Photography by Jacqui Turk
Welcoming a new baby into your life (and your home) is an exciting experience, especially if it’s the first time. Having a beautiful and practical nursery space ready for your new arrival – whether it’s a whole room or an unused nook – makes the process a little easier for both yourself and bub. Need a little styling inspiration? Interior decorator, blogger and mum of two Briar Stanley of Sunday Collector recently created a dream-worthy nursery for her new son Rafferty with a little help from Pottery Barn Kids. See her baby-licious nursery below, plus seven tips to help you design yours.
Briar recently designed this nursery for her son Rafferty.
1. Create your foundation
Designing a nursery from scratch can be overwhelming, but keep in mind a newborn baby doesn’t require too much in the first few months of his or her life. Briar suggests starting with the basics. “Begin with a cot or bassinet, a changing table and a comfortable nursing chair – if space permits!” Choose high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time and also consider designs that can be converted as your child grows, such as the Reese Cot from Pottery Barn Kids.
2. The right light
Having the right amount of light in a nursery (both natural and task) can make all the difference to your baby’s sleeping patterns. Blackout curtains help to control natural light and to encourage sleep during the day, while sheer curtains are perfect for filtering light during awake and play time. “I also recommend buying a night light – they’re perfect for middle-of-the-night feeds and settling, and my four-year-old daughter now uses one in her room for a more comforting light to sleep with,” Briar says.
3. Storage is key
Creating a beautiful nursery is an exciting process, but don’t forget that it should also be super-functional. Ample drawers or cupboards are essential for storing nappies, swaddles, burp cloths and clothes, and for keeping clutter at bay. “Toy chests and baskets or buckets are really handy, too, as they are built for the child’s height, making access to all their ‘treasures’ easy,” Briar explains. “And a dual-purpose unit such as a changing table with drawers is ideal for storing everything you need at arm’s length.”
4. Changing station
A well-stocked changing table is a nursery must-have. “I always have my changing table stocked with the following: baby wipes, a good nappy cream, a big stack of nappies that don’t leak (seriously, you can go through about 10 a day with a newborn), nappy disposable bags, a pile of burp cloths (the terry towelling nappies are good for this), baby massage oil, a digital thermometer and hand sanitiser. I like to be organised so I’m not having to look for things for too long – babies don’t happily wait when under duress!” Briar says.
5. Natural materials
A newborn’s skin can be highly sensitive, so consider buying swaddles, stroller blankets and bed linen made from natural materials. Briar chose the Linen Nursery Quilt from Pottery Barn Kids; linen breathes better and helps to keep babies warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Think about what you’re comfortable wearing or sleeping in, and the same will apply to them!
6. Temperature control
Babies can’t manage their body temperature as easily as adults, so it’s important to make sure your nursery is the right temperature. Keep a room thermometer (which you can purchase from your local chemist) close to the cot. Anywhere between 16°C and 20°C is a good temperature, but 18°C is ideal. “Also ensure your baby is dressed right for the season,” Briar adds. “It’s always handy to check the back of their neck for their temperature, or refer to a digital thermometer if you’re unsure.”
7. Finishing touches
Putting the finishing touches to your nursery comes down to personal taste, but the finer details can really come together once you get to know your baby a little better. If you’re not finding out the sex, start with fairly neutral colours and furniture choices – think crisp whites and light greys – then you can add things like wall decorations as you go along. “It’s also nice to consider unexpected hues like peach, olive green, canary yellow, charcoal grey or navy,” suggests Briar.
Shop Briar’s nursery style
1 Linen Nursery Quilt in Grey. 2 Nursery Animal Bath Wrap in Grey Elephant. 3 Kendall Dresser in Simply White. 4 Reese Convertible Cot in Simply White. 5 Sabrina Nappy Caddy in Simply White. 6 Cloud & Star Cot Mobile. 7 Lamb Plush Toy. 8 Modern Tufted Wingback Rocker in Linen Blend Grey. 9 Gallery Frames in White. 10 Rugby Rug in Grey/White.