Brett Valenstein is a Denver-based interior designer. She offers the following 10 tips for tackling the design of your nursery:
1. Nurseries don't have to be pastel pink, blue or yellow. Get creative! Look towards home decor colors. I’m especially drawn to paint colors with a bit of gray in them. Gray brings more richness and warmth to the color. Don’t forget your family’s health and use low-VOC paint. (I recommend Benjamin Moore’s line of Aura Low-VOC paints.)
2. Nursery design should be able to transition from infant to toddler to tween with only minor changes. Who wants the added expense of redecorating every time your child transitions into another life stage?
3. Move away from designs that are character-driven. Look for interesting artwork that doesn’t match perfectly and strive for a look that appears to be collected over time as opposed to a pop-up nursery.
4. Removable wall decals. You can turn your child’s room into an African savannah or a butterfly paradise and it doesn’t have to be permanent.
5. Use picture ledges or library shelving to display children’s book as art -- I especially love the look of vintage children’s books. If you don’t have some of your own, scour local used bookstores.
6. Flooring. Go to a carpet store and get a remnant bound. Spills and accidents will happen so you don’t want to invest a lot in the carpet and then have to stress about replacing it.
7. Put a sheepskin (or something similarly fluffy and comfortable) area rug on the floor. You will probably spend a lot of time on the floor playing with your baby, so you want it to be comfy!
8. Lighting. Stay away from overhead lighting -- it may be too bright and harsh for your baby’s eyes. Look at sconces and table lighting. Chandeliers or other pendant fixtures are OK as long as they are low-wattage.
9. Storage. This is where you want to make an investment. I recommend built-in storage with places to display gifts as well as places for bins to hold toys and other goodies.
10. Don’t forget the ceiling! Your baby will spend a lot of time looking up at it, so you want to do something interesting that will be soothing as well. Paint the ceiling in a shade that is complimentary to the wall color. Suspend mobiles and other items that will be of interest to your baby like butterflies, dragonflies and flowers.
You can contact Brett Valenstein of Design Babylon at (970) 239-1070 or visit www.designbabylon.com.