While the baby may sleep in your bedroom for the first few months, sooner or later he or she will need their own room. A nursery is a wonderful opportunity to indulge in creating a magical place for you and your baby to enjoy. You will find that the nursery is not just for your baby - you and your partner will spend a lot of time there too, so make sure that it is a space that you love and that is both functional and comfortable.
A great way to conceptualise the nursery is to create a mood board by gathering images of the types of colours and items that you like. Below I have listed a few points on how to get started:
The first thing to think about is your colour palette. The nursery is part of your home, so ensure that the colours compliment the other colours that you have in your house. Rather go for subdued gentle colours, focusing on creating contrast rather than brightness. A feature wall is a great way to create contrast and fun without being overpowering.
Next measure the room to get a good overall feel of dimensions. It’s amazing how quickly you can fill up a space with furniture that is too big.
Obviously you can’t have a nursery without a cot. Your child will spend the first 2-3 years in the cot so make sure it’s height-adjustable and can convert into a toddler bed when the time comes. It needs to be stable and comfortable. The next big piece of furniture is the compactum. You will spend a lot of time changing nappies so make sure the compactum is functional. It needs to be deep enough to accommodate your baby growing into a toddler so not just any piece of furniture will do. You need to keep nappies, bum cream, lotions, wet wipes and clothes nearby so make sure that next to the changing mat there is space for these things. If the compactum is too low you will put some strain on your back while changing nappies, especially if your husband is as tall as mine. Invest in a comfortable rocking chair, vital for breast feeding and spending time with your baby. In later months it will be a useful chair for reading to your toddler before bed-time. You can have one custom-made with your choice of fabric. Unfortunately many look really old-fashioned and it took me a long time to find a stylish one, which also won’t look out of place in the lounge once you no longer require it in the nursery. Spend some time searching for the perfect chair that you can enjoy for years to come.
After the cot and compactum think about storage. This can be a cupboard for clothes, boxes for toys or floating shelves. Floating shelves are a good idea to keep decorative items out of reach of your baby. For obvious reasons don’t put the shelves above the cot.
A great rug on the floor is a great addition to make the nursery warm and cosy. You will spend lots of time playing on the floor so a simple cotton rug that can be thrown in the washing machine is ideal to keep the play area clean and safe for baby.
We use three different lights. A night light, which is also a baby monitor, a reading light on the book-shelf for those bed-time story-telling moments and a chandelier on the ceiling. Each light serves a very specific purpose. In addition you may want to install a playful fairy light either around the window or above the cot. Toddlers love magic that fairy lights create.
Fit the windows with block-out blinds to control the impact light has on the room. Darkness will help the baby to settle easier. The longer baby will sleep during lunch-time naps the happier you will be. Just ask my husband.
Wait until you have everything in place and then think about artwork. Have fun things like personalised canvas prints-stretched over a wooden frame to display your baby’s birth details, some illustrations and inspirational quotes. Make it a personal and warm space. Have a look at Tiny Spaces our sister company.
With the basics in place, you can now buy a few accessories such as children’s books and special teddy bears. Don’t go overboard and rather let this part grow organically since your friends and family will probably enjoy giving you more sweet things. Focus on accessories to be very memory rich for the whole family as opposed to buying stuff pre-birth from a shop.
Above all, enjoy the process or creating a special space for you and you baby, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a magical and memorable room for the whole family to enjoy.