Whether your new baby is on the way, or has already arrived, one of the first challenges you’ll encounter as a new parent is decorating the perfect nursery. You may feel intimidated at the idea, but it’s very possible to design a stylish, modern nursery your child can grow into.
You can start with the mindset of designing your nursery the same way you would for any other room in your home. First, ask yourself what your functional needs are for the space, then look for furniture and décor that helps you achieve that goal. Once you’ve got that step down, you can introduce some style into the space – and no, it doesn’t have to be all cartoon animals and soft colors. There’s no reason to make a nursery bland or boring.
Here are our top tips for choosing pieces you love that your baby won’t outgrow as he or she reaches toddlerhood and beyond.
1. Choose a neutral color scheme.
You can create a stunning nursery by starting with a classic neutral color palette. You can paint the walls neutral tones, such as white, beige, cream or gray, then make the room pop by adding bright, cheery furniture and accent pieces. Since these shades are also gender- and age-neutral, it will be easy to update the room as your child grows, or to repurpose the nursery for a future baby of the opposite sex.
2. Buy a convertible crib.
Your baby will go from infant to toddler in the blink of an eye, and next thing you know, they’ll be tall – and curious – enough to try clambering out of their crib. Instead of paying to buy a crib and a “big-kid bed” separately, it’s more budget-friendly to buy a crib you can change into a toddler bed with just a few simple tools.
3. Plan for extra storage space.
Though onesies and booties don’t take up a lot of space, consider the room your child will need as he or she grows up. Buy an oversized dresser that has plenty of storage space for your child’s growing wardrobe. And, rather than buying a dresser and changing table separately, look for a storage solution that can pull double duty as a changing table. Invest in a dresser you love, then buy a changing pad to use on top during daily diaper times.
4. Choose simple bedding.
Aside from furniture, bedding can be one of the priciest investments you’ll make when setting up your child’s nursery. You may be tempted to buy a full bedding package that includes sheets, a bedspread or even a crib skirt. However, new babies don’t really need that much, and according to pediatricians, you should avoid loose bedding for safety reasons. If you do decide to buy a complete bedding set, however, make sure the design isn’t too babyish.
5. Go bold with décor.
If you’ve decided to follow our first tip on this list and keep the walls a neutral shade, liven things up with bright, friendly colors and patterns. Fun, colorful decorations like artwork, lighting fixtures, stuffed animals, area rugs and pillows can take the room to another level. And as your child grows, rather than changing the wall color or buying all-new furniture, you can save money by switching out the décor.
By thinking strategically about how you and your child will use the room, you can create a vibrant space that is ready to grow with your baby as he or she transitions into a toddler. When buying pieces for a baby’s room, shop for function first, but don’t lose sight of style and durability. It’s not a smart strategy to over-spend on pieces your child will outgrow within a year or two. Instead, invest in pieces that can grow – both with your new baby and with your design style overall.