With the excitement of two nursery projects, I am dedicating this column to decorating a nursery for your precious baby boy or girl.
Good planning is essential to create a nursery which is safe, practical and flexible. Only a year separates your newborn baby to an active, exploring baby. These early months represent the most intensive period of development in your child's life.
Here are some helpful tips when decorating a nursery...
Flooring is a key consideration in any decorative scheme, but especially so in the nursery. From an early age, children spend a great deal of time on the floor, learning to crawl, exploring and playing, and they need a surface that is both comfortable and hard wearing. Carpet contributes warmth, sound insulation, colour and comfort to a room. Laminate floor with a rug is also a good choice, attractive and easy to maintain. Wall Colours
Look anywhere these days and there is a definite trend towards designing a nursery that caters for boy or girl — a gender neutral nursery. Giving the walls a soft wash of neutral colour is the first place to start. The most popular colours at the moment are ivory, buttery yellow, sandy beige, light sage green or a soft grey. Grey is one of the trendiest colours for a nursery, and can be paired with just about any warm toned colour. If you're not afraid of colour, go brave! Babies love colour!!!
Keep in mind walls may sometimes be canvases for your young ones, so whatever finish you choose, ensure that the surface can be cleaned easily.
The cost of furnishing and equipping a nursery need not be expensive. Shop for furniture that will work well for a boy or girl and consider dual-purpose furniture that easily converts into big kid furniture when needed. Natural wood or dark wood tones are ideal, as well as neutral colours. It's common to find friends or family members willing to offer nursery furniture which their kids have outgrown. Or you could always source second hand pieces through forums like Marketplace on Facebook. This way you get the furniture at a fraction of the price. Why not take an old chest of drawers and give it new life with a fresh coat of paint and have a baby changer made to fit the top.
Nurseries require window treatments that allow the desired amount of light in and that can block it out completely while the baby is sleeping. In addition, curtain fabrics should be an extension of the nursery's theme or colour scheme. Do not be afraid to use colour and patterns; it may be the single room of your home where you can dare to be expressive.
Screen unwelcome light with curtains lined with blackout material or blinds. Darkened rooms help children to get a good night's sleep and create a tranquil atmosphere for daytime naps. It's not advisable to hang floor-length curtains in a nursery because a crawling baby can become tangled in them. Cords on window blinds should be secured and kept out of reach, as they present a choking hazard.
Nursery lighting needs to be flexible; a dimmer switch lets you adjust the level of light to suit the time of day. The soft glow of a nightlight provides enough illumination for night feeding.
Few rooms are as exciting to decorate as a baby's nursery. Focus on creating a space that is comfortable for you and cozy for your baby — there will always be time for the details. You can later add gender-appropriate accents with lampshades, wall art, picture frames, or pillows.
Memories created in this room will remain with both of you for a lifetime.
Good luck on your decorating journey! Just remember, you can always contact us if you need to call in the professionals!
Toni Crockett Design, author of this column, is a boutique style Design & Decorating Firm. Toni would love to talk to you about designing and managing a renovation for you.