Hector’s nursery was a long time in the making. Almost from the moment that the vibrant blue cross appeared in that life-changing window on my pregnancy test I began planning and dreaming my way around his very first room.
Pinterest boards were created, paint swatches were compared and contrasted, wallpaper samples were ordered and weekends were spent deliberating over the perfect gender neutral grey cots and age-resistant chests of drawers. Some might call it the nesting instinct but in reality I think I exploited the opportunity to indulge my inner Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen and bash the credit cards within an inch of their lives. Don’t tell my husband that though…
That said, I can’t really complain since Hector’s room is a darn sight bigger than it will be when we finally move into our own house which means that we’ll be able to comfortably fit in a teepee I’ve had my eye on for his first birthday. There’s a silver cloud in every lining isn’t there and yes I’m acutely aware that the teepee is for my benefit at this stage rather than Hector’s!
I’ll be showing you around Hector’s nursery in the next two weeks but I thought it would be worthwhile sharing my own inspiration and thought processes in the meantime just in case you fancied a butchers or even feeling a bit lost as to where to start…
It seems the modern nursery tends to stick to hues of off-white and grey. Predictably I also adhered to this colour spectrum – more specifically ‘Malm’ from Fired Earth but more on this in my next post. Personally I think greys and soft whites are calming and their versatility means that you can pretty much add anything to your nursery and it’ll ‘work’ with the colour on the walls.
That said if you are looking to make a bit of a style statement then I don’t think you can go far wrong with a statement wall using wall decals or a bold wallpaper. In fact team member Lottie utilised both in her girls’ bedrooms which you can see in her house tour here. I’m head over heels for the horse wallpaper in the slider and I was moments away from purchasing this ochre circus inspired version from Daniel Heath which comes in seven colours. It’s pricey but having seen and felt it in real life, I can attest that it’s worth every penny. Perhaps for the next house…
Typically there are three key pieces of furniture that a nursery needs; a cot, a chair and a chest of drawers. Anything else is in all honesty a bonus. And for the first few months at least they’ll be by your side in your own bedroom anyway. Additional pieces like miniature chairs and tables can be added at a later date as they grow.
I tended to avoid, wherever possible, picking furniture that was specifically from a baby brand or designed for nurseries. When looking to furnish Hector’s nursery we found that the quality offered by the big brands didn’t warrant the astronomical price tag. Plus I didn’t want to purchase pieces that essentially would be defunct in a couple of years when he grew out of them.
Granted there’s not much you can do as a substitute to a cot but there’s so many brands out there now creating super gorgeous versions in all sorts of wonderful colours. I’m a huge fan of the more masculine black, white and grey versions with clean lines and fuss-free details. One thing I’m yet to be convinced by is the rounded versions offered by Stokke – don’t get me wrong I think they look amazing but I wonder how practical they are in reality and how much space they offer in comparison to their rectangular counterparts. Have any of you had any experience of them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
However you needn’t think that you have to buy a specific baby changing table/chest of drawers. We particularly wanted a fuss-free, wooden (preferably oak) unit that wouldn’t present a toppling risk and which would grow with our baby. Frankly we couldn’t justify spending an extra £200 or so just for a slight rim around the top of it so that it could be classed as a changing table. I’d recommend looking for either a tallboy or a unit that has plenty of different sized drawers that won’t look out of place in an older child’s bedroom. I found that I pretty much always change Hector on his changing mat on the floor anyway.
I particularly love the two chairs in the slider above – the leather rocker is perfect for a mum or dad feeding in the dead of night yet I can picture it quite easily in a teenager’s room too. The same principle applies to the cane chair; we chose a similar model for Hector’s room.
Bedlinen and Blankets
Another way of introducing colour into your baby’s bedroom is through bedlinen, blankets and even cushions. I went all out on the bedlinen and blankets front mainly because it’s a vice of mine anyway so I saw no reason to be any different with Hector. My go-to stores of choice are Cologne and Cotton and The Little White Company however to keep costs down I did scour eBay for fitted sheets and duvet covers that were new with the labels still attached and came up trumps more than once.
Obviously for health and safety reasons I wouldn’t advise layering up the sides of your cot with piles upon piles of blankets. Whilst aesthetically pleasing, there’s a blinking good risk that your baby could pull them down on top of them with horrific consequences but there are plenty of other ways that quilts and blankets can be used until your little one is old enough to manage them. Presently I use some of Hector’s blankets as makeshift playmats and some of them will be large enough to pad out the floor of the teepee I’ll be purchasing later this year. He also likes squidging some of the cushions that are currently on a shelf in his room – such as this one and this one.
Aside from the traditional chest of drawers which we’ve covered already, it’s worth thinking about some key pieces for storing the myriad of brightly coloured plastic tat that you’re going to accrue. Yep I hate to break it to you, that carefully curated collection of classic wooden toys you’ve set aside for the baby isn’t even going to pass muster once he/she claps eyes on that all singing V-Tech number. Been there, done that and got the blasted (sick-stained) t-shirt!
I’ve found that the best way to get round it is to invest in some good-looking storage that you can shove all the aforementioned bits and pieces in at the end of the day. Choose smaller rattan baskets such as this one from The White Company for Lego, train tracks, Duplo and Scalextric and then bigger paper bags for chunkier toys. I bought a couple from This Modern Life and they’re so handy whilst remaining stylish too. Whilst on the pricey side I do really like these fabric storage bags from Ferm Living also available at This Modern Life.
One of the easiest ways to personalise a little person’s space is to integrate small pieces of decor with your more conventional framed prints. I’m having a bit of a moment with fabric pennants such as this one from The Future Kept or this one from The Secret Holiday Company. And since they aren’t specifically baby orientated, you can invest knowing that the pieces will grow with them. If you’re looking for awesome prints then you need to check out This Modern Life, Molly-Meg and Decobaby, all of whom cater admirably for different artistic tastes and colour schemes.
Alternatively mixing form and function is another way to add character into a neutral space. I adore this sheep bookshelf so much from Rowen and Wren that I’m seriously considering adding it to Hector’s room, plus I just know that he’ll love picking books off its carefully rounded edges too. Equally these cloud dishes are technically spoon rests but they could easily double up as wall decor for the nursery in the early days or a handy place to keep loose change or jewellery when they grow older.
Check back in a couple of weeks for the full reveal of Hector’s nursery – I can’t wait to show you all round.
In the meantime are any of you in the process of decorating your own nurseries? What colour schemes have you gone for and are there any brands you think I need to know about? Hector turns one in October so I’m using the opportunity to legitimately invest in some birthday presents without the boy saying no…
Image sources | Nursery with Striped Rug | Nursery with Teepee | Wicker Chair and Fairy Lights | Leather Chair | White Chest of Drawers | Wooden Chest of Drawers | Knotted Blanket | Layered Blankets | Yay Pennant | Adventure Pennant | Circus Wallpaper | Dog Wallpaper | White Cot | Black Cot |Day Bed | Paper Storage Bags | Moon and Stars | Sheep Bookshelf | Fitted Sheets | Cloud Plates | Heart Blanket | Cloud Mobile