Nursery prep

I’ve been having a lot of fun pulling together my nursery, which I have shocked myself by actually having it (almost) ready ahead of time. Here is an article I wrote for the Calgary Sun Homes section on some great ideas to bring together a nursery:

Photo courtesy Decorating Den

Photo courtesy Decorating Den

After first learning that their family is growing, many people want to rush out and design a beautiful baby nursery.

But before getting carried away, remember that the baby stage is short term, so when designing a nursery think long term instead.

“I encourage new parents to avoid permanent and costly baby items,” says Tracy Wharton of Wharton Interior Design. “Borrowing a crib and change table, if they’re up to code, can be the best way to do that.”

When designing your nursery, safety comes first. “Don’t hang anything over the bed or change table that the baby could grab onto and pull down,” Wharton says. “Instead, go with 2D wall treatments or decals. These create visual interest while still being safe.”

The positioning of the furniture is important as well. “Don’t put a crib under the window or over a heater,” says Katie O’Dwyer, owner of the Calgary franchise of Decorating Den. “When choosing the room, if you have an option, find one with bright natural light, then put in a custom window treatment for room darkening.”

On the decorating side of things, people often go with the standard blue or pink pastels, but O’Dwyer sees this as passé. “Babies and children as they grow up are stimulated by colour, so don’t be afraid of using it,” she says.

Multifunctional furniture is a great option for nurseries, since the reality is the babies will be children in no time. “Furniture is the big purchase items, so get pieces that will be used down the road,” O’Dwyer says. “Why use something for a year when you can use if for a lifetime?” She suggests an armoire or chest for a little girl’s room that they can grow into.

The biggest trend in nursery design has been towards more sophisticated bedrooms, so think elegant and understated over cartoon characters. “A sophisticated room makes for an easier transition as baby turns to child,” Wharton says. “It’s surprising, but children enjoy having a more grown up room. Think a neutral palette with hits of bold colour in the bedding and accessories.”

Most importantly, think of Mom and Dad’s comfort, since they will be spending a lot of time in there. “Rockers can be great, but are often only used when the child is very little,” Wharton says. “One of my personal favourites is a chair and a half. It’s a long term piece. I still curl up on it and read with my daughter, who is now 10.”

And while your thinking of comfort, look to the flooring, Wharton says. Make sure it’s a comfortable place to crawl – or to faceplant.

Word of the day:

Exordia: the beginning of anything; the introductory part of an oration, treatise

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