8 easy tips you’ll want to know when designing your nursery
If you haven’t designed a nursery before, get ready for one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do! Well maybe not ever, but it is a real milestone moment and can be exceedingly fun. Picking out the colour schemes, setting up the cot with the blankets and fitted sheets, and lining all of the nappies out underneath the change table - just imagining the moment you get to bring your baby home!
You might find however, once your baby is actually here, that you change the entire thing around. Certainly something we found ourselves doing, and as our first baby grew we changed again, and as the second baby went in we changed again! I’ve come up with a few good fool safe tips for you, to help design a nursery to create great flow and energy. We never had a ‘coffee table book’ looking room, but we definitely had and still have one we love and are proud of - and one that easily changed from girl to boy!
The colour of your walls can make a huge impact to the room. We started with the original colour of a yellow/creme and re painted it to a neutral light grey. An absolutely perfect choice for couples not knowing the sex of their child (like us, both times!), and a lovely backdrop to dress up as you wish. While you might think that grey isn’t for you because you prefer colours, bear with me - I am as colourful as a spanish dancer, and I chose grey actually for this reason! We purchased wall stickers in triangles of varying color, we bought loud curtains and rainbow sheets. We didn’t have to change the walls through the change of a daughter to son, we simply changed the decor. If neutral really isn’t your thing, then a statement wall is a wonderful option - you can then easily repaint the one wall to different colours whenever you really fell like you need a change!
The change table can make a huge .. well, change to your life. Sorry. It’s 100% true though - you’ll use this table more than you’ll use your own dining table so make sure its compatible to your height and needs! Our change table is a beautiful, study dark wood with two solid shelves underneath. This is a great amount of storage as the entire first shelf is taken by wipes, nappy bags, nappies and a cardboard box full of creams. And the random ear bud, toy car and thermometer - you know the box! Originally we had our change table at the far corner of the room, but we now have it right next to the door which gives convenience the big old tick. Quick night changes, soft tip toeing in to grab some nappies for one baby while the other one sleeps. A resting place for our phone to play white noise and just reach an arm in to grab it out later on. Make sure your change table comes with the safety belt across the middle though - vital for when you baby starts rolling and standing up!
Ah - the main attraction to the room, the cot! This is going to come down to complete personal taste, so we’re not here to advise you on colourings or shapes. What we are here to do it to remind you of a few things - like adjustable heights and safety rails! The cot I have had for both children (new each time as the first one broke with a flamboyant toddler, but we repurchased as it was beautiful) is an oval shaped cot with an adjustable base. This means that as a newborn, the baby will be on the top tier setting which means less leaning down for you. As they grow up and become more mobile, you simply move the base further down so they can’t escape or fall out and hurt themselves. If your have a one height cot, make sure your railing adheres to all safety standards and is easy for you to move up and down for those night feeds especially.
Other fantastic yet simple decor items include:
A rug on the floor can really change the dynamic of the room - especially if you have floor boards. Make sure it has a good grip lining underneath though, because the old ‘slip and slide’ out of the room in the middle of the night will take on a new meaning if not! Safety first!
Paintings! Frames! Pictures! Whether you want one large print on a wall, or an entire space filled with them - you can pick up frames quick cheap and fill them with your own prints or drawings as well for a gorgeous touch.
A basket for dirty clothes next to the change table is definitely a must have. I find picking these up to go wither our ever changing tastes really gives the room new life. We started with a huge printed plastic one, and currently have a much smaller, less obnoxious copper coloured metal basket. It makes life much easier having a basket one in here, than having to carry out every change to the laundry - especially if you’ve got mucky kids like me!
If possible, keep your draws of clothes as close to the change table as possible. For safety and convenience, this is pretty important because theres nothing worse than having to run a few metres between when your baby is on the change table, even if they do have the strap across! We have a beautiful set of white shelves that sit on one side of the cot, which also come in handy as a table top for the baby monitor to sit upon.
We keep everything to the corners of our rooms - including the rocking chair and chase. Its perfect because we are not walking around large objects in the darkness, and now that the kids are a bit older they use the big floor space in the middle to play as well. If you use your nursery as a play area, then add in a toy box (they look amazing, but also keep your room clean which is more of a bonus!).
In the early day, you’ll spend a lot of time in here - rocking, soothing, feeding, changing. You want to room to feel cosy and comfortable, and also make sure it feels like ‘you’. Have fun setting it up together as a family - unless of course you’ve purchased a flat pack from IKEA, in which case light the entire thing on fire and walk away. Kidding!