My favorite places in our house are my kids’ rooms. There is something playful and also so tranquil about each of them. When I decorate their rooms I have two aims; to create an overwhelming sense of fun and also warmth. Decorating a nursery is a little different than decorating an older child’s room, mostly because you are designing a room for someone you haven’t met yet. When that little person is still inside of you, it is hard to imagine what type of personality they will have. I feel that as long as I use playfulness and warmth as the driving forces behind nursery design and decoration, I will at least create something that will feel like home for whatever little personality shows up on delivery day. Here are some tips to do the same in your home:
- Start with a great safe crib that has simple, classic lines. Then, make it unique by stenciling designs in non-toxic paint or adding decals. Alternatively, classic linens can make even a very simple crib look like an heirloom.
- There are lots of fun, simple and inexpensive things you can do for décor. I personally love mobiles above the changing table to entertain your wee one and stop all the wiggles. Plus, the changing table is such a great place to have little cooing conversations with your babe that it should feel as warm and inviting as the rest of the room.
- Old fashioned silhouettes are a great timeless option for the wall. It might be slightly difficult to find someone who still does these, but if you can locate someone skilled in this in your town, or perhaps on Etsy (www.etsy.com), I highly recommend doing it for the entire family. They look fantastic on an ivory background in a dark wood frame or a frame stained to match the nursery decor. I LOVE oval frames for these.
- You can also easily make flag window dressings by cutting triangles out of pieces of fabric (use swatches from fabric.com) and sewing onto a ribbon (think boating flags!).
- I am obsessed with monogramming. I think it looks amazing (I’d monogram my arm if my husband would let me) and also introduces your wee one to the alphabet very early on. You can get monogrammed rugs, pillows, headboards, frames – you name it they are out there!
- In addition to the aesthetic aspects, there are indeed some gadgets you must have. Two in particular are the Diaper Genie (nothing beats this for hiding the smell of diapers) and interference free monitor. For those of you living in a city it is worth splurging a little on this last item so you don’t hear all the interference from laptops, Blackberries and your neighbors!
My friend and colleague James Stanley, interior designer extraordinaire who you’ll see working with me and some of my clients on Pregnant in Heels, provided one of the greatest tips of all: Try to make your nursery double as a guest room. This is an amazing thing to do if you are short on space and if grandma is coming to stay it will allow you to have just a wee bit more rest and will give grandma some special time with the new babe.