with your child as they get older. Adding baskets or textured bins and boxes are great examples of how something can be decorative and functional as storage, because every nursery needs storage. Take this time to create a dream nursery that you can cherish with your baby as they grow.
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