Preparing the nursery is a big part of expecting a new arrival. Choosing colours, picking out furniture and planning a room is exciting – parents are willing to put in lots of time and effort to get it right!
A new survey (conducted by Next) finds that 68% of parents agree that design and décor is important in a nursery, with a UK parent spending an average of £853 and 20 hours on this. (In the South West, we spend an average of £411 and 15 hours.)
But the idea of putting together a nursery can be a little daunting for those of us who aren’t interior designers. Where do you start? What’s important?
We’ve put together some top tips to help you get started.
Take the long-term view
Just like the beds that adapt as a child grows (we love those!) you can save yourself several hours of DIY if you decorate with updates in mind. A nursery can still have its own charm – there are ways to plan ahead while creating a cosy baby’s room for their first few years.
Consider using paint rather than wallpaper (it’s a little easier to change), and be wary with baby furniture. You’ll save money in the long term buying a chest of drawers or wardrobe which can last throughout a childhood.
It’s worth it to create a room that grows with your child, developing to meet their changing needs.
Mix up brand new and second hand
Most parents (67%, in the South West) have at least some second hand items in the nursery. Since some baby things aren’t used much beyond a little one’s first 12 months, second hand pieces can be in extremely good condition – and buying everything brand new can get a bit expensive.
Loaning and donating items that are only used for a little one’s first few months is ideal – often in good condition, this can mean a saving for another family (or store away for your own next one!).
The right colour choices in a nursery will help to create a calming space for a newborn. Child psychologist Hannah Abrahams advises “calm, soothing colours and patterns – pastels”, and a lighter base colour allows you to paint over it in later years.
Wall colours can also affect how big a room feels. “Darker shades of colour seem to shrink a space,” explains colour psychologist June McLeod, while “lighter colours recede, they seem further away, making a room feel bigger.”
Interestingly more parents in the UK (57%) now opt for colours like muted neutrals or yellows, over the traditional “pink for a girl, blue for a boy” shades.
Soft furnishings are your saviour
Keep up with your child’s development and changing tastes using furnishings that can be changed over the years.
Cushion covers, bedding sets, lighting/lighting shades and wall art can all be updated to reflect a new colour scheme, and are a great way to slowly add pops of bright colour to a nursery – but can also be put away when it’s time to rest to remove more stimulating bold shades.
And if your stubborn child changes their mind about bright red, it’s easy to edit out…we love animal patterns, a popular choice among parents and children.