Less is more

How should I dec­o­rate a nurs­ery?

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - HOME - Tracey Strange

Not ev­ery­one is on board with pink or blue but de­sign­ing a nurs­ery can be so much fun it’s dif­fi­cult — for the ex­pec­tant decor­minded — not to put a lot of thought into it. The most suc­cess­ful ba­bies’ rooms, how­ever, are of­ten the sim­plest. Time to edit. Here’s how.

Prac­ti­cal­ity rules. As sim­plis­tic as it sounds make sure ev­ery­thing is to hand. Big isn’t bet­ter in a nurs­ery; you’ll want ev­ery­thing within reach of a chang­ing ta­ble. Walls, lov­ingly painted in a del­i­cate neu­tral or clean pas­tel are best if they are wash­able, ditto wall­pa­per. Clut­ter is to be avoided, which puts ad­e­quate stor­age at the top of the pri­or­ity list. Who wants to trip over Teddy late at night? And it might pay to con­sider black­out blinds if you plan on get­ting your child to sleep dur­ing day­light.

Fix on a topic. Dec­o­rat­ing a baby’s room is re­ward­ing. Make the most of it by choos­ing a theme. It can help if you start with one item you love, for ex­am­ple a mo­bile, lamp or art­work, then build mo­tifs around it. A plane mo­bile, for ex­am­ple, might lead to a loose travel idea: a map de­cal, wildlife prints, a globe lamp. It’s an easy pic­ture to get.

Grown-up art. Not all art­work needs to be baby­ish but it should per­haps nod to whimsy. For ex­am­ple, if you want your child to wake up to baby an­i­mals, check out the nurs­ery prints at Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Sharon Mon­trose’s The An­i­mal Print Shop.

Con­sider the can­vas. Small rooms gen­er­ally ben­e­fit from lighter wall shades. Darker shades ab­sorb light, and while the rule isn’t by any means rigid, nurs­eries do ben­e­fit from sooth­ing, neu­tral tones. But go­ing light on the walls doesn’t mean you can’t go bold on the ac­cents.

Re­straint helps. It’s dif­fi­cult not to be ex­cited by the thought of a new baby but his or her room is still part of your house. Co-or­di­nat­ing the nurs­ery with the rest of the house won’t im­press the new ad­di­tion, but it just might make you feel calmer ev­ery time you en­ter it. It’s also true that fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories that are too “baby-fied” won’t last into mid­dle child­hood.

When in doubt … con­sider re­mov­able wall stick­ers; the choice and cre­ativ­ity are lim­ited only by imag­i­na­tion. For in­spi­ra­tion, check out Your De­cal Shop (your­de­cal­shop.co.nz), Snug As A Bug (snu­gasabug.co.nz) and Cheeky Ras­cal (cheekyraskal.co.nz).

Love in­te­ri­ors? Dec­o­rat­ing a child’s room is bound to be ex­cit­ing, but calm­ing re­straint is of­ten key. Fur­nish­ings: Pot­tery Barn Kids.

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