Last June 3, 2017, at 9:44 a.m., I officially became a mother to another baby girl. My firstborn is turning a year older on the same month so with this new addition, I am now a proud parent of two beautiful girls, both born in June and in the year of the Rooster since they are twelve years apart. How amazing does that sound?
Times have changed since I gave birth in 2005. But one advantage I found out during my pregnancy was it sure made decorating the nursery WAY more fun. While I had to contend with the limited brands and products before, I was pleasantly surprised at the options available now. However, because more things are accessible today, it’s easy to get carried away and cram all those wonderful ideas into this room.
Here are some of the basic tips I can share based on my experience as an interior stylist and decorating my nursery.
SPACE Decide on the area where you want to set up your baby’s space and take actual measurements. Do this before you run to the nearest Pottery Barn, and buy everything in sight. The dimensions are critical when you purchase the major pieces because you don’t want them to overwhelm the space.
For this baby, I wanted to forego bottles and breastfeed directly, so it was important for me that the baby was close. We decided to have her sleep with us in the master's bedroom. Since space was an issue, I had to focus on getting more compact furniture. For the dresser, we were fortunate that someone offered to customize a piece that will fit perfectly on the wall and organize all the baby items as well.
I sourced a shoe cabinet and turned it into a "library" (book shelf) of her books. To make it more space efficient, it was drilled to hang on the wall, something similar to the photo above.
THEME From the beginning, I told myself I was going to decide on a concept and stick to it. I referred to it whenever I saw something adorable -- in short, it kept me on track. If it was not part of the color scheme or theme, I moved on. (If you want a more consistent space, you need this discipline.) If I were to inject more colors, they would just serve as accents.
I wanted something understated this time around and selected gray and white for the color scheme. I took a lot of inspiration from the Instagram account Hudson and Harlow (above). It was muted enough that I could pile on different textures. This scheme was also a no-brainer since the wall color in our bedroom is gray, and the window shades are white. It also made it much faster and convenient for me to select items for the registry. And since it was a neutral color, gifts from family and friends outside the gift registry could fit right in no matter the color.
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I also wanted elephants to be included in my theme because my late mother used to collect the figurines for good fortune. Having the animal made it more personalized and meaningful, which always makes a space more intimate.
BUDGET You need to prioritize where you want to splurge and save. Don’t be shy to register the items you need when you have that baby shower. It’ll save you money and it’ll be hassle-free for the people who want to gift you something for this celebration.
We purchased a pre-loved white crib made of wood online for a great deal (above).
We invested in a Creamhaus playmat because we can use this for years plus my two daughters can both play on it.
There are so many new baby furnishing and accessories available now that the list of choices can be a bit overwhelming. My advice is stick to your theme and buy what you need and is necessary for taking care of your baby. But I do hope you have fun like I did.
Interior stylist Cal Tavera's portfolio includes designing cafes and restaurants although she is currently finding the most joy in decorating her baby's nursery, which always seems to be a work in progress.