It’s by far the most exciting – and agonising – pregnancy project you’ll undertake (besides the whole nine months, of course!). You’ll want a nursery that’s practical yet feels special, uses space efficiently and will grow with your bubba. Oh, and then there’s the colours, which can affect the whole mood and atmosphere of the room, creating a space your baby can enjoy and ensuring it can easily be tweaked to grow with your baby. So where do you start? Here, my dear. Get ready to deck the halls, err, nursery, out with creative and functional pieces and smart styling tips…
1. Choose Your Colours Wisely
We’ve known for eons that colour can affect mood. So when you’re decorating your nursery, think about whether you want positive, vibrant and playful colours, or soft and relaxing tones, so your little one will be totes happy snoozing and playing there as they grow. A neutral colour palette is great, stylish and safe because you can subtly or dramatically change the room by adding cost-effective accessories like bright bed linen, printed cushions and textured throws.
2. Try Something New
Make paint, wallpaper or decals your best friend. They’re cost-effective ways to style up your nursery, add loads of impact and can easily be modified over time and as your child’s interests change. Think outside the square and embrace some new not-so-predictable shades and designs. Grey and orange have a playful tone and work for both genders and all age groups, or for something dramatic, monochrome will add a contemporary spin that will take your child into the tween and teen years. If you’re unsure about dramatic colour, a feature wall is a great way to inject colour into a room while still playing it safe. Soft and subtle tone paints, wallpaper or ethereal mural decals can create a magical space that will add flair without feeling overwhelming. And when they have served their purpose, just remove decals or repaint the wall.
3. Think Creatively
It’s hard to imagine your little goo goo gaa gaa growing up, but they do – fast! So make a creative, playful space where they can explore, relax, read, enjoy games, and bring their imaginary world to life as they grow. Creativity starts from an early age, so use this time to build creative confidence and celebrate your child’s imagination. Deck the room out in a whimsical tulle canopy so they can be a fairy or princess or ballerina, add a play table and chair for art and craft or tea parties, or use a rocker for fun and to help with balance as your child begins to cruise.
4. Add Essential Pieces
As a new mum or dad, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so it’s worth making it as cosy and functional for you – as well as bub – as possible. A cot is an essential, but you can save on space and money by choosing a cot that converts into a junior bed, or add a changing table topper rather than a complete unit, which will be less strain on your back and on your wallet. Make sure you have all your nappy change essentials in one, easily to reach space. If space allows, a comfy chair for feeding will be a welcome addition at 3am witching hour, and a side table and night light will be perfect for trashy mag reading – or social media catch-ups while baby snoozes off to la la land. Then when your baby grows, you can use the chair for story time.
5. Invest In Good Storage
There’s a lot of paraphernalia that comes with kids so good storage is essential. Invest in pieces that can adapt as your child grows with shelves, bookcases, drawers, under bed storage and toy boxes so you can hide the contents when required but your child can easily access them for play when the mood strikes. Shelving can be used to proudly display your little ones favourite pieces and doll collection, and a book nook is a great way to foster reading while keeping the Disney classics neat and tidy. Add door hooks for easy access to often used gear like cardigans, burping clothes and the nappy bag – and for later, kindy bags and sports gear. If your little one becomes a collective of trinkets early on, a peg board is a great wall storage solution that can be easily adapted for different sized goodies, books and photos as they grow.
6. Display Family Heirlooms
Add a touch of nostalgia with timeless keepsakes like Granddad’s vintage plane proudly hanging from the ceiling, display Daddy’s original Transformers or use mummy’s heirloom wicker cradle as a place for dolly to sleep. Family treasures reveal beautiful generational stories, have sentimental factor and are a lovely way to create family unity – and you’ll keep them forever. Or, add collectibles to the nursery theme that truly represent the family. If you spend all summer at the beach, a boat and seaside theme is beautiful. Family got the travel bug? Then think about your adventures together – a hot air balloon hanging from the ceiling or jungle animals that reflect your safari trip could be your theme answer.
7. Frame It
Children’s wall art can be found everywhere, but a framed big sister’s painting, inspirational message painted on a canvas by mummy, or baby’s first painting will have added, special meaning for your little one. When my son was one, he finger painted six different collages, each with a different colour, which I still have proudly hanging, six years later. Try one show piece or create a collage for a wide wall with different sized frames and artworks to add dimension to the room – and inspire conversation.
8. Add Personality With Soft Furnishings
Have some fun with bedding, throws, cushions and special toys displayed on chairs to add personality to their room. Different themes or colour palettes are easy to update when the season’s change and your little one grows from cot to toddler bed. They may love Thomas The Tank Engine when they are wee, but move into Star Wars later.
9. Choose Versatile Pieces
Invest in key furniture pieces that are versatile. As mentioned, many cot styles come with toddler bed conversion kits, have matching pull out draws that slide away under the bed or can be used for sleepovers, and some chest drawers double as a change table.
10. Create A Comfy Floor Space
Your floor rug will no doubt be used for tummy time, then as a play mat, and of course will help keep tiny toes warm in the cooler climate, so choose a rug that’s comfy for your little one to play on. Avoid shag piles and rugs that will leave fur everywhere, or worse, end up in your toddler’s mouth. Some rugs allow for washing, which is great for icky feet and sticky finger marks, while more durable rugs will allow for longevity.
Share your nursery decorating tips in the comments below…