Preparing for the arrival of the newest member of the family by decorating the nursery is a joyous task. However, with endless possibilities for making the baby’s room a special place, it’s hard to narrow down the choices, and the room can end up looking like a confusing hodgepodge. By deciding on a theme and sticking to one central idea, you can give the room a unified look—whether that theme involves animals, storybook characters or any of dozens of other possibilities.
Choose a theme. There are several things you will want to consider. A nursery decorated with a pastel Mother Goose or classic Winnie the Pooh theme will be outgrown quickly; Mom might still enjoy the room a year later but it will probably not hold a toddler’s interest.
Paint the walls a neutral color so that you’ll have a “blank canvas” for your decorating background. If you intend to wallpaper the room, instead, keep in mind that with patterned wallpaper, the room will take on a “busy” appearance before you’ve even had a chance to do any decorating. Perhaps you’re using a Peter Rabbit theme and you find some matching wallpaper. Keep in mind that you’ll be extremely limited in what you can hang on the walls to carry out your theme. In any case, stick to a small print or a simple stripe if you do opt for wallpaper.
Create a large focal point for the room. You will certainly be able to find large posters for many themes, such as zoo animals or the circus, for example. However, you can also create your own wall decor by cutting pictures from coloring books or storybooks, enlarging these for patterns, and then tracing them onto the wall and painting in your drawings. You might think about using this method to paint an engine chugging along the wall for a train theme or a clown holding a bunch of colorful balloons for a circus theme. Another possibility for the walls of a nursery is to hang a colorful quilt.
Complement your wall décor with fabrics such as sheets and blankets. Rather than buying sheets printed with your Mickey Mouse or teddy bear theme, for example, opt for solid colors and let the blankets or coverlet show off the theme. For a simple window treatment, buy some printed fabric that complements your theme and make shirred and gathered café curtains; you might use some extra fabric to cover a chair pillow or for the cushion on the changing table.
Add finishing touches to your theme. Consider the following examples. Fill a shelf with books about farm animals, with the books facing outward so their covers can be seen. Cover a lampshade with teddy bear patterned fabric. Paint a child’s table with latex enamel and decoupage train pictures cut from an old storybook onto the tabletop. Run a wallpaper border featuring your theme around the top of the walls.