Pregnancy Magazine

pregcoverPublished in: Pregnancy Magazine
Published: November, 2008

How to design a multipurpose nursery

By HGTV Host and Interior Design Expert Krista Watterworth

As if the excitement of being pregnant isn’t enough to ponder! What about trying to figure out how to fit your little cherub into a tiny space? Whether you have a small house, a modest apartment, or just need to be creative with your planning, here are some easy suggestions for creating a beautiful nursery that’s also functional.

You can alleviate some of the pressure to create a perfect space that baby will love by remembering that this room should reflect the parents’ personalities. you’re all in this together!

The first step is to choose a theme that will help you envision the ideal color pal- ette, design style, and accessories. What inspires you and your partner? is your style adventurous and lively or calm and serene? I chose a nature theme because my husband and I love going for long rides in the country. And I wanted to bring a touch of the outdoors to our urban environment, because moving outside the city isn’t an option for us right now. Our color palette is quiet and neutral, because we envision our home as a relaxing escape.

Another question to ask yourselves: boy or girl? Whether you know the answer or not, you may want to choose a gender- neutral approach. I went for an overall vibe rather than making all those pink or blue choices.

We live in a two-bedroom apartment, so the new layout had to serve many functions—acting not only as a nursery, but also as a home office and guestroom—talk about a design challenge! i used many of my own design tricks to maximize space and make our nursery a place where the whole family will want to spend lots of time. Here are nine tips you can use to plan your small nursery.

1. Wall Mounted Lighting

Eliminates the need for side tables or floor lamps, saving precious floor space. dimmer switches provide lighting options and variety.

(IKEA Stamning Wall lamp and lutron lamp dimmer)

2. Multipurpose Furniture

A convertible crib (with storage underneath and a hideaway changing table), sofa bed, and a wardrobe to stow away office and baby supplies make the most of every square inch.

(Studio crib by Nurseryworks, IKEA Pax Wardrobe System, and carlylesofa.com)

3. Wall-Hung Cabinetry

It provides much needed storage and frees up floor space. you can brighten the room by installing under-cabinet lighting.  Use paint, stencils, or wallpaper to dress up inexpensive cabinets. but never hang heavy items over a crib.

(IKEA Akurum horizontal wall cabinet with glass door)

4. Create Art with Paint

Color and shape adds an interesting thematic design element without cluttering the walls with frames. With stencils, you get a perfect shape every time—no need to be an artist!

(Stencils from naturesvignettes.com and stencilease.com)

5. Neutral Color Palette

These mellow tones calm a multi-use environment, and there’s a wide variety of elegant neutrals in the yellow, beige, gray families—almond, clay, muslin, dove, fawn, silver, canvas, milkshake, or sugar cookie. Use semi-gloss paint,because it’s easier to clean and choose a non-voc (volatile organic compound) paint.

(Benjamin Moore Aura collection Semi-gloss Paint in Monroe bisque and Sandy beaches.

6. Use Contemporary Styles

They are simple and understated and have clean lines with subtle details. modern design is an easy way to keep the room style “quiet” and less intrusive.

7. Organize, organize, organize!

Employ a custom closet-storage system for optimal organization. Combine shelves, drawers, and baskets to maximize capacity and double the amount of usable storage space. Another organization must-have? A label maker.

(Schulte Storage Systems available at Bed Bath & Beyond; IKEA Pax wardrobe system)

8. Splurge & Save

Mix high-end and affordable by deciding which pieces are most important and splurge on those items. We picked a high- end crib and custom sofa bed, but saved on our wall art and stor- age. and look in sale bins—i bought our drapes and area rug on sale at Pottery barn!

9. Include Daddy!

Ask his opinion so he doesn’t feel left out. Find out what inspires him. This is a great opportunity to learn more

about each other, but don’t have this conversation when either of you is tired, or if you’re feeling hormonal. my husband chose birch wallpaper to line the glass cabinets, and he also chose a world map that matched our color palette because he loves geography. make sure his style is also represented in the room; after all, you’re going to need all the help you can get!

Feng Shui Techniques for the Nursery

  • Place the crib in a “command position,” placed against a solid wall for support and so baby can always have a good view of the door to see who is approaching. (The area of the room that’s diagonally farthest from the door usually offers the best command position.)
  • Lay out the room with a good flow. an obstacle course in baby’s room is an accident waiting to happen. Try not to place large objects or heavy furniture, such as rockers, swings, or carriages, in the center of the room.
  • Consider position of the room in your home: our nursery is also in the
    command position of our home (the far right corner as seen from the front door), so we put a photo of ourselves on the command-position wall as a reminder that the baby’s needs don’t rule the family. it’s all about creating balance.
  • A plant or live flowers should be placed next to a Tv or other appliance as a way of balancing electronic and natural energies.Source: The Peaceful Nursery, by Laura Forbes Carlin and Alison Forbes

Krista Watterworth is HGTV’s host of Save My Bath and an interior design expert. For more tips, check out her website, kristawatterworth.com.

Photographer: Luciana Pampalone, lucianapampalonestudio.com; makeup and hair: Stephania Parent at Ford artists using MAC cosmetics; stylist: Kimberly Anne Synnott, KAS Consulting; renovations and painting: andrew Perkins; clothing: Tulle, tulle4us.com; jewelry: morradesigns.com

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