When you’re expecting your first baby, one of the most exciting jobs to look forward to is decorating the nursery. Nearly every expectant mum in my pregnancy group spent hours planning their baby’s first bedroom, pouring over paint, obsessing over furniture, and deliberating whether to buy the circus or the zoo themed accessories.
My experience was slightly different. Although I could plan to my hearts content, I was unable to put any of my plans into action because we were also expecting to move just a couple of weeks before my due date. This less than perfect timing meant that I was unable to decorate Baby’s room until she was over 6 months old!
In hindsight, there were pros and cons to this situation. On the one hand, leaving the decoration of the nursery until Baby was 6 months meant that I understood her better, and as a result I decorated the room a lot differently than I would have before she was born. On the other hand, decorating a room with a needy 6 month old in tow is quite difficult to say the least.
Despite the challenges that came with Baby’s nursery, I’m delighted with how it all came together and wouldn’t change a thing. It’s cosy, safe, pretty, and full of personal little touches. To me, it is the perfect nursery.
The Nursery Tour
Normally when I decorate a room from scratch I carefully plan out the décor and furniture together. However, I started Baby’s room knowing that I already had all of the furniture we would need.
The cot bed was purchased from Babies R Us after I fell in love with the style and the rather appealing sale price. I had been lusting over similar cots in Mamas and Papas, but they were considerably more expensive than my chosen cot, which despite being cheaper is sturdy and gorgeous!
Being a first-time mum, one thing I didn’t quite appreciate when I bought my cot was the cost of cot mattresses. Baby’s miniature mattress from Mothercare was actually more expensive than my full-sized Ikea mattress!
Baby’s wardrobe is solid pine and was bought via eBay for around £30 a couple of years before baby was born. I had already sanded and painted it, although I’m hoping to freshen up the paint when Baby is a little older. To make the wardrobe a more unique, I replaced the door handles with ceramic knobs with blue hearts on.
As Baby’s room is only a small single we chose not to add a chest of draws and instead placed a carved pine ottoman below the window. The ottoman isn’t entirely to my taste, but it does have sentimental value having belonged to my mother.
My pregnancy had been hard for many reasons, one of which was that my mothers dementia took a turn for the worse a few weeks in. After a prolonged hospital stay she had to be move to a care home, leaving me to clear her apartment. The ottoman was a much-loved piece of furniture and my mother is happy to know it is now serving her granddaughter.
When I started planning Baby’s room I was determined that it wouldn’t be grey… That was until I spotted a beautiful sweeping silver birch wall sticker on Amazon which looked stunning in white with yellow leaves on a dark grey background. I’m starting to think I will never design a room without grey again!
Unfortunately, I ended up being sent a cheap knock-off wall sticker instead of the one I ordered, you can read that story here. Despite this, I managed to make the sticker work and I’m probably the only one who notices that it isn’t perfect.
My main goal for Baby’s room was to create a space which was peaceful and relaxing. Baby has toys and games in the family room, but I wanted her bedroom to encourage the sleep that I was desperate for her to have! I feel that the grey and the wall sticker achieve this. The effect, when accented with soft furnishings and pictures, has a definite nursery feel to it, but it’s not the bright playroom nursery that some parents design.
Photos and Decorative items
It was very important to me that Baby’s room be full of items that were made with love, gifted, or passed down through the family. I’m not usually “airy fairy” but I feel that filling the room with things full of love and meaning turns it into a little protective bubble.
My favourite special items include:
A cross-stitch that I started sewing when I found out that I was pregnant and finished with Baby’s name and date of birth in the first weeks of her life.
A Bambi print bought for me by my Grandfather when I was a child.
A button name plate which a family friend unexpectedly had made for Baby just after she was born.
Some bunting which was hand sewn by me (Read how I made Baby’s personalised bunting) with Baby’s name on it.
As Baby is currently using GroBags (Read my review of these fantastic baby sleeping bags) there are few fabrics in her room at present. However, I have already set the groundwork for soft furnishings and fabric accessories.
While I love the grey design of Baby’s nursery, I did worry that it was a little too grown up. The solution was simple, it was time to go extremely pink and flowery with the bedding and curtains!
The Final piece of the Puzzle
After Baby’s room was completed and I had convinced her that it would be a lovely place to sleep, there was still one thing preventing it from being the cosy oasis I had hoped it would be… The carpet.
After 10 years of use, the carpet in Baby’s room looked and felt less than appealing. Whenever Baby and I were in her room I had taken to placing a blanket on the floor but this wasn’t ideal, So off to CarpetRight we went (read about my wonderful CarpetRight experience) and a few days, and a lot of furniture moving latter, the horrible cream health hazard was removed and a gorgeous dark grey carpet was installed.
I couldn’t be happier with the result. The new carpet is the perfect mix of beautiful, practical, and comfy. It finishes the room off perfectly and completes the transformation from dull cream box room, to delightful, cosy nursery.
Please feel free to share pictures of your baby’s nursery in the comments. They’re just such fun rooms to decorate!