Decorating a nursery is one of the most fun parts of expecting. But where do you start? What do you need?
First, the basics– a crib, a mattress, a crib sheet or two, somewhere to change the baby and a place to put clean and dirty diapers and a dresser or armoire for clothes. A rocking chair is also great to have, for singing, snuggling and soothing baby before bed. (Click here for a complete collection of baby-gear checklists).
Plenty of parents put a nursery together just buy buying or inheriting pieces, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But it’s also fun to use a theme, which could be colors or even a concept.
When it comes to colors, pink for girls or blue for boys is tried-and-true, if you know your baby’s gender. Why not mix it up a little with pink and grey, or blue and green? Navy and cream?
Another way to find a theme is by building off of an idea, or even an item or article of clothing you really love. For instance, if you love an adorable stuffed elephant you bought as soon as you found out you were expecting, explore a jungle theme, or grays and blue, or elephants everywhere. Star Wars, boats, penguins, princesses, owls, Dr. Seuss or a favorite book have all made wonderful themes for colors and decorations.
Another way to start is with what designers would call a “color story”– finding some colors that you love and coordinating with them– the mom at left started with a rug she loved, and then used those colors to pull together furniture and accessories. A perfect lamp or chair can make another place to start.
Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and ideas.
If you’re going to paint or wallpaper, though, it’s better to do that before you add furniture or a rug. You can go with a simple color, paint or stencil on a pattern, or use a projector to paint on a whole mural. It’s safe to paint while you’re pregnant, just take care to keep your balance on ladders and make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
Keep in mind, too, that there’s no rush to buy everything and have it all ready by your due date– newborns are content to sleep in a bassinet in a parent’s bedroom, and you can always change him or her on a towel on a bed or the floor.