Decorating for a tiny tot? Here’s how to please both your peanut and yourself
Consider this, new-parents-to-be (congratulations, BTW!): You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your baby’s nursery. Like, a lot. Night feedings, night changings, day feedings, day changings, tummy time, playtime, bedtime, Instagram time—the list goes on. (And on.) So when you’re choosing how to design that space, there’s a lot more to consider than pink or blue, says Little Rock designer Chandler Bailey of B. Interiors.
“The hardest thing about designing for a kiddo,” Chandler says, “is that you want it look pretty, but it’s got to be both indestructible for kids and also comfortable for you at the same time.” The other trick? That room might be Baby Girl’s nursery now, but it could welcome Baby Boy a year or two down the line, as was the case with this sweet peony-and-cream space Chandler created for her niece.
In order to keep the space as flexible as possible—additional kiddos would take up residence in the room, her sister hoped, after the little miss moved into her “big girl” room—Chandler opted to keep the big-ticket purchases neutral: a linen glider, a pair of scalloped drapes, creamy carpet. She also opted to keep the wall color simple and serene with a bright, fresh white, and matched it with gender-neutral, clean-lined furniture. All of those things, Chandler explains, have staying power. After those elements were chosen, it was time to have fun—to add in pops of personality via decor items that could easily be swapped out later.
The main focus quickly became the accent wall: a playful punch of pattern care of a whimsical pink-and-green wallpaper. From there, Chandler says, it was a matter of choosing “go-withs”—pillows and prints that complemented the wallpaper—as well as decorative elements that could be both functional and pretty. And, as she does with any room she’s working on, she layered on sentimentality through objects that hold personal meaning: her sister’s childhood stuffed bunny, preserved in a shadow box, as well as the family’s heirloom changing table.
The end result? A room that’s both light-hearted and child-friendly as can be, as well as a space that any design-savvy mom would love to spend time in—night feeding after night feeding, and kiddo after kiddo.
Little One, Big Style
Chandler’s tips for creating a well-designed kid’s room
Make it adaptable.
Choose neutral investment pieces with staying power—the glider, drapes, flooring, wall color—and then bring in pattern and personality through bedding and decor that can eventually be changed out when a new baby enters the picture.
Use things that are both functional and pretty: a cute toy that can double as decor, a textural basket that kiddos can take off the shelves themselves, etc. Doing so will create an environment that’s interactive and conducive to exploring.
Bring in the old.
Add a layer of sentimentality by repurposing keepsakes from your childhood. If you loved it, chances are your mini-me will love it, too.
Design for you, too.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space, so make sure it speaks to you. For this reason, Chandler avoids “themes,” preferring to rely on colors and patterns that appeal to kids and adults alike.
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