This week we’re handing the blog over to Pavitra Pujary, author of UAE design blog www.funkfactoryinteriors.com. Here she gives us her top tips on creating the perfect nursery for your little cherub.
Decorating a nursery in anticipation of your baby’s arrival is a magical journey. While you may like to focus your efforts on the aesthetics, there are some important considerations to make while designing a nursery. As an interior designer my priority would always be to make the space as safe, comfortable and functional as possible. Read on for my three top tips on how to achieve this.
1. Furniture essentials
While decorating a nursery is a fun project, it’s vital not to lose sight of the main function of the room, which is changing, feeding and putting your baby to sleep. For that reason it’s important to invest in a few key pieces of furniture that will make life easier when you’re caring for your little one.
Make sure you can adjust the height of the mattress; this will be useful as the baby grows. Some cribs also convert into a junior bed for the toddler years, such as the Stokke Sleepi bed. In this case, see that the mattress also converts to a twin-size. Alternatively, if you are reusing an old crib, make sure it meets all the safety standards, especially in the case of painted cribs.
On average, babies go through around 12 nappies a day, so you will probably be using your changing table a lot during the first few months. Due to the frequency of its use, it is important to keep all the supplies required to change the baby within arms length such as diapers, baby wipes, lotion, nappy rash cream, towels and clothes. Avoid installing shelves directly above the changing table. Instead, fix them on the sides so that everything you need is clearly visible and easily accessible. Also, make sure your changing table is installed with a guardrail and safety straps for when baby begins rolling at about four months.
Chest of drawers
If there is one thing babies have in abundance, it’s clothes, so make sure you have a spacious chest of drawers to store all those adorable little garments. If you are short on space, kill two birds with one stone, by using the chest top as a changing table. Just make sure you have a guardrail fitted first.
Sofa or rocking chair
Having a chair for feeding and rocking is essential. You’ll spend lots of time in that chair so opt for one that reclines into different positions to support your back, and has a rocking feature so you can soothe your baby. You can also place a side table and reading lamp nearby to make those long hours rocking baby to sleep go a little faster.
2. Baby-proofing essentials
On average, babies crawl at eight months and from there it’s a hop, skip and a jump to pulling up and walking. For that reason, it’s vital that your nursery (and indeed, the rest of your home) is fully baby-proofed well in advance.
- Install covers on all electrical outlets for the safety of those inquisitive minds.
- Long electrical cords or cords for curtains and blinds should be tucked away from the baby’s reach.
- Install childproof locks on drawers and cabinets.
- Keep all furniture away from windows and cords.
- Keep all small objects away to avoid chocking.
3. Decorating essentials
Gone are the days of theme decorating. These days, parents have a more practical approach to interiors, as it’s important that the child can use the room for many years to come.
Play with colour
Pink and blue are the conventional nursery colours, but there are so many alternatives if you don’t want to take the traditional route. I personally love all colours, but ideally a nursery should be a relaxing and tranquil place, so avoid ultra-bright hues and instead opt for muted tones. You can then add a splash of vibrancy with brightly coloured soft furnishings.
When it comes to choosing your furnishings make sure they are easy to clean and soft on the baby’s delicate skin. For the curtains I suggest a layered curtain, one panel with sheer and the other panel of fabric with blackout. The blackout will help keep the sunlight out during the baby’s daytime naps. When you want the light to come in simply draw the blackout and you can have the sheer curtains for privacy. I would not recommend carpet flooring as it causes dust mites which leads to allergies. Also, choose surfaces that can be disinfected effectively as your baby will spend most of his/her time exploring on the floor.
It’s essential that the area around the changing table is well lit, so that you’re able to see what you’re doing. However, elsewhere in the nursery, consider using dimmer lights, as these provide gradual illumination and won’t startle your baby awake when you pop in to check on them in the night.
Pavitra Pujary is a Dubai-based interior designer and the founder of www.funkfactoryinteriors.com. She has over 10 years experience and currently runs her own practice, Pure Coalesce at Dubai Design District.