Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creating a Comfortable Nursery

A nursery is the place new parents will spend much of their time with their newborn.  It is a room that the child will grow into, and will need to be ready for the ever changing needs of a rapidly growing little munchkin.  There were several musts on my list when creating our nursery, and now that we have been home with our little one for over two months I have a little more insight as to what makes for a cozy comfortable space.

Nursery Rockers, Gliders and Everything in Between
Gone are the days of the plain wooden rocking chair as the only option to feed and rock the little one off to dreamland.  Initially I found myself swooning over a handful of modern rockers.  While the form of these options would have been a perfect match for the look I wanted, I luckily decided that the function would leave a lot to be desired for myself and my husband. 
Eames Rocker from All Modern

Many people can sacrifice a little comfort for aesthetic...that is how four inch pumps exist!  However, for others function comes before form.  Therefore my search continued as I knew I wanted a fully upholstered chair with a high enough back that could support my head.  Things to consider when searching for your perfect nursery chair should include comfort, cleanability, affordability and long-term post-nursery plans.  While we live in a "disposable" world, I knew I wanted to find a chair that could be used in another room once the little one transitions into a big boy room.  Some gliders even come as slipcovered options {like the one from Crate & Barrel below} making cleanability and future reupholstering a breeze.
West Elm | Anthropologie | Crate & Barrel
Then there is deciding between a rocker or a glider, and deciphering the features such as swivel and recline.  If you forgo the reclining option be sure to include an ottoman with your chair, and consider a non-matching ottoman to add a little punch of color or pattern.  We chose one that doubles as storage for blankets and toys.  For convenience we have a rolling cart as a side table for extra swaddling blankets, burp cloths and sheets as well as his sound machine.  An industrial style bin holds an abundance of books for our bedtime reading.
Graham Glider from West Elm
Deck the Walls
Wall color, finish and decor play a vital role in creating the atmosphere of any nursery.  Tranquil colors can help create a soothing space for feedings and sleeping; remember that calm colors do not have to be muted.  Bright blues and greens are wonderful options for a playful space that still reads peaceful and serene.  Even if you are having a little girl, you no longer are expected to use pink, purple or yellow.  Feel free to pull in traditional boy colors like pastel blue, navy blue or turquoise.
There is more than just color to think about for your walls.  Features such as beadboard or board and batten can do more than upgrade the look of a room.  By using a semi-gloss paint on these features that are often on the lower part of the wall, an easily washable surface is created.  Once that little bundle of joy is on the move that added benefit will be much appreciated. 
Many nursery guides state that because a baby's eyes take a while to achieve 20/20 status it is not important to add art or decor early on.  Perhaps there is merit in that; however, our two month old has been fascinated by his artwork for weeks.  Even if they do not see it as mom and dad do, art can provide great accent decor opportunities and provides contrasting elements for baby to gaze towards. Most of our nursery art is DIY to keep our overall budget for the space reasonable.

If DIY art is not for you there are wonderful options including 3-D decor available for all design motifs!  Look at these adorable selections from RH Baby & Child.
Patterns, Textures and Accents
While some may becoming weary of the chevron craze, do not dismiss this pattern as an option for your nursery.  In just a few short weeks of birth that little baby will find zig-zag patterns fascinating.  High contrast patterns in general will amuse the little ones non-yet developed sight, so even if chevron is not your thing look for bold patterns on subtle backgrounds or vice-versa.  Just as in any space, use a couple different patterns to keep it interesting.  We have stripes {the roman shades}, chevron {drapery and crib sheet}, and dots {pillow and crib skirt}.  Though it sounds like a lot for one room, by selecting fabrics that all contain navy and using each fabric in specific quantites, those three patterns read well together.

Mix up your textures as well; microfiber and velvet-like upholsteries are great for gliders, and washable cottons or poly-blends for pillow covers and crib skirts will prove durable compared to many dry-clean only options out there.  Of course the occasional ruffle, sequin or furry accent pillow for the glider can add that little extra pop - an accent pillow is the perfect place to ignore practicality! Look at these fun pillows from Land of Nod.  I may have to go grab that little brotosarous!  If we had a little girl I would have definitely gone for that pink ruffle pillow.
When determining your window treatment look for black-out lined options that will help keep the room as dark as possible when it's time for baby to be asleep.  Layering roller shades or cordless roman shades with drapery panels is a way to incorporate additional patterns and also provides multiple light filtering options.  Grasscloth, woven wood, or bamboo are also great shade options that can add an earthy texture to your space.  To save some money, while we purchased the cordless roman shades from Pottery Barn Kids, and I sewed the drapery panels myself.
DIY Blackout Lined Drapery Panels
Have you recently welcomed a little bundle of joy into your family?  What have you noticed about your space that has been a success, and are there any aspects that need a do-over?  For more information on products in our nursery visit my post, Revealing the Nursery.  For more tips on creating a comfortable nursery visit One Kings Lane, and don't forget to check them out for unique accents for your nursery!

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