Tips for designing your first nursery

Private Property South Africa
Veronica Logan

There’s no doubt that every parent wants their baby’s first nursery to be a beautiful space, but designing it needs to be done in a considered and practical way to ensure that you are investing in it wisely and considering the years ahead. With that in mind, we’ve put together some things to consider when designing your first nursery:

Tip #1: Think ahead

See more: How to choose a home for a growing family

While it’s easy to get sucked into the excitement of the here and now, it’s wise to consider how your baby’s nursery will need to transition and be adapted as they grow. Where possible, try and think long term in order to get the best return for your money and make the most of the space available. For example, consider whether a toddler’s bed will fit later on, given the room’s current configuration, or whether there is space for a dresser as well as a changing table. If space is an issue, you may have to opt for just the dresser as this can double as a changing table for the next year, and remain as a storage unit for later on.

Tip #2: Prioritise safety

Nothing is more important than the safety of your baby, especially in their first year or so of life. When designing your nursery, it’s therefore incredibly important to make sure that you prioritise their safety above aesthetics. First and foremost, be sure to purchase a reputable or industry approved cot that meets all the standards for safety. Consider things like the depth, design (i.e. no sharp edges or points) and the distance between each of the bars. Also be sure to position your cot away from any windows, heaters, lights or plug points. It’s also wise to ensure that any heavy ornaments or day-to-day necessities are well out of reach of future little hands.

Tip #3: Pick a theme

Picking a theme is always a good place to start as this helps guide all your décor choices as you go. With that said, it’s wise to start with furniture pieces first before moving on to colour and accessories, as the furniture often dictates the room’s space and flow. It’s also much easier to match your choice of paint, fabrics and accessories to your furniture pieces and not vice versa. When choosing a theme, it’s also advised to consider relaxing and soothing colours and accents to ensure that the nursery is a sanctuary for both you and your little one. Furthermore, be sure to consider the style and décor of the rest of your home to ensure the nursery reflects your taste and won’t be something that you tire of easily.

Tip #4: Remain practical

As mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to get carried away in the hype of designing a nursery, so keep things simple and practical where possible. Bear in mind that the space you are creating needs to be functional and practical above all else, and that cute isn’t always clever. That said, choose a room that’s close to yours so that you don’t have to walk too far when it comes to those early morning feeds. Keep in mind that some of what you put into the room can become something to trip over later, so make sure nothing has to be kept on the floor or up against a wall (even if it looks sweet). Another practical consideration is lighting, so ensure that whatever you choose can easily aid in creating a night-time feel at any time of the day. For example, don’t opt for adorable window shades if they don’t do the trick and block out the sun during daily nap times.

See more: Baby proofing your home in winter

Tip #5: Be smart with storage

There is a lot that goes into looking after your baby and the list of items needed in your nursery is no exception. Clever and handy storage is therefore key to ensuring you are able to grab what you need, as fast as possible, without leaving baby alone in order to do so. Be sure that everything you need is easily accessible, especially in the early days when changing nappies is an almost hourly occurrence. Similarly, be smart when it comes to organising your baby’s clothes as they will grow and go through clothing very quickly in the first six to eight months. Consider organising their clothes by age and type and fill the dresser or cupboard with the clothing you can use now. The rest can be sorted and put away for later on down the road.

When all is said and done, planning your first nursery should be a joyous and exciting affair so be sure to keep in mind what you’re doing things for and why. Remember that the real enjoyment will come from holding your little one in your arms and not from the wallpaper or carpeting you choose. At the end of the day, if you’re able to create a space that you love being in, chances are your bundle of joy will too!

Read more: Moving from your first home to a family home

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