Baby Blues (and pinks)

So you know that you’re having a girl or a boy, but the mere thought of having a traditional pink or blue nursery brings tears to your eyes. There is so much information out there that you don’t know where to start finding alternatives. All the local kids furniture stores have amazing ideas, but for the same price of buying a ready-made nursery, you can put your kid through university. So here are a few ideas:

First, let’s be honest: you don’t have to have a pretty nursery for baby. Baby won’t know or care what their room looks like, as long as they are comfortable, warm, dry and fed (not necessarily always in that order). The decoration of the nursery is for you. And that’s ok, because for the first few months of your little angel’s life you’ll be spending most of your time there. So it’s essential that you like the look of the room.

In my opinion, there are 2 very important things to consider when you start decorating a nursery: 1) less is really more here, and 2) keep it easy on the eye.

There are many people who advocate sunshine yellow or tangerine walls and clown wallpaper, but for me it comes down to one simple question: would you like to stare at that for 3 hours in the middle of the night while trying to calm your screaming infant? So creating a calm and soothing environment is really a priority for me.

It is always easiest to just have white bed linen because it gets washed so often (try to have 2 sets at least – 4 sheets are better, you’d be amazed at how many times you can change their linen in 24 hours. REALLY.) However, there are so many nice sets available that you should be able to find something that suits your style if you don’t want to be conservative. Good places to look for inexpensive sets are Mr Price Home and Baby City, as well as Ackermans and Pep. Keep in mind that your baby really doesn’t need a pillow – in fact, it is considered by some health professionals to be a health risk.

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image courtesy of decorpad.com

It doesn’t get more simple than this. Some vintage prints on the wall and plain bedlinen. Beautiful. Note the books on the floor, eliminating the need for shelving. This will only work until baby becomes mobile after which they will probably destroy and or eat it.

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image courtesy of babylifestyles.com

Another very plain canvass to work from, this room seems to epitomize tranquility without entertaining the usual baby paraphernalia.

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image courtesy of stella&henry.com

This room looks like it was thrown together from things that the owners already had. There is nothing baby about it, so it can grow with the child. Note the quirky prints (can easily be done on your own computer) and the wonderful flowers (cut from white milk bottles). While the bookshelf is lovely (this can also be constructed from a ladder with some simple shelves fixed to the rungs) you must remember to always fix furniture pieces like this to the wall: toddlers and baby’s learning to walk (cruisers) have a tendency to climb or grab things higher than they are and can easily pull furniture over on themselves.

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image courtesy of projectnursery.com

Who would have thought that orange can be so effective? This nursery works equally well for a girl or a boy. The striped wall and very cute orange accents make it of course.

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nursery at the bruwery

This is my son’s nursery, just to show that I actually follow my own advice! The cot is a family heirloom and the chair is my favourite from the living room. The walls I painted in a warm khaki myself when I was 7 months pregnant (I don’t advice this!) . All the soft furnishings and the little wall hanging I made from pieces of random fabric that all followed the basic colour scheme (khaki and white with touches of blue and red). A mosquito net is an absolute must if you live in an area where the little bugs are rampant – this one was a baby shower gift from a very close girl friend who clearly knows me very well! The foam puzzle on the floor (Crazy Store) works equally well as play surface and teething tool (just make sure to tell guests not to step on it!).

The great thing for me about this room is that it is growing with my son (now almost 2). I will do a post about his new, big-boy room soon!

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image courtesy of onedaybox’sblog

This is just such a fresh colour scheme – I absolutely love it! Note the simplicity: the impact comes from the wonderful wall colour and few bright yellow accents. Nothing fancy, just some paint, a comfy chair, scatter cushion and a yellow dog. Bunting is also always an inexpensive and lovely idea – more on that in future posts!

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image courtesy of stella&henry.com

While this is by no means an inexpensive room, the designer pieces could also have been thrift store finds updated with a paint brush dipped in warm grey. The Eames rocker is definitely my first choice for style, but it is not my first choice for nursing. It does however show how a baby’s room can be both modern and stylish. And should the Eames chair rock your world, you can get an imitation one from Chair Crazy. And if said grey paintbrush inspired you to do more creative things, you can attempt to paint a mural in a plain colour to contrast your walls. Or, you can contact the friendly people at De Waal Art for a very beautiful and affordable vinyl decal to liven up your wall. Some of their work below.

image courtesy of de waal art

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image courtesy of stella&henry.com

This image has to be my favourite example of integrating a nursery into your home: take out the crib and mobile and you can’t even tell that it’s a nursery. From the beautiful aviary fabric to the exquisite carpet and abstract artwork, you can see that this room will fit right into the rest of the owner’s home.

Now you must just decide which of these you will use as inspiration! But, like with most baby-related advice, you will most likely take your favourite bits from all of them and combine it into your own style. Exactly as it should be. Happy decorating!

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