8 Tips for Decorating The Nursery for New Parents – The Nursery Issue 2008
ASK THE DECORATING DIVA
We are expecting our first baby, and I’ve already started dreaming about creating the perfect nursery but I’m stuck – I don’t know where or how to start. We can’t afford to hire a nursery designer so we will be doing all the work ourselves. Thanks, Alexis.
A. Alexis, Congratulations on the new addition to your family.
Your new baby’s room should be a warm, inviting and above all a safe and healthy haven.
I recommend that you consider the following :
- Design with Safety In Mind At All Times: Insure that there will be no choking, strangling, electrocution or other hazards near baby at any time.
- Consider Your Budget : The budget will drive all your purchasing decisions and the ultimate design of the nursery. If you can only afford to buy one new piece of furniture, let it be the crib and mattress.
- Space Planning: Floor planning tools such as Google’s Sketch-Up (free), BHG.com’s Room Arranger (free) and Better Homes and Garden Home and Garden Designer software ($80) will help you plan baby’s room effortlessly.
- Walls : Nursery murals are quite popular but can be very expensive, noting that budget is a concern for you, I’d recommend using a neutral wall paint and purchasing wall art like decals, lettering , pictures or ready made “murals” to help get the look of a lovely wall without the associated high price tag.
- Flooring : Opt for wood floors, bamboo or cork floors with natural fiber area rugs. Avoid carpet which can off-gas, serve as a dust trap and can affect baby’s sensitive respiratory system. I discourage the use of hard flooring like tile.
- Furniture: Look for multi-purpose furniture as this will help you both space-wise and budget- wise. Many cribs now come outfitted with extra storage, and in some cases there are cribs that have detachable changing tables. In the Décor Spotlight section on July 31st, we highlight several baby changing tables that double as heavy duty storage. Also keep in mind that as baby grows you will need to buy additional furniture. Thinking for the long term you may want to consider convertible furniture that will grow with baby. It will most definitely be a short-term expenditure but it will become a long term savings as new furniture will not be needed for several years.
- Accessories: Lighting , decorative pillows, bedding and linens , and other decorative accent pieces will help bring your baby’s nursery theme together. They are small details relative to the furniture, but no room is complete without them. A “neutral” white crib is transformed when dressed in cheerful, colorful and interestingly patterned bedding. The nursery will glow brilliantly with the light of pink crystal chandelier. Personality flows from a wall decorated with lovely art work or letters spelling baby’s name.
- Functionality Before Aesthetics : Never more true than in a nursery. Buy baby furniture, crib bedding and décor that perform . Avoid the common error of buying something just because it’s beautiful with the thought that you will make it work. A gorgeous glider that isn’t ergonomically designed will become an ugly, pain in no-time.
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