Designing the Perfect Nursery, Part 1

Maybe it’s because my youngest daughter, Jessica, is pregnant and due in April…but I thought it would be good to do a post on how to create the perfect nursery. 

A sonogram of my soon-to-be-born granddaughter, Peyton. 8 more weeks to go!

I started to write this post more than a month ago and then one of my readers asked me to do a blogpost on it as well.  The post got pretty long, so I decided to break it up into a Part 1 and Part 2.  I know that some blog readers will stay with a long post, but most will skim!  So to avoid that – I broke it up!

Fun, colorful and practical design from Sarah Richardson via decorpad

The fun part of designing your nursery is picking the colors and the accessories that will go in the room.  But function is so important when you are designing that I had to include that in the discussion.  So whether you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, hopefully you’ll learn some useful tips and advice that will not only make your nursery a beautiful one – but a safe place as well.

The Basics:

Where Should the Nursery Be: If possible, have the nursery as close to your bedroom as possible, so that you can attend to your baby quickly during the night. If you would like to have the baby in your room in the early months, you may want to purchase a bassinet.

A beautiful crib for the nursery, via Lucas Studio
 Furniture: The crib – make sure that it is highly rated for safety so that you and your baby can sleep soundly. Check for any recalls and read consumer reviews of the product you select. Many cribs now change into youth beds, so think of the crib as an investment that will last quite a long time. Make sure that you place the crib away from the window to avoid drafts and excess noise. Also…avoid having the crib near any heat or AC vents.

The Changing Table etc: Purchase one with ample open storage underneath so that you can quickly and easily change your baby safely. If you have the room, add an additional dresser to store more clothing, linens and other necessities. If space is really at a minimum, forego the changing table and add a soft pad and cover and place on top of the dresser to change your baby. Whether you use the changing table or the top of the dresser, a diaper stacker on the wall nearby will help make changing your baby much easier. A diaper disposal unit not too far away will also help you! The Diaper Genie II by Platex is very highly rated by users.

Have a Sitting Area: You want to sit down and nurse or read to your baby so make sure you have a comfortable chair to sit in. A rocker would be ideal. A small table or basket to hold books and some small toys would also be ideal.
Images via Finnian’s Moon

Bedding: There are so many options in this category but, in general, if you keep the color scheme one that blends with the other items in the room – you will have an easier decision to make! First off, you’ll need a mattress cover – preferably two, so that when one gets soiled you have a backup. Hypoallergenic ones are available and I think they are a great choice.

Bedding from Carousel Designs

You’ll need a snug fitting crib sheet. Ones made of flannel are great for the cooler months – and cotton for the spring and summer. You will not need any blankets. Today’s parents keep their babies’ airway passages clear by not having a blanket covering them. Also, bumper guards – while they add color and style to the nursery – are not being recommended because they could contribute to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Pillows and stuffed animals should also be avoided in the crib.

This is one of my favorite images.  Design by Lisa Mortensen; Photography by Stephen Karlisch

You can opt for a nursery rhyme theme – but before you know it, your child will have outgrown it! In the nursery below, designed by Carolyn Roehm, the handpainted Chinoiserie mural is unexpected, beautiful – and a very imaginative flourish for the youngest of eyes. 

Babies are never too young for Chinoiserie!

You can also stencil something colorful on the walls. The sky is the limit for stencils.  Choose something that you love and chances are your baby will too. Another option is to use appliqués. These vinyl pieces come in many styles and colors, can be changed in an instant and they won’t ruin your walls. Check Blik and Etsy for an assortment of style options.

A modern girl’s nursery via Spearmint Baby

Paint Colors: Color is of course very personal. But I think that a soothing color is best for a nursery. A soft pastel blue, pale green or soft pink would work the best though. Make sure to paint several months before the baby arrives and use a zero or low VOC paint. For some visual candy for your baby, you can embellish your walls with a beautiful hand painted mural with a landscape theme – which can serve as a beautiful backdrop for many years to come.

More ideas to come…next post!

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5 Responses to Designing the Perfect Nursery, Part 1

  1. The Lisa Mortensen design is my favorite, too!

  2. Linda Leyble says:

    Oh – isn't it? I just fell in love when I saw this! Hope my daughter will let me do something like this!



  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mom! I'm going with a Pink and grey color scheme – just ordered a glider from Basset, and picked out a beautiful fabric. Hope you will help me with the NY nursery 🙂

  4. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi sweetheart! I still have to do Part 2 of this post. Will search some pink and gray ideas. Love that color scheme – very “in.” Of course I will do your NY nursery. I can't wait. Love you lots!


  5. bloger says:

    It's a very nice room, both peaceful and fresh. However, I do not think it is a very good example of putting together a nursery “without spending a fortune”.
    Nursery Bedding,Crib Bedding, Baby Bedding

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