Make Room for Baby

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Personalize your newborn’s nursery to create exactly what you want.

fea_baby-nursery.pngPlanning a nursery is one of the most fun and exciting preparations of having a baby. But let’s face it, it can be expensive, and consequently, a source of controversy between husband and wife. Speaking as a first-time mother embarking on the task, it’s all about personal preference – certainly not the unborn’s or my husband’s! I’m not exactly playing by all the “expert” rules and suggestions or even being practical.

As a pregnant woman, I’ve opted to rationalize – something most women, pregnant or not, do whenever they decorate. Of course, it’s not just about decorating. It is about creating a comfortable, and most importantly, safe environment for your little one. So whether you’re practical, shabby chic, traditional or overwhelmed, the following ABCs of nursery decorating will spark creativity and prompt you to think through the process.

Space

What about the space you’ve selected for the nursery? What don’t you like? Notice the amount of natural light.

“Putting the crib in a spot with too much sun may wake your baby,” says Chuck DeLaney, editorial director of Designer Monthly, an online publication. Likewise, he says a streetlight may wake your baby.

Do windows and air vents cause drafts? If so, move the crib away from that area. Lastly, what additional furniture will you need and where will you place it? Where will you change the baby’s diapers? Should the dresser be near the changing table?

Cribs

Some parents choose expensive beds that “grow” with their child. Starting as a crib, many convert to toddler- and then full-size beds. Although pricey, most justify cost in long-term value. Others, like me, prefer a simple crib that’s just as safe, but costs considerably less. Long-term value is in subsequent usage, should you have more children.

Whatever your philosophy or preference, make sure it’s safe. Visit Web sites such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association at jpma.org or the National SAFE KIDS Campaign at www.safekids.org for all of the nursery safety facts you need.

Creativity

Here’s the fun part! The nursery knows no creative boundaries. In addition to furniture, fabric, paint, wallpaper, window treatments and lighting, accessories are what will turn your room into a nursery.

Color prompts inspiration. After deciding to leave my selected room’s walls a light green, I thought about a complementary color and furniture. Because we don’t know the baby’s gender, I chose to create a unisex look.

For furniture, I decided on simple white. The soothing green walls with bright, white trim just “spoke” white furniture. For a second color, lilac seemed just right yet I still needed something to make it all click.

I like to rely on something to work around, whether it’s a rug, piece of fabric or a painting.

Whether you find inspiration in fabrics, storybook themes, color schemes, a vintage piece of furniture, a photograph or even a particular hobby, it’s a start, and you’ll be surprised how far it takes you.

The fabric and different textures we chose helped me finally visualize my child’s nursery. With a lilac, sage and yellow polka dot poplin and a complementing striped pattern in the same colors, we moved onto windows and bedding.

Since the window in the room is the focal point, we saw an opportunity for a window treatment to make a statement and add color. But here, even a simple valence will do the trick.

Fabric can also be used for pillows, quilts (great as wall hangings), basket liners, dust ruffles, bumpers, sheets, blankets, hamper liners, lamp shades and diaper stackers. For additional accent and added comfort, consider a fun, colorful rug, especially on hardwood floors.

More Color

Paint the ceiling with a hint of one of your main color choices to create a cozy, unique atmosphere. And for the ultimate splash of color, there’s always a mural or fun paint techniques. Local artists specialize in everything from painting rooms or furniture to creating murals and they always have books of ideas for you to choose from.

Stacie Stanley is a local freelance writer.

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