Creating a nursery that lasts beyond diapers is always at the top of my “frequently asked” design dilemmas. Children’s rooms and how to create a space that can transition through the fast moving youthful years without constant redesign and financial investment is a question almost all new parents have.
You find out you’re expecting and instantly go into the nesting phase that starts with the nursery. There’s no greater joy for parents-to-be than creating a space that they envision rocking, feeding and watching their new bundle of joy. But will this space be appropriate a fast 12 months later when their child is learning colors, playing with blocks and instead of singing lullaby’s, books like Cat in the Hat take over?
Similar to other spaces in the home, a child’s space has some commonalities with design needs. Start with neutrals. Walls, flooring, larger pieces of furniture. This allows you to make simple changes as your child transitions through phases. This also allows greater flexibility when and if other siblings arrive and changing rooms makes sense. Tan or gray walls allows you to swap out drapes and bedding to transition from a baby girl’s floral inspired room to a baby boy’s nautical theme.
Another tip is to purchase multi-use furniture from the outset. A crib that transitions to a toddler bed then a full size bed, or, a changing table with a removable diaper changing station that doubles as a dresser. An upholstered rocker (with a washable slipcover) is far more comfortable and a lot more attractive than the run of the mill wooden glider – and needless to say, a piece with a lot more longevity.
Let the accessories and textiles carry the room’s theme. This way, at little expense and effort, the room can change easily through different design phases. Draperies, wall art, an accent rug and bedding are all easy ways to insert the room’s personality allowing easy transition from Mother Goose to Pirates and Princesses.
I love to incorporate a child size chair in a reading nook. Though not used in the infancy stages, it becomes their spot as time progresses and the love of books develops. I use an indoor/outdoor fabric on the piece and love the IKEA wall shelves that are the perfect size for children’s books. I also love creating a wall display with uniform frames. In a nursery, alphabet cards look beautiful and then later, the cards can be swapped for their original works of art in the same display. Another favorite is to trace and paint a favorite saying. Young or old, an inspiring phrase on the wall is always and easy and fun design project.
Have fun creating a space and changing it with the changing needs of your little one!