How I Set Up the Nursery to Grow With My Childby Kirsty Taylor-Moran
Planning and designing the nursery was something I started thinking about before we were even trying to conceive. I love interiors and I wanted to create a versatile space for sleep and play that wouldn’t cost the earth. Our home is pretty tiny, and my husband would say it is over-furnished so I didn’t want to be bringing loads of new pieces in and tried to re-purpose as much of our stuff as I could.
The overall look and vibe was really important to me, I aimed to keep everything functional and not just have decoration for the sake of aesthetics but in order to keep the room inviting I gave myself free rein when it came to wall decorations and hangings.
My top tips for creating a nursery that will last well into toddlerhood:
Focus on function: Make a list of what you actually need to do in the room and what you have that can be repurposed. You do not need purpose-built, expensive nursery furniture sets. Not only will it make no difference to your baby, it is money better saved or spent on literally anything else. Priorities are usually somewhere for baby to be changed, somewhere to store their clothes, books and toys and somewhere for them to sleep when they are old enough to move out of your room. Our large double chest of drawers became great storage for all of the cloth nappies, clothes, bedding and baby ‘stuff’ that accumulates. It also acts as a changing table with the addition of some grippy anti-slip carpet underlay and a comfy changing pad. We changed the metal drawer pulls for simple leather ones to make it a bit safer for a child unsteady on their feet, and to better fit in the natural/ boho design we wanted for the nursery.
Go for a mix of storage: We are really Montessori-inspired in our approach to play, this meant that toys, books and even clothing should be accessible at an age-appropriate level. We have some wall-mounted storage to keep things out of reach like nappy cream, or craft supplies as well as drawer units on the floor that allows Cassius to ‘discover and explore’ his toys or just inevitably make a big mess! Rather than a traditional bookcase, we have repurposed spice racks that I previously used for make-up palette storage as open-faced book racks- this means your little one can easily choose and take the story they want to read with minimal adult input, fostering their independence. There is nothing below waist height in the nursery that isn’t safe for Cassius to touch, we have lots of house plants but these are kept on top of the chest of drawers where they cannot be pruned by tiny hands. Do not forget to fix furniture to the walls, this is especially important for chest of drawers because these can topple over easily.
Think long term; What will still work in two years’ time?: Babies change and develop in the blink of an eye and their needs change as they grow. We don’t want to have to redecorate every couple of years, and we wanted to leave space for things to change. Buy a cot that will see them into toddlerhood- Cassius didn’t actually sleep in his room until he was about 9 months old and we still tend to co-sleep after midnight at 19 months. His cot now has the side removed but this will last him until he is ready for a ‘big boy bed’. Had he transitioned to his own room at 6 months, his cot would have worked from birth until he needs a single bed. Rather than making any firm commitments to wallpaper or paint, we used removable wall stickers with jungle animals. When Cassius outgrows this, we can simply peel them off.