A 10 Step Plan for Decorating the Nursery
Unless you’ve been on the baby merry-go-round before, you’re about to create your first nursery. Which is to say, congrats! It’s a very exciting time for you and your family. Planning and decorating the nursery is one of the most rewarding things you can do before baby comes. It’s also a great way to get your friends and family involved. For all the newbies, and some second (or third, maybe fourth?!) timers, here’s a 10 step plan for decorating your nursery:
- Inspiration Board: This is by far the favorite step for most people. Let your hopes and dreams for the nursery run wild! You want that $1300 chandelier? Stick it on your Pinboard. The crib inspired by a french antique bed? Your baby needs that, put it on the Pinboard. What’s a Pinboard? It’s a collection of your inspiration photos. Pinterest is great for this sort of thing (we have lots of inspiration ideas on ours), or you can copy pictures and stick them in a Word document. It all gets you to the end goal, which is an array of photos that demonstrates the color palette and design style you’re looking for in the nursery.
- Budget: Now that you have floated in dreamland with decadent caviar, it’s time to come back down to reality and ask yourself: How much can I spend? Setting your budget is never very much fun. But, a budget is essential to making sure you’ll still have cash to spend on other necessities when your baby is born, like diapers. You’ll need lots of diapers!
- Needs vs Wants: It’s now time to make a list of things you need, versus things you want. Most nurseries are comprised of a few essentials: the crib, a changing table, and a rocking chair. You may have a few more needs to add to this list, and then the rest will fall to your ‘wants’ category. Yes, the custom armoire is beautiful, but do you really need that? Probably not.
- Can You Re-Use? Time to save some money! Not only is using secondhand furniture a great money saver, but it is also better for the environment and for you and your baby’s health (less off-gassing). It’s easy to make any secondhand piece your own with a new coat of paint. Check out our post on how to safely paint a crib in 6 simple steps to get started.
- Make a Sketch: Grab a pen and some paper and make a basic sketch of what you want the nursery to look like. Also take measurements because it would be very sad to invest in a changing station that just won’t fit your space. Sigh.
- Research Products: Hands down, the most important step in planning your nursery. You will want to choose products that are safe in their design and for the health of you and your baby. The nonprofit, Healthy Child Healthy World, has a great eBook for a healthy and safe nursery and we’ve put together a roundup on where to find green nursery decor and furnishings.
- Plan of Action: Now that you know what you want, what’s within your budget, and how it will fit, it’s time to map it all out. Chances are, you are juggling a lot right now and maybe not always feeling your best. Set a timetable for your nursery and gather your friends and family to help get everything accomplished. It’s usually easiest to start with your deadline (probably a month before baby’s due date), and work backwards.
- Get Started: Yes, this is the step where you actually do stuff, and therefore, this step will probably take you the longest. When you start to feel like the nursery will never come together and think, “I can’t even put this dumb dresser together! How I am going to handle being a parent?” Visit step 9.
- Babies Don’t Care: Really though, as long as you love, feed, and change your baby, she will not care whether everything is perfect. If you’re reading this article, you’re clearly invested in your baby’s well-being and are going to be an amazing parent. Keeping your sanity is the utmost of importance, so if things aren't coming together, just put it down and come back to it later.
- Finishing Touches: As you finish up the nursery and revel in its beauty, you might want to add a few finishing touches. Small craft projects to welcome baby are perfect for when you’re close to due and want to get your family and friends involved. If you have any leftover paint, there’s lots of nursery decor you can make. In fact, we have a whole section of our blog devoted to crafts, be sure to check them out!