You have the ultrasound photo, you’ve told family and friends and now you’re just itching to turn that spare room into a nursery to house your treasure and joy. If you are already at the door, cans of brightly coloured paint in hand, excited thoughts of bunnies hopping over rainbows type murals in your head, stop right there.
There are things to consider before you start slapping on the paint. First of all if you know your baby’s gender are you going to use a gender based theme and if you are planning more children, how often are you prepared to decorate?
If this is going to be the child’s room for a while, if it is too babyish they might grow out of the theme. And thirdly don’t start with the paint.
Amy Szerman interior designer at Woods advises “Think of what you need to put in there first and plan out the space.”
If you do it the other way round she says you will end up selecting furniture and accessories based around the wall colour and it might all go horribly wrong.
Also do not think because you have minimalist steel and glass in the rest of the house that you can extend the concept into the nursery – that is another definite no.
Pricilla Ganiat-Rivers, interior designer at Island Interiors says “When you open the door you want it to be warm and inviting. It’s a completely different environment from the rest of the house.”
Once you have chosen your crib, storage furniture, changing table and planned where they are going, you can start picking out a colour scheme.
Colours are known to have an effect on babies and they are stimulated by bright colours. While this is a good thing for their brain development you don’t want to have them over stimulated so they fret and don’t sleep. For instance a totally yellow room has been shown to make babies cry more, but it is a lovely warm colour for art or bedding accessories.
Szerman suggests using primary colours as accents, picking out one wall for a bolder colour. Something else you can do is split a wall into two or more different colours. This approach also works if you want to use colours based on gender.
Szerman also suggests using wallpaper to accent one wall or on half of the walls. It can be used in a similar way for one wall or just on e half of the wall.
Ganiat-Rivers agrees that you should be careful with colours.
“Dark hues such as red have a very active energy while pastel colours are light and have a calming soothing effect.”
Szersman says if you do want to go for pink it can be used with another colour such as purple or green.
The approach at Island Interiors is to use a concept for the whole nursery. It might be a border or use a picture or a coverlet and then pull the colours for the walls from that, Ganiat-Rivers says
Murals and Stencils
Murals are another way of creating interest and colour in a nursery.
You can use stencils but if you want something more creative Woods has a member of staff who does free hand painting. It could be something simple like the baby’s name written in script or a painting of brightly coloured bricks on a wall or something which is more gender based.
If you do not like brightly coloured walls or have chosen neutral because you want to adapt the room as your baby grows, then use brighter colours in rugs or bedding and drapes.
And by the way black out blinds are also highly recommended if you want your baby to get its afternoon nap in Cayman’s brilliant sunshine.
Neutrals are easy on the eyes, create few distractions and are believed to help stimulate thought and creativity. Neutrals include buttermilk and greys.
Earth tones are warm and friendly. Orange and browns give a sense of comfort. Earth tones include light creams to dark chocolates, oranges and greens which are nature inspired colours.
Reds and pinks are known to be the most active colours – they are strong and energetic. Best used as accents and accessories so that it doesn’t become over whelming.
Lighter Pinks turn a nursery into a sanctuary, comforting rather than overwhelming if the right shade of hues is selected.
Blues are a good backdrop for creating cheerful themes as it doesn’t detract from the nursery’s pictures, or the wall décor.
Yellow is not recommended as a primary colour. Because it is the most difficult colour to see; it can cause irritability, headaches, and has been shown to make babies cry more. However it can be a very good secondary colour on wall art and bedding. Yellow as the brightest colour is also a protective and warm colour.
Greens are soothing. Green is associated with nature, making it good as a primary colour within a key nursery painting, or as the colour all the decorations hang from. It is a great way to help accent a warmer coloured room, or to punch forward warm coloured accents.