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You CAN Have a Designer Nursery

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Make Baby's room posh. A local expert shows you how.

I remember gazing out into the open space while gently and unconsciously rubbing my round, pregnant belly, leaning against the door jam of my soon-to-be baby’s nursery wondering. Thinking. Planning. What’s to become of this big, empty space in the months before his arrival? What do I really want to do for him? Will he like it when he gets older? Questions ran through my mind on a reel. I did what just about every other expecting mom would do: planned for his room to be a stereotypical “boy” room with a sports theme. The nursery is one of the most exciting parts of having a baby. So, don’t let it overwhelm you and don’t over-complicate it. Local experts can help you turn that ordinary room into something stylish and spectacular.

Where to Start?

Coming up with a concept or theme for Baby’s nursery is sometimes a difficult task. Today’s parents are interested in modern designs and styles, but they’re more inclined to polish up the standard nursery. Things can get tricky … fast.

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“Stay away from commercialized themes,” says Sara Ray, owner and lead designer of Sara Ray Interior Design (615-578-2090; sararayinteriordesign.com). 

Determine the best way to make the room feel like you and reflect how you use it. She notes that inspiration can come from just about anything from a cute baby outfit, a piece of art, something found in nature, etc. It doesn’t have to all come from the same store or even manufacturer to fit just right.

Planning for the Future

“A baby’s nursery should be very functional for all the users — baby and parents,” says Ray. She encourages planning the space where everything’s accessible. “Base your furniture arrangements and selections on how you intend to use the space,” she says. “Make the space baby and toddler friendly from the beginning so there’s no re-designing when he becomes mobile. Personally, I like spaces that can grow with the child, so my nurseries tend to incorporate sophisticated furnishings with layers of fun art, bed linens and decor that give the space an overall theme of sorts,” she adds.

“Collect things from different sources to create a much richer and interesting space,” says Ray. She encourages you to incorporate at least one vintage item as she does in all of her designed spaces. “By using more sophisticated furniture pieces from the beginning there isn’t a need to continually buy furniture as the child gets older, the crib being the exception, of course,” she adds. That is, unless you find the perfect crib that turns into a toddler bed and then a day bed.

Trending Ideas

Social media ideas, Pinterest and more are shaping our creativity and style’s become a “thing.” If you’re wanting to stay on the path of trending themes or ideas, Ray suggests using themes such as woodland/camping, galaxy/space or even vintage floral. Use of an overall neutral color with pops of bright colors is trending, too, as well as bright, shiny, bold or even neon geometric shapes.

Off-the-Wall Design

Looking to add more than just a splash of color to the walls? Consider a mural. However, when deciding on painting a mural you’ll need to make the right design choices. Something as simple as the color selections. You want to create an environment that’s fun, inviting and allows plenty of room for the imagination to take flight. With that in mind, don’t add human characters into the design. That way, kids playing in the room can be the characters and have fun using the mural backdrop for their adventures.

With these tips and ideas, you’ll have more than just a nursery. You’ll have a room that feels welcoming — a nursery that’s functional and makes a bold statement, too.

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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