Designing a nursery

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Designing a nursery can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. We love these tips for creating a nurturing space that will grow with your child and leave your wallet and sanity intact.


2: The basics

Nurseries only need to support the baby's basic activities in order to thrive. So, what do babies do?  New babies eat, sleep and play. Does your baby need a mommy daybed adorned with pillows, a long chaise lounge and a television? No. Buckets of love, a crib or bassinet, a chair for nursing and a comfortable surface for play are all your baby needs for a good growing start.

2: Safety

Safety has to be the first priority when designing a space for your baby. For example, choose cordless window treatments, a new or properly retrofitted used crib, no/low VOC paint and forego crib bumpers at certain ages or altogether. If it is not safe, don't let yourself love it and put it in the room.

3: That special chair

A chair is used for nursing, bonding, rocking, relaxing, singing, reading and, sometimes, sleeping. So many precious moments will take place in this chair, so find a good one, new or used! Traditional gliders are often resold after mom and baby outgrow them, while an upholstered chair with rocking feet can be used in another room in the house.

4: Changing station

It's entirely possible, and some argue safer, to change diapers with just a pad on the floor. If considering a table or dresser, new or used, choose a pad that can be securely attached for safety. Dressers, rather than changing tables, allow for easy access to diapers, supplies and baby clothes and can also be used during toddlerhood and beyond.

5: Lights out

Even the tiniest sliver of light can wake some babies, especially if you have a summer-born, light-sleeping baby. A dark room will add to your baby's sleeping success rate. There are many cordless blackout shade options in various lengths that can be cut to size. Or simply buy blackout material and "hook and loop" tape it to the surrounding millwork.


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Check out these tips for creating a room with personality without breaking the bank. They just make sense (cents)!

A non-themed room transitions more affordably, and can be accomplished gradually avoiding future expenses when interests change or your baby grows an opinion.

When buying more expensive or custom items choose colors and patterns that transition over time. For example, gender-neutral colors and age-transitional patterns: geometrics and stripes over baby-specific scenes; greens over pinks; multi-color fabrics; furniture in white or wood tone over bright painted colors.

Bring in color with smaller, budget-friendly items: storage baskets, sheets, throws, wall art and other decorative top notes. Books and toys are the most practical ways to style kid's rooms; select your favorites and put them front and center!

Decorate with affordable art. Search "printable nursery art" online then repurpose old thrift store frames and buy a custom colored mat at your local framte shop.

Select paint last. If you want to get the color right, wait until you know the design direction of the room. You can create any color in the world after you have a reference point such as a color pulled from fabric or a rug.

Kari Delavenne is a mother of two and Interior Designer. For more of Kari's design ideas visit

Article adapted from A room to grow, MOM Magazine April/May 2016

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