The name book is looking dog-eared and minuscule outfits are mounting up in your wardrobe – the countdown is well and truly on until your baby enters the world. So how do you design the perfect room for your tiny new family recruit? From the Ferrari of cots to the Da Vinci of wallpaper it’s easy to go to town on a nursery but here are some tips to ensure your new baby’s room is a refuge not a jungle.
Above all, this is a room where you and your newborn will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time, whether it’s feeding, changing nappies or silently praying for sleep, so comfort is king. That means a cosy chair in the corner, something nice underfoot and a little mood lighting. It also needs to be a room that retains temperature – not too hot, not too cold but just right. Soft furnishings are key here, and also an affordable styling option. If the room echoes, consider carpet, a couple of beanbags, rugs or floor cushions, along with drapes even in addition to existing blinds. There’s a host of options that need not break the bank.
While this is the welcoming pad for your new addition, remember they are infants for but a few months and this room may need to grow with your child so it makes sense to invest wisely and focus on the big-ticket items. That cot will one day be replaced by a bed, that mobile by a desk, so what should you spend the big money on?
If you’ve gone for comfort and are investing in carpet, consider its use over years to come. It will fall victim to bodily fluids, crayons and pencils so consider a carpet that will go the distance. There are also wall paints and wallpapers that are easy to clean and mark resistant for when your budding artist takes their talent to the walls.
Likewise if you’re considering colour, maybe focus on wallpapering or painting one feature wall, which can be easily altered in years to come without revamping an entire room. This also creates a point of interest for the room without being too dominating. And it’s also worth bearing in mind this is about being intriguing and not overly-stimulating.
The art of love
For the first few months of your baby’s life, their eyesight is developing – so that Rembrandt you’ve lovingly framed on the wall is likely not to impress. In fact experts say in the first few weeks they see little more than shades of light and movement and nothing further than 30cm in front of them. They can see colours but have trouble making out tones so high contrast items are more likely to grab their attention. Full sight is developed around six to eight months. With movement such an attraction a mobile is a great addition, hung out of arm’s reach and preferably in primary colours or nice crisp pastels.
These days there’s also some really beautiful and affordable wall stickers which can be added to the room with the bonus of being changeable when bub gets a little older but they are attractive and intriguing in the interim.
Storage storage storage
It’s a simple fact, toys breed in children’s rooms so think storage, storage and way more storage. Consider chests of drawers for nappies and giant wicker boxes for quick toy clean-up aka the dump and run. And don’t be afraid to recycle. A quick coat of paint or stain on a bookcase or chest of drawers can add new life and provide the perfect spot for coloured boxes containing baby paraphernalia.
A sense of style
Your existing house will probably govern your sense of style but here’s a few tried and tested themes that are easy to reproduce.
- Country comfort – Think light stained wooden furniture, a rocker or cane chair and pastel gingham prints for cushions or bunting. Barnyard animals can be added via wall stickers and curtain prints complemented by an animal mobile and light.
- White wonder – Crisp and clean, think white or near white walls, light flooring and white furniture. Colour can be added gently through pastel soft furnishings, wall decor and ornaments or really give them something to focus on with fun, bright patterned prints in primary colours. This is a great option of you don’t know the gender of your baby as primary colours apply for both sexes.
- Retro revival – Embrace your inner opp-shopper by “up-cycling’ an eclectic chair, dresser, bookshelf or side table to complement your cot and sand them back to keep colours light. The room can then be tied together with your choice of soft furnishings.
However you choose to decorate for your baby it’s all part of the fun of preparing for a new phase in life and just a small part in what’s destined to be an amazing ride ahead.