Whether it’s your first or your last, this is such an exciting time but daunting too as there is so much choice. After all, there’s so much to do and less than 9 months to get it all done! In designing your baby’s nursery the main things to consider are safety first then theme, colours, furniture and bedding.
The perfect scenario would be to start off with a blank canvas, i.e. empty room with plain walls. Of course that isn’t always the case.
If you are converting an existing room into your nursery, begin by deciding what furniture is staying behind and then you can complement it with your new baby furniture. Safety is paramount when choosing baby furniture so any furniture chosen should have met safety standards for materials and construction quality. Cribs can be finished in natural wood, plastic or painted. Paints used must be lead free and non toxic. This is especially important to note if you have been given a pre-owned crib. A nursery needs basically a crib, changing table, and clothes storage in the form of a wardrobe or an armoire.
A comfortable place to feed and coo at your baby completes the nursery. Upholstered Gliders come as swivelling, stationary or reclining. You can get some swivel gliders, and even reclining-swivel gliders. Many can be customized with your own or other fabric, sometimes for an additional cost. Wicker gliders also look great with the cushions made in a coordinating nursery fabric. A reclining glider eliminates the need for an ottoman.
Changing dressers are preferable to open changers as the later loses its use in the nursery once your child is out of diapers. A Changing Dresser on the other hand is more like a chest of drawers with a changing tray on top of it. Sometimes the changing tray is removable and in some cases can be used as a wall shelf. Many nursery furniture lines have children’s furniture that coordinate with them so all you need to do is add a few pieces when you do your big kid room.
These heavy pieces of furniture must be sturdy and safely attached to the wall to prevent tipping. The best pieces come already assembled for the most part leaving only the doors to be hung. Some manufacturers use a mix of MDF and wood; clarify before buying to know which parts are used. It goes without saying that an all wood furniture piece will last longer. Sometimes the main part is real wood and the back panel alone is MDF.
Theme and Colours
Boy or Girl? Or perhaps you don’t know and would like to decorate in a gender neutral scheme. There are many delightful themes to choose from. Transportation (trains, planes and cars) as well as Safari or Jungle themes are popular for baby boys while typical girl themes include fairies, butterflies and floral. Gender neutral themes include Teddy Bears and Noah’s Ark. Your theme can come from the wall in the form of stencils, wall paper border or wall murals. It can also come from the soft furnishings or wall décor.
Nowadays you can reflect your personal style in your nursery and you don’t have to have a theme that is obviously „baby“. Create a room that is seamless with the rest of your home and accessorise with beautiful soft furnishings and wall art.
The colours can be defined on the walls or on the furnishings. Lead based paints are no longer widely used as lead has been replaced with less toxic substances. The safest option however is environmentally friendly paints or eco paints.
The best fabric for your baby’s bedding is machine washable cotton, essential for comfort and practicability as it will be washed frequently. Cotton fabrics allow baby’s skin to breathe which helps if she has sensitive skin. Make sure bumper ties are not too long or left hanging inside the cot. The bumper must be attached securely. The bedding is one area you can define the nursery theme as the cot is the focal point of the room. Beautiful baby bedding made from contemporary designs like stripes and checks are easy to blend into your personal taste. You can purchase bedding that is ready made or have one customised to suit.
Your baby has been in a warm cocoon for the past 9 or so months and is about to brave our world. Baby blankets are an absolute must, even if you live in the tropics. A baby’s blanket should be warm and soft, and ideally made from cotton or wool. You can have it monogrammed with baby’s name or initials for a personalized touch.
Rugs have an amazing way of infusing color and personality into a room. If your child’s room is angular you can soften it with a round or oval rug. The same can be used to complement a room with arches and round bay windows. A square or rectangular rug looks good also in a regular shaped room with either curves or corners. Chenille braided rugs are luxurious as they are soft under feet yet hardwearing. They come in a range of solid or mixed colors. Frame rugs have a main color with a contrasting frame around the edge. They can be a combination of 2 or 3 colors. Character rugs like Kelly Rightsell rugs or printed rugs are fun and exciting and will be loved for years to come.
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