Decorating your baby's nursery is one of many exciting rites of passage when preparing for a new arrival, and while it's easy to get carried away with cute accessories and lots of baby paraphernalia you think you won't be able to live without, it's important to think of the practical side of things too – and avoid wasting your hard-earned money on furniture that isn't going to be needed in a few months' time.
Lisa Furuland Kotsianis, founder of DockAtot, shared her top tips for planning and organising a beautiful nursery for your baby with HELLO!, and says expectant parents should conceptualise their space entirely before getting carried away with shopping – as easy as that can be.
Meanwhile, we've rounded up 14 gorgeous nursery décor ideas, from contemporary and colourful to traditional designs that you won't be able to resist. Which will you choose?
1. Get organised
The DockATot lounger can be a multipurpose addition to your nursery
"To be truly organised, we must start at the very beginning by conceptualising your space entirely. Walk around and move in the space to gain a sense of what it's like to live in that area. Then it's time to put pen to paper and start a list of all the things that you think you will need in a nursery. Look for clever, multifunctional solutions to reduce the need to over buy, which is a common tendency amongst first time parents," Lisa says.
"The 'stuff' can become overwhelming for new parents so anything that can reduce the amount of 'stuff' is key. For example, the Deluxe+ from DockATot can be used as a portable lounger, changing station, tummy time aid, comforter, play gym and can be used when travelling too. One item with many uses, just what new parents need to stay organised in the nursery."
2. Add character with your furniture
Invest in nursery furniture that will grow with your little one
Put an original spin on nursery décor with premium handcrafted-style furniture that can be adapted and loved for years to come. This chic Mamas & Papas Coxley range is full of character, and features a cot that converts into a toddler bed, meaning it can grow with your little one in their early years.
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3. Think beyond the baby years
Add a playful touch with a cute canopy or teepee
"Understand that a space and needs for a baby and child change very quickly, little ones grow up quicker than we would often like, so be prudent with the concept of what a 'nursery' should be. It’s wise to consider your little one's childhood and how they will change and develop in that space over many years. Bring in décor that can be used though out childhood and beyond and be sure to choose pieces that you enjoy too," suggests Lisa.
"Playfulness is never confined to the nursery, so choose pieces that bring joy without being out of place in an adult setting, our DockATot Canopy lends beautifully to this idea. I very much subscribe to the William Morris notion, I believe that you should not have anything in your home that you do not love or find useful. As such, I do not believe family homes should be overwhelmed by juvenile plastic, nor an aesthetic and design suited to the practicalities of concealing plastic."
4. Organise your space
Keeping your nursery organised is easier than you might think
"Space organisers do not stop with drawers. Lacklustre wardrobes with a simple hanging bar can be transformed with an inexpensive shelving unit added to create extra storage since baby clothes are small and do not fill the entire length available," Lisa says. "The shelving unit will be perfect for storing books, toys and more, hiding everything away behind closed doors. Plus, as baby grows, and more hanging space is required the unit can be removed and reused elsewhere leaving nothing to waste."(Photo: IKEA)
SHOP: 6 of the best cot beds perfect for your newborn
5. Go bold
Don't shy away from bold colours in your nursery
Nurseries don't need to be neutral; go bold with statement furniture in a rich shade of emerald green with gold handles for a truly luxurious and eye-catching aesthetic. (Photo: Mamas & Papas)
6. Use caddies and baskets for storage
Caddies and baskets are ideal for storing all your baby's essentials
"Nurseries can be overrun with creams, nappies, and cotton wool everywhere. Keep a stock of what you need but keep it away nice and tidy in baskets and caddies, you don't need it all out all the time," Lisa recommends. "Instead, use a changing clutch and get out what you need for the day ahead. Of-course there will be exceptions when you need a few more nappies, but overall preparing your changing clutch for the day ahead can help you keep on top of your changing station." (Photo: IKEA)
MORE: 10 of the best Moses baskets for newborns to help your baby sleep soundly
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7. Add a cute colour pop
Add a pop of colour with something like an accent chair
If you've opted for a more muted colour scheme for your nursery, you can still have some fun with colour pops on anything from your blinds to an accent chair. Gingham sheets and a woven rug add a touch of interest to this minimalistic nursery. (Photo: Habitat)
8. Look for multifunctional furniture
Consider using an armchair instead of a nursing chair to increase its longevity
Lisa says multifunctional furniture is a must-have in any nursery. "As William Morris said, 'Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful' and I would urge parents to keep this in mind when designing the nursery," she explains. "Why not shop outside of the nursery section and look for a reclining armchair and ottoman with additional storage instead of a classic nursing chair you'll only use for a few months? Consider multi-functionality and longevity with every purchase."
9. Consider lighting
Lighting is important to consider in a nursery
Chances are, you'll be spending lots of sleepy evenings in your baby's nursery, so lighting should be a priority. These cute wall lights are dim enough that they won't wake your little one up too much, but cast enough of a glow for you to see what you're doing during those night feeds, and they make an adorable design feature too. (Photo: Lights4Fun)
MORE: Where to get the best kids' storage furniture for a tidy and organised space
10. Try an animal theme
An animal theme is an adorable choice for a nursery
Animals are a much-loved nursery theme, and one you can't go wrong with for any gender. For a low-commitment take on the trend, these lion and elephant wall hangings are a good place to start. (Photo: Mamas & Papas)
11. Add accessories
Wall art is a must-have to complete your nursery decor
Give your little one lots to look at with fun accessories such as wall art, framed prints and special ornaments on display shelves. (Photo: Primark)
READ: How to babyproof your home - 10 must-have products for mums and dads
12. Experiment with paintwork
A statement wall is well worth a try
Creating an accent wall with interesting paintwork, such as a pastel geometric pattern, can transform an otherwise muted nursery. (Photo: Circu)
13. Keep it simple
All-white decor looks fresh and appealing in a nursery
You can't go wrong with all-white furniture and décor for either gender. Decorative touches such as a mobile, wall art and rug add interest to a minimalistic nursery. (Photo: Cuckooland)
MORE: Best baby Moses baskets for newborns - 10 cute and comfortable designs
14. Try rattan
Rattan furniture makes a great alternative for a nursery
Rattan furniture and accessories make a beautiful alternative to a classic wooden cot or changing table. With a pink patterned wallpaper, pampas plumes and an open hanging rail, it's a girly sanctuary any little girl would love. (Photo: Room to Grow)
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