- Measure the space, including the floor space, the wall space, the window sizes, and door sizes. One of the biggest decorating mistakes people make is not measuring the room before purchasing their furniture. I like to mark out the walls, windows, and doors on a piece of graph paper. These measurements will be crucial when you are purchasing your furniture.
- Select your style – are you going to design the nursery to be for a boy or a girl or are you going to go with a more neutral plan? Do you want the nursery to be simple or elaborate, modern or traditional? Do you want a particular theme, and if so, how strictly are you going to adhere to it?
- Select the furniture – there are 5 essential elements that every nursery should have: A crib, a changing table, a dresser, a comfortable chair, and a nightstand. Of course you can add as many additional pieces as you like if you have the room in your floor plan and your budget. I prefer the dresser with a removable changing table on top but if you’d rather have two separate pieces, then go for it. As for the chair, I recommend fully upholstered armchairs that swivel and rock, along with an ottoman. You will spend many hours on that chair, so make sure it is comfortable! Rockers give a more vintage look, but for long time comfort I don’t think you can beat the upholstered swivel armchair. The nightstand goes next to the chair, with tissues and a lamp on top.
- Plan for storage – Babies have tons of stuff! Keeping it all organized will help keep you from going crazy. I like to buy pretty baskets to store items. Large baskets go under the crib for extra blankets, bedding, and towels. Hang shelves on the walls (not near the crib – that would be a safety hazard) for baskets with music CDs, decorative accessories, and smaller baskets for odds and ends like nail clippers, thermometer, nasal aspirator, etc. The changing table/dresser area should have ample storage for clothing, sleepers, diapers, and baby wipes. Use your closets for storing the baby gym, the baby sling, humidifier, bouncy chair, and portable crib. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the same room as the baby, simply conveniently located on the occasions you need those items.
- Decorate! This is the fun part, and where you get to showcase the theme you selected in step 2. Paint the walls and add some wallpaper or decals. Select room darkening window treatments. These can be custom-made, ready-made, or home-made if you know how to sew. Options include drapes that open and close, blinds, roman shades, pleated shades, even the old fashioned roller shades. Now add bedding, with or without the bumper pads. There are some people that warn against bumper pads because they feel they are a suffocation hazard, but it hasn’t been made a formalized law yet. All I know is I had them with both my children without any problem because and I just loved how cozy and inviting it looked. Finish off the crib with a musical mobile. Parents are advised against adding canopies, pillows, and stuffed animals to cribs, also for the suffocation risks they pose. Hang some artwork on the wall, but make sure the items you hang by the crib are not delicate, because eventually they will get pulled off and dropped on the floor. Trust me, I know from first hand experience.
If you are interested in seeing how celebrities decorate their baby nurseries, here are a few examples:
You can tune into “Ask the Design Diva” live Saturday mornings from 8 to 9 on WAVO1150AM in Charlotte, or hear it live on our “Listen” page. You can also download podcasts of every show if you’ve missed any along the way.
If you are looking for help decorating your home or office, or need a fun and entertaining speaker for your next event, contact The Design Diva through her company Sensibly Chic Designs for Life. The phone number is 704.608.9424.