Decorating the Nursery

I haven’t talked much about the baby’s room, although I‘ve spent hours thinking about exactly how to decorate it.

Like, I’m guessing, many parents-to-be, the thought of preparing a room especially for the baby is pretty exciting. And shop catalogues, baby websites and department store room set-ups are extremely seductive, with their beautifully co-ordinated furniture and accessory ranges. I’ve had plenty of moments of “Oh wow, that’s gorgeous, I want, I want, I want.” But fortunately those moments have been swiftly tempered by a dose of reality. Because the thing is, when the word “Nursery” is tacked on to the front of a furniture range, a zero or two gets tacked on to the end of the price tag.

I mean, really, who wants to spend over a thousand pounds on a wardrobe? Especailly a half size one that may be ideal for baby clothes, but will be quickly outgrown by an incessantly growing child. And “changing nits” are often little more than a chest of drawers with a a changing area screwed on to the top. Given that the changing part will only be useful for a year or maybe two – most have a strict weight limit – these quickly become expensive chests of drawers with impractical top surfaces.

As for the decor – well, who is it really for at this stage? I’ve heard plenty of people use decorating the nursery as a reason for finding out the gender of their child. If you want to know the gender, obviously that’s fine. But you don’t need to know it in order to decorate the room in which it will sleep. Under the age of one or two, the child is really not going to care what colour the walls are, or whether they have boats, teddy bears or safari animals dancing across them. I, on the other hand, might care a lot what the room looks and feels like when I’m spending hours of each day changing, dressing, feeding and putting to sleep my child, all whilst staring at the walls. I’m happy to do what I fancy, and we can cange it when the baby is old enough to want to choose something else.

The final problem with the shop bought accessory ranges is the lack of individuality. Yes, the catalogue pages look cute and neat. But they’re not very representative of real room shapes and sizes, and you ca bet that cramming that many items with the same pattern in to a real room won’t look anywhere near as nice, and it will look “ready-made”. Persoanlly I’dprefer to put a bit of our own stamp on the room.

So all of this led to me thinking about what furniture we already have that we ca re-purpose and how this would fit wit items we do need to buy, and then to searching for some unusual decor and finishing touches. I spent a lot of hours online looking at cots and cotbeds, at bedding and paint charts and most importantly at pictures of other people’s nurseries. Doing the latter led me to the idea of using a wall sticker, so I then spent hours looking at those too. The ones that were readily available felt a bit gaudy – almost too childlike given what I said about who the room is for. Eventually though I found an etsy site that sells outline stickers, in a single solid colour, and had a gorgeous giraffes shape with it’s head to the side as it peering over. And all of a sudden I conceived the idea of painting the wall behind the end of the cot a strong feature colour, with the giraffe superimposed as if peering over the cot. I fancied the idea of cream wals, with the feature wall in a bright green

Next up, I spotted a lovely pair of spotted curtains in a picture of someoen else’s room. The picture was on a networking site, so I mesgaed the wner, who was kind enough to let me know that hey were from the Gro company’s “Jolly Day Out” range. They are lined with balckout material, doing away with the need for a separte blackout blind. And better still, they were on sale! Once I had the curtains, we took them to B&Q and had a paint sample mixed in the exact colour of the green spots, a sort of lime colour. And I love it!

The cot we’ve chosen turned out to be pretty much the first one we saw. It’s cream with natural wood accents, and converts from cot to toddler bed, so should last a good few years. The cream colour co-ordinates well with the colour we’ve picked for the non-feature walls in the room. We’ve elected to get a cot top changer unit as, despite everyone saying you can just use the floor, I think it will be useful for the first year or so to have somewhere at waist height for changing and dressing for the sake of my back. But it can easily go in the loft after that, and is a cheap solution. We already have a full size Ikea wardrobe doing nothing, which is ideal with half hanging space and half shelving, and two Ikea tallboy chests which we went to pick up from the family flat we have access to in London today. They weren’t being used there, and fit perfectly at the end of the cot.

I just need to order a chair for the corner by the window now. Oh, and we need to actually finish the painting and setting it all up. But I love it already. Simple and smart, but cosy and calming too.

Pictures to follow!

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