8 Steps to Designing your Baby’s Nursery
Did you just find out you are going to have a baby? Congratulations! Parenthood begins. We know your nesting instinct is probably kicking in. It’s time to settle-in and begin creating a haven for your new arrival.
Designing a nursery is fun and the possibilities for color, texture and patterns are endless. But where to begin?!
Our photo stylist and interior designer friend, Patti Borrelli, pulled together this list of 8 helpful steps and images to get you started:
1. Start by collecting inspirational images. Go online for ideas (design blogs, Pinterest, or your favorite baby resources); peruse magazines and catalogs; tear out images you like; find color combinations you love and other details that appeal to you; make photo copies of design ideas from décor books you borrow from friends or find at the library. You’ll soon discover what attracts your eye and find the feeling you’d like to create in your own nursery. You may be bursting with ideas, so take time to sort your collection and focus on your “big ideas” so you can make some key decisions.
2. Measure the room. It is important to know the size and shape of your space before designing it. With tape measure in hand, measure your room dimensions and make note of any architectural details that will affect furniture placement. Note measurements on a note card or small notebook you can carry with you while looking for furniture pieces.
3. Draw out a room layout. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, but drawing out a simple sketch of the space will help you determine what elements are needed and how much will fit. Use your sketch to visualize where you want to place the key items. This will be a helpful tool as you move forward.
4. Shop for the big pieces. Focus on the essentials: a safe, solid crib and mattress; a dresser, changing station, bookshelf or other storage unit. You know what you like (or you’ll know after step #1) for style, color, finish, etc. Make note if you prefer painted pieces or natural wood… or a combination of finishes. You may also want to consider making an investment in a baby crib that will convert into a toddler bed or full-sized bed as your baby grows.
A Young America Built To Grow Encore Crib is a good example…
5. Stick to your budget. If your budget is tight, there’s plenty of room to be creative… paint found pieces, re-purpose furnishings from other areas of your home. Plan the essentials, then add more over time. Be sure to include a comfy chair for parent-and-baby bonding moments. Once the furniture is selected you can move on to some other design details.
6. Choose your color palette. Flooring (if you need an area rug) and crib bedding are important decisions that will guide your color choices. Or you may decide on a color scheme first, then find linens and draperies to coordinate and complement it. If you know your baby’s gender, then your choices may be influenced accordingly. If you don’t, and still want to move ahead with the nursery design, you may choose a gender-neutral color palette.
Stripes are fun, but take patience and skill to accomplish
7. Pick your paint. Once you’ve found crib linens or honed in on a color concept, then bring home paint swatches and have fun envisioning the best combinations to suit your taste. Match or contrast the linens and draperies. It’s always best to see paint colors at different times of day in the nursery, in natural light and in softer evening light. You may choose one solid color… or decide to paint a pattern or fun mural or add an adhesive design. The ideas are plentiful.
Murals, mobiles, pom-poms & paper lanterns add an artistic, fantasy-like feeling.
This sweet nursery is soothing in whites and soft neutrals. Subtle elements of color are added with the paper pom-poms and other details. Vintage lighting adds to the ambiance.
Enjoy the process, but try to keep it simple and true to your vision. Of course, it’s acceptable to go for a white or neutral wall color, then add pops of color with linens, accessories and art
8. Fine tune the details. Once the walls are painted and the rug, window treatments and furniture are in place, the accessorizing can begin. Again, refer to your inspirational images. Choose lighting fixtures or lamps for essential tasks (dressing, changing a diaper) and mood purposes for quieter moments and bedtime. A pendant light may fit your nursery theme…or a small table top lamp for storybook time. Add baskets for toys, diapers, blankets or other items tucked away. Search for interesting ways to personalize the space for your baby with art, books and baby-friendly accents. Pick your favorite children’s book and frame images you love. Here are a few ideas Patti found for creating magical, cozy baby rooms…
This DIY button art is darling. Plus, use building blocks as artful accessories, personalized for baby. This collection of framed Shel Silverstein Poetry is also charming and decorative. Or use illustrations, favorite book pages as art.
Always have a stack of, or shelves stacked with, baby books. You’ll be creating special moments and memories through reading together. Neutral gray walls are very trendy for baby nurseries. It definitely works for either gender. Add pops of color with draperies, bed linens, wall art and accessories.
Most of all, enjoy this time of preparation… and have fun along the way. Best of luck as your design story unfolds. Share images of your nursery with us when you are finished!
Patti Borrelli is an experienced photo stylist, set decorator and interior designer; she brings her design expertise to the Young America team. She has worked with premier photographers, retailers and furniture companies to create beautiful, playful and inspiring interiors. You can view her styling work in many of our catalogs, including Mix, My Haven and All Seasons. See more of Patti’s thoughts on design at www.besostyle.blogspot.com