There is hardly anything more exciting than the birth of a new baby, and the preparation for his or her arrival is just part of the fun. Decorating a nursery is one thing most expecting parents have on their to-do lists; but, for some this may seem like a daunting task. Where should you start?
Luckily, today's modern decor trends carry over quite well to nurseries. HomeGoods recently tapped Homepolish stylist, Matthew Cane, to make over the home of Brooklyn Blonde blogger, Helena Glazer, who was expecting her first child.
Glazer admits that she, too, didn't know where to start when it came to decorating the nursery. Luckily, Cane came to the rescue with tons of design ideas, which, combined with my own tips, will help you create a nursery that's both modern and youthful.
Keep Your Style In Mind
"The number one thing to think about when decorating a nursery is that it’s an extension of your home--so approach it that way!" Cane advises. "By mixing in a neutral color palette, furniture and light fixtures, the room can more easily grow with your child and ultimately, translate as an extension of the home rather than an in-your-face theme.”
- For a modern nursery, choose a gender-neutral color scheme. Gray walls are a perfect backdrop for any pop of color, such as yellow or orange, or for a mix of primary colors incorporated through books and toys. The navy in this nursery is a sophisticated touch.
- Larger-ticket accessories such as area rugs, curtain panels and accent furniture should reflect your own personal tastes. A good rule of thumb to follow: if an accessory from the nursery would look at home in another room of your house, it's a keeper. This gray and white striped rug and classic wing-back chair, for instance, will work for years to come.
- A chair and ottoman combo like this one is less nursery-specific than a rocker, and is probably just as comfortable. Plus, the overstuffed ottoman offers a safer spot to land when baby starts walking and can be used as a comfy reading spot in the future.
Choose Age-less Art and Accessories
- Ditch the teddy-bear borders and Noah's Ark-themed art in favor of a more contemporary take on wall art that still feels age-appropriate. This animal bust gallery wall capitalizes on the taxidermy trend for a surprising and playful way to bring an animal theme into the nursery.
- Try using a grid of white frames with prints that can be changed out as the child matures.
- Plants bring a homey feel to any room, but we don't often think about putting them in nurseries. Fig-leaf trees, succulents and ferns are houseplants with a modern feel that will breathe even more life into the room.
- For an ageless and modern nursery, resist the urge to buy novelty or themed accessories and instead, choose overhead light fixtures, lamps, pillows and throws that can grow with the child. These lamps, for instance, have a modern aesthetic and can be used as the child grows, or in other rooms of the house down the road.
Even with keeping my tips in mind, "Not everything in a nursery will transition throughout your child’s entire adolescence (think cribs, rockers and changing tables)," Cane says. "For this reason, it is important to mix in both high and low elements within the space. Buying pillows, throws, and table lamps from stores like HomeGoods are a great way to add a more child-like element into the room without breaking the bank.”
Add Function with Stylish Storage
- "When it comes to a baby’s room, I always make sure to include both open storage and closed storage," says Cane. "These hanging baskets are perfect to display books and cute stuffed animals." Stylish open shelving also keeps necessities such as diapers and other changing supplies close-at-hand.
- Closed storage, on the other hand, is great for bulkier toys and "keeps the room looking clean and sleek," Cane suggests. These vintage-looking trunks, for example, will be great storage solutions for any-aged child.
Accessorize with Toys and Books
Finally, give the nursery finishing touches that keep it from looking too grown-up. After all, it's a room for a new baby! Cane suggests, "There should always be a balance between sophistication and whimsy. By displaying hints of imaginative elements such as children’s books, toys, and mobiles and pairing them with more mature elements, such as furniture pieces and lighting, you’ll always be even on the scale."
- As previously mentioned, open storage is a great idea for a nursery. Not only is it convenient, it allows you to use the child's toys as accessories, bringing in color and giving the room the sweet, youthful look you still want for a nursery. Here are some other ways to accessorize using unique toy storage solutions.
- Hang a geometric mobile like this one above the crib, changing table, or chair for a stimulating visual for baby.
- Oversized stuffed animals make a style statement perfect for a nursery.
- Colorful children's books make wonderful accessories for a nursery and can be displayed using one of these clever book storage ideas.