How to decorate a nursery

Decorating the nursery is one of the most exciting rituals in preparation for the arrival of a new baby. Whether you are expecting a boy or a girl there are some fantastic children’s furniture and fabrics around so you should have no shortage of inspiration. Keep your nursery simple and stylish so that it can evolve as your baby becomes a toddler and beyond. Allowing bedroom themes to unfold organically as your child’s personality and interests develop will prevent them becoming out-of-date before you have finished applying the last lick of paint.

How to decorate a nursery

How to decorate a nursery

Decorating tips

  • Babies love mobiles and while you should stick to ones that meet the required safety standards for anything within reach, you can have fun making your own varieties for decorative purposes and hang them in the window or from the light fixture.
  • A toddler-sized rocking horse will help your child to develop balance. Look for ones with a safety rail that are designed for younger children.
  • Wheelie baskets are a practical solution for stowing toys as you can easily move them from one room to the next.
  • A wall chart with a map of the world, different animals or the names of colours is decorative but also educational.
  • Paint a mural of a rainbow, teddy bear or another motif on one wall to make your nursery unique.

Colour and design
Neutral, pastel and muted colour schemes work best as the nursery is a place for rest as well as play, so it is important to create a serene environment. There are some great children’s wallpapers on the market, but consider papering just one wall to avoid the pattern becoming too over-bearing. Use light-coloured flooring to give the room an airy and spacious feel. For the bedding and curtains, gingham is a nursery classic, but there are also some wonderful fabrics around with animal prints, retro floral designs, polka dots or candy stripes. Alphabet and number wall stickers are a good way to liven up a nursery and create a stimulating learning environment. Bunting is another easy way to bring some colour into the room and create a circus-look. Make your own by cutting large diamonds out of funky fabrics and wrapping paper, then fold the diamonds over a long thin ribbon and glue the triangle halves together.

Cots that have removable sides are ideal as they can be transformed into a toddler’s bed as your child grows and then made back into a cot should you have another baby. Many stores stock child-sized wardrobes that you will need as your baby grows up, but while it is still young you will probably find that drawer space is more useful as small outfits can be easily folded away. A changing unit on wheels with shelf space underneath is a useful item and if you buy one that has a removable changing mat, it can still be used for storage once your baby has grown out of nappies. You can buy children’s bookcases in the shape of dolls houses, castles and even fire stations from shops like Great Little Trading Co. and The Dormy House, so that tidying up becomes part of playtime. Storage cubes that you can stack up in different formations are great for larger items as you can buy additional units as and when you need them. You will also need a large toy box or basket so you can quickly sweep clutter off the floor.

A play mat or soft rug is a nursery essential as it is more comfortable than carpet when you spend most of your life on all fours. There are many varieties from cosy quilted mats with sewn-on teddies, to rugs with race tracks for playing with cars to full scale baby gyms with dangling rattles and other activities to keep your child entertained. A baby bouncer is also a great way of expending excess energy and you can buy ones that attach to door frames, the ceiling or free-standing varieties.