Designing nurseries are one of my all time favourite things to do. I will not be designing any more for myself, so I’m extending my reach to you. First of all - Congratulations! Pregnancies and babies are the things magic is made of, I swear. Even when your family feels complete (or you know that to remain sane, you should likely call it quits) those wondrous babies turn into little kids and so on and so forth.
The point of the story is that babies are awesome and they deserve to have an awesome space to call their own, once you kick them out of the womb, of course! From womb to room, their needs are going to change and I have compiled a list of seven different things that should be taken into consideration when designing a functional and sweet (obviously) nursery for the little treat that will soon be the delight in your life.
1.) Will your nursery need to be gender specific or gender neutral? Perhaps, at that 18 week ultrasound you and hubs decided that you wanted to know the sex of the baby so you could get yourself prepared in every way possible for the big arrival of your little package. Or maybe you guys are holding out for the big surprise! Either way, this is definitely going to be your number one consideration when you are building the little bean a bedroom.
2.) What about a theme? Don’t worry, if you’re not interested in a zoo animal themed nursery, although that is quite adorable, that’s not entirely what I mean. A theme doesn’t have to be a cutesy animal collection, nautical items or gender specific. When I designed my second daughter’s nursery, she was a different kind of lovely, so when I was trying to come up with a theme it basically turned into me choosing colours, patterns and decorative items that suited her individual personality. So if you don’t want a specific theme or a theme of colours, consider how you want the nursery to make you feel while you are spending time there, the kind of vibe it will radiate.
3.) Furniture! Now would be a good time to decide whether you will be sporting a glider, a more modern approach of seating or perhaps no seating at all. Will your crib convert into a toddler bed and then later a single bed? Do you need a change table? A dresser? What colour of furniture will best match your colours and theme? There are so many options when it comes to buying nursery furniture but you can easily narrow them down by making a list of things that your nursery will be housing, which brings me to my next point.
4.) Storage. No exclamation point for storage because when you think of all the awesome things about designing a nursery, storage is basic and kind of boring…but totally necessary. Once you’ve created a list of all of the things that you think you will need for baby, you will need to think about where you’re going to put all that junk. Storage and furniture should kill two birds with one stone if you’ve considered both accordingly. For example, your change table could easily be a low and long dresser with a change pad on top. This will not only house your change table but also all of your wipes, diaper cream, extra diapers oh ya and it’s a dresser…so all of those tiny little outfits and puny baby socks will fit there too. Smart right?
5.) Ever heard of the work triangle? The layette needs a functional layout. The work triangle is something that is used in kitchen design that helps you layout your appliances and sink in such a way that is more productive. Why not apply the same concept to your nursery, after all, there will be a ton of tasks happening there. Basically, you draw a triangle from your fridge, stove and sink and try to keep the distance twenty seven feet or less. I really think that this same concept should apply to your nursery with your chair, crib and change table. This will probably not be necessary if your space is small but if you’ve got all kinds of space, try to keep your major work areas relatively close together…like twenty seven feet.
6.) What about sleepy time? This is one thing that I did not consider when I was designing my first born’s nursery, textiles, but let me tell you - I didn’t forget it for the next ones! What I mean is that babies sleep at all different times of the day and require a bit of a sound limit when they’re trying to have a sleep - especially right out of the gates. Although I love the sun with all of my heart, the dainty sheers I chose to flank the white shades weren’t cutting it. I’m talking about window treatments. I would highly recommend making sure that invest in black out curtains - even if you have blinds. It is a lot easier for a little one to fall asleep when their environment indicates sleepy time. While we’retalking textiles I’d also like to mention that if your nursery has hardwood or anything other than carpet, you should seriously consider adding a nice big rug to help absorb some of the noises vibrating through the room, otherwise when that pin drops - baby might wake up from some much needed slumber, prematurely. Believe me, you do not want this - you want a nap, too.
7.) Do you think that you’ll have more kids? This is a big one because although you’re designing your nursery specifically for the baby you are currently growing, there is a good chance that for baby number two, three, four, whatever - you will not be starting from scratch like you are now. You will already have everything that you need for a new baby and possibly much more. In my own experience, I literally just sold the crib that I bought in 2011. Along with the armoire and change table, these items did my family well by providing all three of my children with what they needed as babies. I had my kids relatively close together so by the time the first one was ready to get out of her crib, the second one was waiting to occupy and the same was true between my second and third. Really, unless you buy gender specific furniture then there shouldn’t be much reason to continually be buying an entire nursery for each child. Ultimately, I’m trying to tell you that if you’re thinking of having more children, you should keep that in mind when you’re selecting your furniture. Themes and textiles can certainly be updated from baby to baby but you can certainly save yourself a couple of grand by planning ahead.
Preparing a space for your new baby is one of the most exciting ways to get ready for all of the adventures parenthood has to offer. By considering gender, theme, furniture, storage, naptime, the work triangle and whether or not you are going to continue to reproduce you are setting yourself to design a one of a kind room for your little love that is beautiful, functional and maybe even reusable! That, my friends, is what good design is all about.