Expecting a new bundle of joy in 2018? Then now is the perfect time to start planning the ultimate nursery! Designing a nursery should be like creating a sanctuary space for you and your bub. It must ooze relaxation, practicality and fun, and feel like a place of retreat on those sleepless nights.
Gone are the days when nursery styling revolved around the two choices of pink and blue. Now, the best nurseries combine different colours, materials and textures to create a modern space that’s playful and gender-neutral.
Colourful cushions, cot bedding, throws and artwork not only make the space comfortable, but also injects instant fun into the nursery. After all, happy babies equal happy parents – so it’s important to style the space with this in mind.
1. Set the Colour Palette & Theme Right
Before you begin shopping, DIYing and investing in the right nursery pieces, it’s important to set a colour palette and theme.
This will be a good starting point as inspiration to style the rest of the space. Avoid the pink/blue trend and step out of your comfort zone with colourful possibilities that will be suitable longer term. You can still have your soft and inviting neutrals, but with a little more creativity.
For girls, it could be a dusty blush with copper and cream and boys navy with charcoal. Soft, mutual hues are fantastic, with one or two accent colours. Grey tends to be better than white, especially with upholstered furniture to avoid that stained dingy tint over time.
TIP: try to avoid red, as this is the first colour a baby sees and can be distracting for sleep.
Your theme should create a cohesive look, with coordinated pieces. But don’t be afraid to embrace contrast too – if you can’t find matching pieces, go completely different instead of trying to pull the look together with something that’s slightly off. Make sure your theme can also grow with your bundle of joy.
2. Get Creative with What’s on the Walls
The great thing about the nursery is it’s one of the fewer spaces in the home where you can be truly expressive (unless you’re creatively inspired in all areas!). Patterned or custom wallpaper is a great way to add a unique touch to your baby’s room, whilst adding a level of depth and magic to the space too.
For maximum impact, use custom-designed wallpaper as a feature wall. Turning illustrations, photos or professional images into a full-scale wall mural creates a personalised and fun space.
Just make sure you choose timeless, non-gender specific designs as they will offer longevity instead. If you’re after something a little more delicate, consider individual cut stickers across the wall – great for customised baby’s names!
For the remaining walls, artfully dress them up with canvas prints, hooks to hang items or shelving. Adding these layers of interest will give the room a cosy, lived-in feel.
3. Incorporate Touches from Close Family and Friends
Whilst you want to style a nursery that works for you and your family, it’s nice to have some input from the people that love the new bundle of joy too. Incorporating touches from these people can help to make the nursery feel warmer and welcoming. It’s not to say every suggestion or piece needs to make the cut, but for those who know you and your taste, adding them into the décor design can add even more love into the room.
4. Make it Adult Friendly
Nurseries should always be designed with bub in mind, after all – it is their room. Don’t forget though, you’ll be spending a lot of time in their too. Opting for children’s décor with a grown-up touch through quality pieces and wooden toys is a good place to start. Create a comfortable seating area for you for settling your baby and feeding time throughout the night.
Invest in good quality cushions in a comfortable chair for support – one for your back and one for under your arm during feeding. Layer with a throw rug for cooler evenings and an easy-to-access night lamp nearby.
5. Play vs. Sleep
A baby’s nursery is a place to sleep, feed and change, but it’s also a chance to create a child’s wonderland too. Thus, it should be fun!
Make sure you make play and sleep the focus so your baby can grow and enjoy the space. Baby gyms tend to be the most popular during the first few months, especially for initiating tummy time. Create your own baby gym with a soft, comfortable rug for bub to lay on and a stylish baby gym with lots of hanging goodies to play with.
For the sleeping area, keep cot bedding to a minimum with linen that’s comfortable and not too complicated design wise. Investing in excellent quality, like 100% cotton, is best to keep your baby content and safe. Bedding essentials include a fitted sheet and a swaddling blanket / Muslin wrap.
TIP: Most safe sleeping guidelines recommend avoiding big blankets, soft toys and cushions in the cot.
6. Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches
Finishing touches can make all the difference to your nursery. Don’t forget essentials like smart storage solutions to avoid clutter building up.
Storage baskets are great for managing toys and teething pieces. Style your nursery with some lush plants too. Greenery isn’t just good for aesthetic appeal, but can benefit your baby’s breathing, clean the air and boost healing.
Layers and textures are crucial finishing touches. Throws, blankets, fun cushions and fluffy rugs help to create safe play zones and makes those late-night feeds more comfortable.
Remember: Make sure you stock up on all the necessities. Diapers, wipes and lotions should be purchased well ahead of bub’s arrival and all positioned at arm’s reach in your feeding zone for ease.