Tips for designing a peaceful, soothing nursery.
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By Shari Hiller
Home & Garden Television
I know that not too often do the terms "peaceful" and "nursery" go together, but it is possible to create that illusion. And sometimes the illusion becomes reality if you're one of those very lucky parents. Well, my decorating partner, Matt Fox, and I tried to create one of those peaceful nurseries, and for a couple months it was just that... then the baby came. But honestly, the parents did love the finished look, and they said it was wonderful and exciting to come into the room in those last few restless weeks before their pride and joy did arrive. And, here's how we put the nursery together.
We started the nursery just like we do any room we are decorating, with an inspiration piece. In a bedroom, often times the inspiration comes from the bedding and this room was no exception. The parents selected an adorable Boynton baby quilt, and that was our jumping-off point. (I should mention that they selected this particular print because the colors went very nicely with the carpet that was already in this guest room turned nursery.)
The Boynton print was made up of a couple of teal greens and a couple blues for sky and water. I must say that I liked the combination of the teal and blue, and I knew that the combination would make for a very restful atmosphere in the room. We almost always start by determining what the walls or background of the room should be once the inspiration has been determined, and that was our next step. To use both the teal and blue, we would have to divide the walls up in some way. And, to bring the scale of the room down to accommodate a smaller person, we decided to cut the room in thirds, two thirds at the bottom and one third at the top. Painting the teal in the lower half made sense on two levels. It seemed more like "grass," and it would blend very nicely with the teal carpeting. The blue then was perfect for the upper third and it gave the impression of sky, just like in the comforter.
The delineation between the two shades could have been a number of things. A painted white line, a border, even a chair rail would divide the two colors sufficiently. However, we had the desire to display a variety of baby things, so we added a large peg board around the room, with shelves mounted to the top, in just the right spots. Painted white was the obvious answer because the rest of the trim in the room was white, and there was quite a bit of white in the comforter as well.
The windows were covered with several layers. A white pull-down shade to create a dark atmosphere at any time during the day, a soft layer of short draperies in white mainly for softness, but when closed, they added to the light control. We topped the draperies off with cloud shaped cornice boards wrapped in fuzzy white fabric.
The crib was placed on an angle in the corner opposite the door, and it stood there, away from the walls, like a throne. It definitely took a prominent position in the room, and it will gain even more importance in the days and months to come. Of course the changing table was close by with a wall mounted light set slightly to the side to offer up 25 watts or so during those late night changings. And of course, what's the most important piece of furniture in a baby's room? Well, it's the rocker! And, as charming as the rocker looks, I will say that I put a very comfortable upholstered chair and ottoman in my little guys nursery, because I spent many a night sleeping right there, and I honestly didn't mind it a bit!
Accessories were comprised of everything you'd expect, from stuffed animals that imitated the farm animals on the comforter to the cutest baby outfits we could find to hang around the room on the pegs. The ficus tree in the corner was adorned with tiny white twinkle lights, but would have to be moved in a few months once the baby could get up and reach for the branches. In the meantime, it's something wonderful and interesting to look at while dropping off to sleep in this very peaceful nursery... and I'm talking about mom and dad, of course!
(Shari Hiller writes this column with Matt Fox. They also co-host the Home & Garden Television show Room By Room.)