We looked at planning to Decorate Your Nursery in an earlier blog, from the perspective of your budget, nursery necessities and furniture, etc. But now for the really exciting part - deciding on designs, colour schemes and themes!
Oh my word, there are so many choices and options to go for! Soft plain colours to fun themes and even textured walls - it's all out there, and you can get playful and creative to your heart's content!
So, where shall we start?
Decorating Your Nursery - Safety and Practicality
Well, before we even get onto the subject of the decor, schemes and themes, we need to talk safety and practicality. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in your vision of how perfect your nursery is going to look, that this gets forgotten about. Not on my watch!
- Avoid sharp corners on furniture. As baby starts to explore, little heads can easily bang into edges. And to be honest, when you wander in for night feeds, half asleep, you're not going to want to be stubbing your toe, cracking your knee or banging your own head either!
- Heavy ornaments or free-standing furniture - make sure they are sturdy, safely positioned if standing for display, and well attached, to make sure they don't fall off shelves or topple over;
- Furnishings, curtains, blinds, rugs - use child-friendly options and watch for any excess or hanging fabric which could get tangled;
- Flooring should be safe, non-slip and remember you will want it to be easy to clean too (as with any other fabrics in the nursery!) If you use rugs as part of your decor, make sure they are non-slip;
- Natural light and windows - keep baby away from danger. Not only risk of falling onto the glass, but also think of where you position your crib. Natural daylight is good, but not if blazing sunshine is directly on the crib. Conversely, check for drafts too;
- Electrical points and sockets - it may seem obvious, knowing that baby will always be with you to start with. But you may as well do all you can now to future-proof from prying hands.
- Install a smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector as well as a baby monitor.
Having covered some of the safety aspects, now you can move on to the colourful part!
Decorating Your Nursery - Colour Schemes and Themes
Decide on your design first - colour schemes and themes. It used to be the women's magazines or house and home types, but Pinterest seems to be the place to be right now for inspiration! Or why not use your own imagination and vision?
Your first consideration, as I've said before, is the amount of space you have. For slightly smaller areas, the plain and lighter pastel colours might be best. Or you can really go to town if you have a room with natural light and one which will easily cope with more colour and deeper shades.
But also remember the purpose of the nursery. Colour can impact your newborn in many ways, so another reason to carefully consider the tone and depth. You want to promote sleep and rest, not a fear of the dark for instance! Don't get me wrong, I have seen some wonderful nurseries decorated with black (yes, black!) as the feature wall, but only certain rooms and personalities can get away with that I think!
Blue is a great soother, so a lovely sky blue or 'baby blue' as I've always called it. Pale purples, pinks, yellows, greys, and greens will bring out a natural feel too. But try and avoid harsh whites even if you are going to add in other colours as a focal point.
Once you have this nailed, it will stop you gazing at endless pages in magazines and on-line stores and realising you've still not made your decision let alone made a start! Here's a few ideas:
Neutral and Natural - always great as a blank canvas, because you can either keep it along those lines with additions of creams, whites and beiges. Anything from off-white to putty colour will heighten the tone. Or, you can add a more vibrant colour and warmth to bring it to life in any way you want! Prints, bedding, and lighting that will create a calming atmosphere, yet one which can develop the senses in your little one from day one. Wooden or laminate flooring is a great way to be at one with nature too, or natural fabrics - and also easy to colour co-ordinate too.
Pretty Princess Pinks and Purples or Little Boy Blue - even some of the dare I say it 'trendy' younger generation seem to be opting for pinks for the girls and blues for the boys. Or of course pastel lemon for those who don't know which, or want to keep it neutral for the next one! I don't know whether it's the traditionalist in me or it just feels right? But, I have to admit I've gone for just hints of blue with both my babies.
It doesn't have to be a complete swash of pink or sea of blue though. I've found just a dash of colour is enough to bring the room to life.
Under the Sea - speaking of a sea of blue, I've seen the most awe inspiring designs taking over the whole room - oh to be that artistic! Although with the range of wall art and stickers at affordable prices, an under the sea theme, you don't have to be naturally artistic. Cheeky looking sea creatures adorning on the walls and a sea animals mobile or jelly fish lighting hanging from the ceiling to catch the breeze, will create amazing focal points. Soft blankets and fabrics will add texture, and just enough coziness to suit you too.
Animals and Jungle Themes - similarly, you can start out with a simple plain colour and just add the extras to bring out the theme. The print of any fabrics such as blankets, rugs, seat covers, etc will all enhance the theme. Soft toys and storage units can be decorated along the same lines.
Whinnie the Poo, Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes - were you one of those children who grew up surrounded by Beatrix Potter books and characters? Or loved the likes of Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty? It's amazing how thinking of decorating your nursery for your own baby brings it all back!
So, whether it be the fairy tale castle or a huge tree decal on the nursery wall, there is so much scope. You can even have your own mural image wallpaper created from a photo - just do a search online.
Any base colours can be added to as baby grows up, so the main theme can develop along with baby's personality, saving you money right now when you have so much else to spend on.
Is that enough to give you some ideas at least?
Most of all, enjoy the process! You don't want planning to decorate your nursery to become one of the 'dreaded' jobs. You will be spending a lot of precious moments in there with your baby, so make it special for you too. And remember, you're never on your own.