Baby on the way? Expert tips on inspiring nursery decor
Forget cartoons and pastels, nursery design can be made simple and sweet, writes Emily Westbrooks
A new baby entering your life brings a to-do list filled with important tasks, like stocking up on nappies and choosing the perfect pram, but one of the most exciting projects a new baby brings is designing and decorating a special space for them in your home.
Picking a colour scheme, assembling the cot, lining up a few plush toys on newly-hung shelves - it's all part of the fun of creating a cosy and inviting place for new baby and overtired parents to spend days and nights. If the idea of creating a nursery has you a little overwhelmed, we've broken it down into a few manageable steps to get you started.
If there's one thing interior designers Lisa Marconi and Sarah Drumm know it's how to make a wallpaper statement. The pair, who own Dublin interiors shop Dust, advise starting with research.
"You really need to educate yourself on all the choice that's out there to figure out what you like, and make sure to get samples and pin them on your wall," they advise. "A picture on the internet won't give you a proper sense of what it will look like in real life."
For the nursery, Sarah and Lisa suggest a star-gazing solution: "Something fun to do in a baby's room is to create a feature ceiling by wallpapering it. It can look lovely with plain painted walls and the baby has something to entertain them when they're lying in the cot!"
The baby's cot will be one of the largest pieces of furniture in the room, so it's a great way to make a design statement. Luckily, we're no longer confined to the staid walnut pieces nurseries are known for. Instead, try one of Mothercare's colourful range.
Buy it: Mini cot in dusty aqua, €99, mokee.ue
Deck the Walls
Wallpaper may seem like a scary choice for a child's room - we shudder at the thoughts of 1980s cartoon borders - but there are a good few modern options that can instantly transform a nursery from twee to terrific. The team at Dublin-based design store Dust has a huge collection and we've picked their brains for their tips on making wallpaper work (see panel, far right).
Buy it: Beware the Moon Animals border, from €75 at dust.ie
One of the easiest ways to narrow down the design focus for a baby's room is to start with one piece of inspiration, whether that's a quirky print or even a memento from your own childhood. Use that special piece to dictate the colour scheme.
It's easy to get caught up with furniture and pictures, but don't forget to think about your floor space. Choose a plush area rug and layer it over a foam pad for an extra cosy spot for your little one to play when they're a bit older. Your own knees will appreciate the soft spot to play as well!
Buy it: Holborn rug, from €352 at Debenhams
Once your little one enters the world, he or she will likely collect toys and stuffed animals at a rapid rate - especially if doting grandparents have their way! The best way to keep toys corralled is with open-topped storage like this basket from Tesco.
The ever-expanding toy collection will hide deep inside to keep the amount of visible clutter in the nursery down. And when your little tyke gets big enough, make a game of cleaning up, and he or she can easily help put away their own toys.
Buy it: Storage basket, €35 from Tesco nationwide