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Nursery Basics

By H. Iacobacci-Miller

 

Once upon a time, decorating a nursery meant painting the walls pink or blue, purchasing a crib and eventually a twin sized bed. Times have changed! There is nursery furniture of nearly every design, style, shape and color you could imagine. Even the nursery themes have moved upscale. There are themes that range from "Victorian" to "Country French" all the way to "Denim" and "Safari".

  • Where do expectant parents begin? Try starting with the basics. Select furniture that can grow with your child. There are now cribs that convert to toddler beds and then to a regular, double or full sized bed. This sleigh crib from BabyCenter converts into a toddler bed, then a headboard for a double bed.
    • A low chest of drawers can also function as a changing table for your infant. Once they're potty trained - toss the changing pad and add accessories to the chest.
  • Instead of springing for the themed wallpapers, try painting the walls a solid color or add a faux finish for interest. If you have your heart set on a theme, use it in the border or with stencils that can be easier to remove and cover up than a room full of wallpaper.
  • Try using beddings and window treatments of solids mixed with stripes or ginghams. These will be easier to "grow" with the room than a little yellow ducky comforter.

Don't get me wrong, themes are a great, fun way to decorate any nursery, but if you're looking to make the most out of your budget, simplicity might be the way to go. You can always make it feel more like a nursery by hanging a mobile, accessorizing with stuffed animals and baby pictures. Use the theme as an accessory instead of the basis. These items are much easier to remove as your child grows and starts to tell you how they want their room.

Safety is the most important aspect of designing and decorating any nursery on any budget. Avoid long drapes and curtains. Blinds can be dangerous with their dangling cords. The safest choice is the use of a valance or roman shades that can't be pulled or tugged on by a curious toddler.

Plug those plugs! Probing fingers tend to find their way into unprotected sockets. Also, be aware of where and how you place nursery accessories. Lamps can be tugged down if the cord is easily accessible so place the lamp where the cord can be hidden behind the dresser or nightstand.

Don't forget to think of yourself as well. Many nights will be spent rocking your little one back to sleep. Make sure that chair is going to be comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

For some great ideas, browse through online stores like BabyCenter.com or BabyUniverse . They'll have great vignettes to get the ideas flowing!