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Step-by-Step Guide to Designing a Nursery

The confirmation of pregnancy comes with heightened feelings of joy, fear, self-doubt, unpreparedness, and just the acknowledgement that life is about to take the most beautiful 360-degree turn that you aren’t prepared for! And you start planning as best as you could. You try to make space for a bassinet in your bedroom, spare diapers in your drawers, switch from Netflixing to following pregnancy blogs and groups, and making mental notes for designing that little bundle of joy’s little room.

The Challenges of Designing a Cohesive Nursery

There’s a fair chance you already have multiple boards on Pinterest dedicated to a plethora of interior design ideas for the nursery. But it is only when you get down to creating a shopping list that you realise that the burgundy rocking chair may not be the best choice with your blue tufted crib, or that the changing station you had in mind might just be too big for that little corner, or your selected rug wouldn’t go well with the wall art you had selected. 

This step-by-step guide would help eliminate all the confusion and creative roadblocks that you may have regarding creating a cohesive, and beautiful nursery for the new addition to your family.

Creating a Cohesive Floor Plan

This is the most crucial component of designing a nursery. You don’t want to be bumping into dressers or stepping on the rocking horse while rushing to soothe your baby. The right floor plan would help set the mood for the nursery. Following are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • For safety and stability, be sure that all the furniture pieces are anchored to the wall. If you’d prefer to keep the crib in the centre of the room, be sure to use furniture straps to secure it down.
  • Keep the crib on the opposite wall to the door so it becomes the star of the bedroom. Not only is this the Feng-Shui recommended position for bringing positivity into the room but it also helps easily keep a check on the sleeping baby from afar. 
  • Keep the dresser adjacent to the changing table so you could easily access all the items you’d need for diapering. 
  • Centre the room using a rug either underneath the crib or in the centre of the room. 
  • Use light and airy curtains to bring in as much sunlight as possible to get your baby that essential daily dose of Vitamin D.
  • If you are expecting twins, or if the nursery will need to be shared by an older sibling then consider keeping two cribs adjacent to each other, but at a safe distance. 

Researching for Nursery Decor

If you already don’t have a specific theme around the house that you’d like to continue, then you can start by creating a Pinterest board with all your favourite nurseries (if you haven’t done so already). You don’t necessarily need to like an entire room; perhaps you just like the wall colour or the rug or the window seating arrangement in a specific photo. Just continue collecting photographs and tag what you love about them. Give all this research a week or two to settle in, go back to those pictures, and see if you still love what you have saved.  

How to Create a Mood Board for the Nursery

Once you have a collection of everything you like, the next step is to find similar elements that you keep saving. Are you drawn towards earthy elements? Do you see yourself liking everything with floral prints? Look for similarities in layouts, patterns, styles, and pieces of furniture and décor. Use all these to create a mood board. You could easily create a mood board on your computer, or if you’d like to go all out, get your favourite nursery room pictures printed and use them to create one. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a collage of pictures to help create the right ‘mood.’  Canva and Adobe are great online platforms for help with creating mood boards.

How to Select the Right Colours for your Nursery

There are many ‘rules’ regarding colour selection based on aesthetics and colour psychology. Applying these rules isn’t mandatory, but helps a long way in creating a cohesive, appealing, and comfortable room.

The 60-30-10 rule is great for creating a colour palette. You should use 60% of the main colour; this could be on the walls, rugs, main furniture pieces, etc. 30% should be your complimenting colour; this includes accent walls, accent chairs, draperies, and linen. 

The remaining 10% should be dedicated to your accent colour; this includes your throw pillows, wall art, décor pieces, lamps, baskets, etc. All these colours should complement each other. You could use the colour wheel to find a cohesive colour scheme. But another easier option is to start with selecting an art piece that you absolutely love and take the designing process from there. Here is everything you need to know how to select the right wall art. You could also just copy all the colours off of a room design that you love.

Please note, that there are no hard and fast rules for this. You could create an equally stunning room with more than three colours or by just using a monotonous colour scheme like white or neutrals etc.

Colour Psychology

Pinks are for girls, blue for boys and white for neutral right? Are you sure? Fortunately, we are finally moving away from colour schemed rooms and more towards themed rooms. So before your little munchkin develops design aesthetics of his/her own, you could let your dreams run wild on the nursery walls. You could use hot air balloons, unicorns, or fairies to create whimsical rooms or opt for rattan baskets, bassinets, and storage solutions for a more natural theme. 

The fact is, colours can influence moods and behaviours (no wonder marketer spend millions on it!). You don’t want your little one staying awake all night because the colours are way too stimulating. Opt for warm shades of colours to have a calming effect. Again, it is not as much about colours as it is about selecting the right shade.  

Once you have selected your preferred colours, add swatches to your mood board to influence all your purchasing decisions. 

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Perfect Layout for the Nursery

Does the layout come first or furniture? Technically, they go hand in hand. But before all that, you need to decide all the purposes that you’d need the room for. Is your nursery right next to your bedroom so you could easily come and go or would you need a daybed to take quick naps next to your baby? Would you prefer the changing table in the bathroom or the nursery? Does the room have an inbuilt cabinet or would you need additional storage solutions? 

Following are a few tips and tricks for guidance: 

  • Jot down a list of all the functionalities and purposes of the room. Once you have that ready, it’d become much easier to find the right furniture pieces and decide on a layout. 
  • Measure all the four walls before going furniture shopping. Having these measurements handy would help find furniture pieces that fit perfectly. Never compromise on size but design as an ill-fitted crib wouldn’t look as amazing in the nursery as it did in a spacious showroom. 
  • Purchase additional baskets and caddies for storing blankets, washcloths, etc. Everything in your room should have a ‘home’ as it would help keep the space decluttered.
  • Be sure to adhere to baby safety guidelines when designing the room. Don’t place the crib next to windows with long drapes or blinds with cord pulls in easy reach.

Always think long term. Know that your little one will grow into a toddler and a young adult before you know it! Opt for pieces that could serve multiple purposes but also can be easily upgraded. So your daybed could soon become a toddler’s bed, the changing table into a nightstand or a dresser, etc. Also, opt for colours that wouldn’t look outdated come next season. 

There you have it! Designing a nursery doesn’t have to cost a fortune or a professional, but it does require some research and time-investment to make the right decisions. So take your sweet time to work on each little detail. And don’t forget to leave room for those adorable photos and memorabilia once the little one arrives!

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