Planning the perfect nursery is such a special time in your life and one that I have personally enjoyed twice over! When I first met, Shelley Follick, a fellow pre-school mom I was take with her sense of style and as we became friends I found her ability to create the perfect room, house, outfit etc… an amazing gift. Today, Shelley, an interior designer, takes a few minutes to answers a few of my questions on how to create the perfect baby nursery.
What 3 pieces do you feel are a must have for every nursery?
1. Comfortable Glider
You want a glider big enough to grow into so you can use it to read to your little one. This was the best advice I got when selecting this piece. You will most likely spend a lot of time there – so be sure to love it. I purchased a fully upholstered glider and know it was worth the investment.
2. Large Cozy Rug
Perfect for playing on…most people tend to go smaller with rugs in general. A large rug makes the room look and feel bigger and provides more play space.
A great piece of art you love can really make the room and can be a great starting off point to decorate. While pregnant and planning my daughter Colette’s nursery, the first thing I chose was this photograph by Kimberley Dhollander (above). The colors were perfect for a little girl and I loved that the subject was a little whimsical in that the houses reminded me of doll houses. I think it’s nice to select art that the child can grow into. I like to imagine Colette taking this photograph to her first apartment. For a boy, I am currently loving this match box series from photographer Leslie Mitchell. While these are pricier pieces, art doesn’t have to cost a fortune. When my first son was born I found an old embroidery of the alphabet at a thrift shop that I had framed. It can be anything that makes you happy. I like to go oversized to make a statement or you could frame a bunch of smaller pieces to create a large grouping.
What is something to splurge on for a nursery?
A leather pouf like this one from Serena and Lily. It’s great for putting your feet on while feeding or reading in the glider, the babies love to pull up on it, big kids like to jump off it, and it adds a lot of visual interest to the room! An even larger splurge would be a including a daybed in the nursery. The perfect place to layer lots of pillows and a convenient place to sleep if the baby is sick or up a lot during the night.
How do you go about picking out a color theme?
I think a neutral palette is always a great backdrop for a nursery. It creates a serene feeling which is nice for a baby’s room. Next I would select a fabric or art that you loved and use that as a jumping off point.
What is your favorite online store to shop for baby and kids things?
Serena and Lily has wonderful pillows, fabrics and accent pieces. The Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids have great rugs, bedding and accent pieces as well. I just bought my boys some great lightning bolt sheets from Pottery Barn Kids.
What is your current baby item obsession?
With my third baby I couldn’t live without my Baby Bjorn. I need my hands free to take care of my boys and my daughter loves it. I still use the one I got 6 years ago but am loving this pretty pink one: BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original – Light Pink/Gray, Jersey Cotton.
A new item I purchased for my last baby that I am loving is this car seat and nursing cover by Milk Snob.
What is the best way to add style to a nursery when on a budget?
Clean and modern pieces that are stylish are fortunately easy to find at less expensive stores. Target and Ikea have great options. You can find affordable rugs from websites like Rugs USA and Overstock. An inexpensive way to decorate a wall of a nursery is to use these floating book shelves. They do double duty by storing your child’s favorite books and adding visual interest to the space. You can find a lot of unique pieces from places like Etsy that add a lot of interest and style to the room. If your parents saved some of your childhood belongings you can inexpensively work those into the space. You can frame old book covers in white IKEA frames to create a grouping like I mentioned above. You can refurbish an old doll cradle in your selected color palette. The options are endless.
Any tips for decorating a gender neutral nursery?
As I mentioned earlier, I would start with a neutral palette and play with different patterns and textures to give the room interest. Pick an accent color that can work for a boy or a girl such as a soft lime green, gray, turquoise or navy. Incorporate metallics like the silver leather pouf. You can have an accent pillow selected for each gender that works with your room and be ready to purchase once the baby is born.
Any items you feel people buy and then don’t really use?
I think it all depends on the baby. Some love to be in the swing and others love to be held or worn. Then there are items we didn’t use very much with my first born that I now can’t live without – like the Bjorn. For us, we didn’t get a ton of use out of dressier newborn clothes and shoes and unfortunately the swing wasn’t a big hit in our house.