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Nursery Design 101

With our second-floor renovation complete and Baby Judkins on the way, I've been working on pulling together all our nursery essentials. Nursery design is unlike designing any other room because, chances are, you're starting from scratch, at least if you're having your first baby. This can be both daunting and an exciting opportunity. To help guide you through the process, I am outlining my three basic nursery-design principles so you'll end up with a space that's functional and beautiful for you and baby.

Build the space for you, not baby. Before you get in a tizzy, let me explain. At the beginning of baby's life, they will rely on you for everything. It is crucial to create a space that you can easily function in in order to provide for your new little one. At the start, they won't care what color is on the walls or how cute the print is on the crib sheets. They just want to feel warm, safe, and happy. It is so much easier to provide for them if things are to a scale that works for you, easily washable (things happen), and organized in such a way that you can find what you need, even in the dark. As for decor, stick with pieces that you truly love. You're going to spend a lot of time in this space, bonding with baby, so be sure you feel good in it. If you love funky kids' pieces, then by all means fill the room with playful animal lamps and brightly colored wall decals. If, on the other hand, you like a more sophisticated palette, like I do, then follow your gut.

Start with timeless building blocks. While a nursery budget can vary drastically, you do want to consider investing in pieces that can grow with your child. For you, that may mean a $200 dresser is a splurge, or maybe it's more like $2,000, but either way be sure to purchase pieces that you'll love for years to come. Remember, too, that as little ones get bigger they tend to get rougher on their furniture, so also be sure to consider quality along with style. It's less expensive to get a $500 rug now that they can use for years than it is to buy a brand new $100 rug every year for the next 18 years. If you're not sure how to budget for your nursery, then drop me a lineI'd love to chat about it!

Keep things flexible. As your child grows, it is helpful to have organizational solutions that can work for different stages. Consider the closet: at first, you may be folding more items since they're so tiny, but later on you may have dressier pieces that need to be hung. Including movable drawer units or shelving along with hanging organizers will work well now and can transition to holding toys as their storage needs change. Baskets are a necessity for me, and I actually have some on my own baby registry. Wicker or water hyacinth baskets look pretty but can hold anything from stuffed animals and blankets to blocks or shoes. They also transition nicely to other areas of your home, so if you no longer need them in the nursery they can move to the living room to hold DVDs or pet toys.

Still needing some inspiration? Check out a sneak peek of Baby J's nursery below! All the fun details are still in the works, but I'm starting with my basic building blocks in a timeless style that I love. If you don't already subscribe to my emails, then sign up below so you can be sure not to miss the full nursery tour once it hits the blog!


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Hi there! My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Erin Davis Design, a virtual interior design firm founded in 2017. Here on my blog I serve up tips for creating a home that's functional, beautiful, and right on budget. I hope you'll cozy up on your sofa and stay awhile! 

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