Decorating a nursery? Start here

Tips to help you create a playful, on-trend nursery.

Decorating the nursery can be a fun project for parents-to-be, and a bonding experience like no other. These styling tips can help keep your nursery on trend, as well as playful.
Move over teddy bears, ducks, farm animals and matchy-matchy nursery sets. When it comes to decorating the nursery, themes are out and vintage chic is in.
Belinda Kurtz, of Petite Vintage Interiors, says themes, in the traditional farmyard sense, have had their day.
“Parents are now moving towards decorating their children’s spaces to reflect the style and feel of the rest of their homes.
“This doesn’t mean that everything in the space can’t be childlike and fun, but the items chosen to decorate the room are thoughtfully selected.”

Where to begin?

Kurtz says the best place to start is to find a cot you love, and work the room around that.
“Matching nursery sets are not essential. If you find a chest of drawers, small buffet or cabinet that is the right height and width to change baby safely, then consider that piece. It will have great storage for all the bits and bobs for changing baby and will likely get a second life somewhere else in the home when baby is all grown up.”
A nursing chair is also a must for feeding, settling and story time, Kurtz says.
“This doesn’t have to be a typical nursing chair; any chair that is stylish and comfortable is perfect. Also consider a night-light or beautiful lamp that can be dimmed, so you aren’t turning on the overhead lights during those overnight feeds.”
people decorating a nursery

Expert advice for decorating success

Here are further tips from Kurtz for decorating the nursery.
  • For boys, the monochrome trend is still popular, but I like to add blue, mint and timber to warm things up a bit. Inject some personality with superheroes, trucks and cars. Search for prints or decals on Etsy.
  • For girls, it’s all about peach, mint, grey and metallics. Soft pinks mixed with timber accents are also popular. Linen fabrics are on trend and beautiful.
  • Don’t know the sex? Grey is a beautiful colour to build on down the track. Also try timber, metallics and textures.
  • Look for trendy cot sheets (again, they don’t have to match) and add a baby blanket for a splash of colour. Decorative cushions look great and can be removed when baby is sleeping.
  •  On a budget? Invest your money in pieces that are going to stand the test of time. Wall decals, artwork and even rugs are now quite inexpensive but create high impact. Consider vintage or second-hand pieces that just require a lick of paint, or look for objects that can perform double-duty functions, such as a stool for a side table.
  • For inspiration check out Pinterest and Instagram. I often start here when I am designing a room. Online shops such as Society6 and Etsy are also favourites.
  • Still stuck? There are so many beautiful products out there for children that it can be overwhelming, which is where a children’s interior designer can help you to narrow down the choices to find a look that works for you.
Kurtz says decorating the nursery is a great way to bring the family or expectant couple together to bond with the unborn child.
“Just being immersed in all the baby things is a wonderful experience for a parent-to-be. It can also be overwhelming, so take it slowly and enjoy the process. These are children’s rooms, after all, and it’s all meant to be fun!"

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