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Journal

July 10th

Oh, Baby!

Artwork, a cute chandelier and a charming color scheme make for an inviting nursery.

If you’re expecting a new addition (or a grand-addition!), you’re probably thinking about how to decorate a special room in your home for Baby Boy or Baby Girl. There are so many options on the market these days—everything from super-discounted to wildly high-end—that it can be difficult to know where to start.

When I design a nursery, I typically begin with the furniture and design the room around that. So decide what kind of crib you want—dark wood, painted wood, etc.—and then build from there. Also consider you will need a chair of some sort (more about that in a minute) and a changing table. There are many other furniture pieces you can buy, of course, but those are the basics.

Next, figure out what kind of theme you like. It’s easy to get caught up in fanciful ideas—jungles, racecars and butterflies—but remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in that room. A little goes a long way when it comes to nursery décor. So don’t feel bad if you want to skip the giraffes and tigers in favor of just a color scheme you can use as a palette for paint, bedding and fabrics.

That said, we work with a fantastic mural artist who can literally paint anything on a wall. If you want your baby to sleep among soft, flying fairies, for example, she can create that. Or perhaps you want an array of stripes for a boy’s room—we have a contractor who can provide that feature. If you want to give the room a DIY personalized touch, write the child’s initial in a beautiful script over the crib (practice in pencil first and then fill it in with paint, or use a stencil).

After the crib, the chair is probably the next most important item in the room. You will use it for nursing—and you might just collapse into it once you get Baby to finally fall asleep. That means it needs to be comfortable, sturdy and have an easy gliding function. Pottery Barn Kids (see photo below) makes affordable chairs just for this purpose. We also design and manufacture our own chairs for clients at Custom Furniture Galleries, where you can get any type of fabric or design you want.

Pottery Barn's Kids Comfort square arm glider works well in a baby's room.

A few more things to think about: storage (IKEA’s Expedit cubbies are perfect for diapers, tiny clothes and toys), window coverings (add blackout linings to make naptime easier) and lighting (delicate chandeliers are darling in baby girls’ rooms). Whatever you do, be sure to buy quality items for your baby’s room that meet safety standards—visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for specific guidelines.

Congratulations on your new baby! As always, please contact us at Style on a Shoestring if we can help with any of your home design needs.