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The thought of creating a gorgeous nursery usually starts off really exciting but before long can turn into an overwhelming or even stressful experience, especially if it's your first. Let's face it if you are pregnant you shouldn't be stressing full stop. If your tiny bundle is already home, you are most likely trying to fit in the nursery design between more pressing mattress like the colour and consistency of baby's poop (it's amazing how amazing poop becomes), or bub has been fed, burped, changed and comforted but she's still crying so is it time to call a doctor? Or will I ever get more than two hours sleep again!
I can't help you with poop, crying or sleep but can certainly save you from unnecessary stress and anxiety when it comes to creating a sanctuary for you and your little one.
So let's get started.
Start by thinking about how the nursery will be used and make a list of the essential items you will need in the room. For example you will need somewhere for baby to sleep (the cot), somewhere for his stuff (chest of draws) and somewhere to feed and change her. Keep in mind a separate change table is not an essential item as you can always put a change pad on the chest of draws. Will you feed bub in the nursery? If so you might want a feeding chair. I didn’t have a feeding chair my baby's nursery as I fed her either in our bed at night (easier on me) or on the lounge during the day.
The baby industry will often lead us to believe everything is essential when in actual fact you'll do just fine without most of it. If it's your first baby speak to your mummy friends about what worked for them or join the conversation on forums like bubhub.com.au or essentialbaby.com.au.
Decide on the style for the nursery. This can be easier said than done. Start by figuring out what you like. A fun and effective way of doing this is to create a Pinterest board and begin collecting images of nurseries or elements within nurseries you like. Check out Pinterest.com/lilspaces as a starting point.
Once you have a collection of pins observe your board as though you are looking at it for the first time. You’ll notice a pattern or theme. Are you drawn to the bright and colourful, light and airy, glamorous and extravagant, traditional, cute and cuddly, modern, vintage or a bit of everything eclectic? Your Pinterest board will help you hone in on your style.
Decide on a colour scheme. Even in a nursery I still follow the 80% neutral 20% colour rule. Within the 20% colour I generally stick to two, no more than three different colours as I want the room to have a calming effect. Besides once you start accumulating the books and toys from family and friends over time not having enough colour will be the least of your problems.
Now that you have a list of essential items and you know the style and colours you want, it’s time to start shopping. Remember you don’t have to buy everything from a physical store these days. Make sure you look online as well. I have literally saved thousands of dollars shopping online. Oh and don’t just go for looks, make sure it all functions well and is easy to use. Some of us can sometimes get carried away with the beauty of things temporarily forgetting all about the function.
Place the key pieces in the room. Think about what’s going to be your focal point. A focal point is the area that shouts ‘look at me!!!’. The cot is usually one. You can have more than one focal point in a room. I have two in my baby girl’s nursery. Shift things around until the room feels well balanced.
The room is now functional but probably looking really blah. Don’t worry because it’s now time for the fun part, adding the decorative pieces. Here I’m talking wallpaper or wall decals, art, lighting, window coverings, rugs, bedding, shelving or open storage for books and toys etc. You get the picture. All in line with the style you have selected of course.
When shopping for these items try not to look at the pieces as individual items but as a collection. I’m not saying everything has to be matchy matchy but they need to be harmonious and work together. Creating a mood board will be helpful at this point before you go ahead and buy stuff.
The nursery should be looking pretty good by now but hold your horses, you’re not done yet! You now have to add the finishing touches and style the room. What I mean here is creating little vignettes on surfaces like the shelves or chest of draws. Adding and arranging the soft stuff like flowers, table lamps, books, cushions, plush toys, blankets, photos in tiny frames, lettering, that kind of thing. The little bits and pieces to finish off the room.
Be patient as this part takes time, you’ll be adding, taking away, rearranging, umming and ahhing until you get it just right. The attention to detail here will make all the difference. The finishing touches will be what sets your room apart.
The eighth and final step is my favourite. It is about making the space personal by creating a meaningful connection between baby and room. And how do you do this? Well I'm glad you asked. By adding personal touches and ensuring everything in the room is not store bought. Here are three ways:
- Add an heirloom piece by incorporating something from yours or your partner’s childhood.
- Commission a custom kids print or make your own art for the room. Not so good with a paint brush, no worries, hand write or type up a message for your little one and frame it. If you have older kids perhaps you could get big brother or sister to make a special drawing for bubba. Just restrict the crayons according to the room colour palette.
- Go for something personalised These days baby’s name can incorporated into quilts, pillow cases or cushions.
Where do I get all this custom and personalised baby gear? Here's where to go.
Custom prints: lilspaces.com
Personalised quilts: etsy.com/au/shop/aQuiltforBaby
Personalised pillows and cushions: lexiandlily.com
Custom dolls (made from baby or kids old clothes): lilspaces.com
So there you have it. Follow these tips and you should be on your way to creating a fabulous little space.
I value your feedback and hope you’ll share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
Until next time…..