5 Practical Tips in Creating a Nursery

Hudson’s nursery has easily become one of my favorite rooms in our house.  It is the room that I seem to spend the most time in.  Especially early on, I felt like I was sitting in the glider of his nursery more than I was in my own bed.  We got new carpet in this room right before he was born and now there literally is a round mark of discoloration on this carpet right by the glider because my feet have been planted there countless hours nursing.  My perfectionist tendencies hate this mark, but there is part of me that is proud to see that spot on the carpet.  It represents something.  It shows commitment.  It shows love.  It shows patience.  I love that mark on the carpet.  The nursery is the room in our house that has existed for the shortest amount of time, but in these past 9 months, that room has been well-lived in. There have been tons and tons of tears shared in that room, not just the cries of a baby.  There have been many prayers prayed over that crib.  There have been many stories read and lots and lots of rockings to sleep.  That room has a presence.  It already holds so much of our hearts.  I am so thankful for this space.

If you are preparing a nursery for your little one on the way, chances are you have spent a good amount of time on Pinterest.  I would obsessively scroll on Pinterest as I dreamed to re-create those perfectly designed rooms in our own house.  Pinterest is such a great source of inspiration, but if you are anything like me, it is easy to see all those perfect pins and be overwhelmed.  I love our nursery for Hudson, but it does not look like a lot of the pins I pinned on my board.  It does not look like a lot of the features I see bloggers post about.  It is simple.  It is gray.  It is moon-themed.  And I love it.  I love it more than any of those pins because this one is actually ours.  It is lived in.  It has a spot on the carpet where my tired feet have been planted hours on end.  It has permanent milk drippings on the bookshelf where I used to always place my nipple shield.  It has the faint smell of lavender and milk and diapers.  You can’t pin those things.  They just happen with life and they are some of the most beautiful parts of his room.  So when working on your baby nursery, don’t let the perfect world of Pinterest overwhelm you.  Keep it simple, fill it with love, and think long-term with it. Here are 5 practical tips for nursery building:

  1. Think Neutral

While there is nothing wrong with painting the walls of the nursery blue or pink, choosing a more neutral wall color with accents of splashes of color, not only looks great, but also allows the room to easily transform for other purposes.  If you plan on having more babies, this makes it so the room could easily function as a nursery for the opposite gender.  We went with gray and tried to incorporate wall decor that had blue touches.  The crib and dresser are also neutrally and could easily function for a girl.  The more neutral you keep the walls and furniture, the more freedom you have to add more fun pieces to the rest of the room.

2. Choose a Theme Loosely 

When first deciding on how to create the nursery, I felt like there needed to be a clear theme.  I learned that it is sometimes better to not have the nursery overly themed and instead have a more general, looser theme.  I think without even choosing a specific theme, we found ourselves naturally gravitating towards grays, whites, stars, and moons.  Notice the patterns and colors you keep coming back to.  Allow these natural tendencies to guide the theme of your room.  Hudson’s nursery has a moon theme to it, but it is not overly moon-like (besides the moon light, of course).  If or once you choose a theme, just sprinkle it in, there is no need to have moons and stars on every square space.  A little goes a long way.

3. Add Lots of Personal Touches 

My favorite part of Hudson’s room is that his name is all over the place.  One of the first things I knew I wanted in his room was to have his name hanging above his crib.  I spent so many hours searching for a site that sold all six letters I needed.  It seemed like wherever I looked, one letter was always out of stock.  This search for letters nearly drove me crazy.  Until I realized I was looking in all the wrong places.  I was looking at places like Pottery Barn.  Each letter would have been about $10 there.  Instead, my mom found all six letters at Michael’s for less than half the price of the PB letters.  And they look great!  So for projects like this, don’t think you need to get everything from the PB Baby catalog, sometimes craft stores have the perfect supplies.  Besides over the crib, Hudson’s name is in probably six other locations of his room.  I love how the room feels very much his.  As much you can, personalize and handcraft pieces that make the nursery feel like yours.  When Lance and I found out we were having a boy, that very next weekend we went to Color Me Mine to make a plaque with his name on it.  This plaque now hangs in his room and is extra special since we made it.

4. Invest in Long-Term Pieces 

This one is very practical.  Choose items, specifically furniture that can act as pieces that will be useful past the baby stage.  I wrote about this in last Saturday’s post, but you definitely want to invest in items that can grow with baby.  You want to make sure the crib transforms into a big kid bed.  Also, try to think how pieces you purchase can function in multiple ways. We got a dresser that easily could act as a dresser when they are much older and could even be a dresser in a guest room eventually.  We used this dresser as the changing table by putting the changing pad just on top.  Babies grow SO fast.  It is important to construct a nursery that will still feel suitable in a few years when baby is not a baby anymore.5. Organize Everything 

Thinking about how you are going to organize things in your nursery is also key.  Hudson’s nursery is in a pretty tiny room, so we had to make sure we were maximizing storage space.  We used the dresser for most of his foldable clothes, blankets, and towels.  In the closet, we put a smaller dresser inside, which was very helpful for storing clothes that were too big for him.  After my baby showers, I washed all the clothes and organized them in specific drawers based on size.  I put all the newborn items in the dresser that was outside of the closet.  At the time this was tedious, but it was so helpful when we came home from the hospital and it made it really easy to transition old clothes out and his new clothes in every season.  Along with the extra dresser, I bought one of those hanging shelves that go in the closet.  Any extra storage space is a huge help.  We used these shelves mostly for storing swaddles, bibs and extra blankets.  Another storage piece that was essential was this organizer cube I got at Target.  This was a really great purchase and pretty affordable.  I bought two of the fabric bins to put in the cubes to use as storage for toys and the two others shelves I used for books.  This item looks nice and minimalistic in his room and also holds lots of books and toys.

It can be easy to put extra pressure on yourself to create the perfect nursery with beautiful wallpaper, papier-mâché flowers decorated on the walls, and everything from Restoration Hardware. I was there. I felt so much pressure to create the perfect, Pinterest worthy nursery. But eventually I got over it. And now 9 months in, I learned the brand of furniture doesn’t matter. The theme on the the walls doesn’t matter. The name of the paint color doesn’t really matter. What matters is not found on Pinterest. What matter is not sold at the fancy baby stores. It is love. It is hours upon hours of nursing, kissing, soothing, rocking, singing, praying, reading, crying. This is what makes a nursery. This is what makes his room my very favorite.

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