How To Decorate A Nursery
Lifestyle blogger and new mum Jenny Lambert, shares her top tips for styling a nursery…
When you’re pregnant, you’re told a long list of things you CAN'T do. Don’t eat soft cheese, don’t go in a hot tub, don’t overdo the caffeine... However, decorating your baby’s nursery is one of the things you CAN do in the run-up and I loved every minute of it. (It was also a welcome distraction from the mood swings and waddling...)
This how-to is more for inspiration – there’s no right or wrong way to decorate a nursery. But hopefully you’ll find some handy tips below, which I learnt along the way. Everyone’s taste is different and what works for some rooms and parents, might not for others. My main advice is to have fun! Children don’t grow up thinking ‘my chair really matched my wall colour’ – they remember the bright, wacky, colourful aspects that captured their imagination. Bear this in mind and you can’t go wrong.
Tip 1: Versatility
Create a room that grows with your baby.
I love grey walls as they always look fresh in the daytime but cosy at night – just what you want in a nursery. We opted for Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray and used artwork and accessories to inject colour into the room. This is a particularly useful approach if you want to prepare your nursery but aren’t finding out whether you’re having a boy or girl. Grey makes the fun things POP.
Babies and children have a lot of stuff! We opted for a Sharps Henley wardrobe, as we loved the style and the amount of extra storage space you get inside with a fitted wardrobe (rather than popping everything on the top in full view). We also felt this was a better investment than a children’s wardrobe, which they’ll quickly outgrow. We went for a mix of hanging space and shelves, dividing types of clothing and toys into storage boxes. We also added a temporary pole to double up the hanging space as babies clothes are so small, which we’ll remove when our son grows up. We opted for Sharps ‘Stone’ shade as it subtly blended with the grey walls so didn’t impose on the room too much.
I’d also recommend investing in a changing table that has a detachable changing area – so once your baby has outgrown it, it becomes a regular chest of drawers.
We also mixed up our nursery shelving to keep things fun, rather than too matchy matchy. We upcycled a scaffold board to store precious items up high, apple crates to display toys and books, ‘secret’ shelves behind the door to store spare nappies etc and an IKEA picture rail near the changing station for easy-to-grab essentials e.g. nappy cream, hand foam and tissues.
Tip 2: Think Like a Kid
While I admire chic nurseries in magazines, sometimes I feel they lack the fun factor.
I started with a blank piece of paper and listed all the things I loved about my childhood room growing up, then built out ideas from there. For me, it was my star curtains and wallpaper with bright rainbows on. I’d recommend selecting three key elements to really go to town on, otherwise you run the risk of making things a bit busy and while you want your nursery to stimulate, you also want it to be a calm space. I focused on the curtains, rug and lightshade as my nursery’s main features.
I also loved Disney growing up (who didn’t?!) so wanted to incorporate some subtle nods to it e.g. a Peter Pan wall sticker above the door and a Lion King Hakuna Matata print from Etsy that I popped in an IKEA frame (best place to purchase affordable picture frames).
Tip 3: Use Instagram
Interiors are huge on this photo-sharing app – simply search keywords or follow stylish parents for real life inspiration. For example, I was struggling to find a bright nursery rug that I liked and discovered the perfect rainbow rug via my mummy friend’s feed. It was handmade in Nepal-! I never would have found this without Instagram.
I also love how Instagram - and other platforms such as Etsy and Pinterest - put a spotlight on individual designers. For instance, I discovered a hot air balloon lightshade designer on Instagram who had an Etsy shop. You could select which material to go in your lightshade, so you could really tailor it to suit your room. As soon as I added this, the room really felt like a nursery. If you spot something you like on Instagram, you can comment on the photo and ask where they purchased their items (if they haven’t tagged the shop in their photo already). Alternatively, if you’re unable to find out where the item is from you can send the image to someone who can recreate it for you (I did this with my star curtains).
Bigger brands are also doing great things on Instagram, so if you really love a brand it’s worth following it’s feed for new product launches and styling ideas.
- Start early
- Make it versatile
- Strike a balance between calm & stimulating
- Keep an open mind about changing elements
- Have fun!
I hope these tips prove handy! Pop over to my Instagram @maison_bailey_ for more behind-the-scenes inspiration for your home. There’s also a full nursery tour including before and after images via my blog: http://www.maisonbailey.com/before-after/2016/11/9/nursery-tour