One way I’ve prepared for each of my children is to set up and decorate a “personalized” nursery.
I know it’s super practical to have a gender-neutral design and then rotate all the babies through it, but for me, sewing pillows, making decorations and choosing sheets in accordance with a specialized style is a way to “nest.”
It is a way to do something for them before I meet them. To make them a special place. To think about them as an individual and prepare my heart (and home) for their arrival. It is gratifying and fun for me.
Here’s how Emily’s nursery turned out.
While I’m organizing, planing, decorating and arranging, I make a special effort to keep the nursery as simplistic as possible. Because it’s my style. It’s what makes life easier. It’s what makes my home feel manageable. (Read more on that here).
Here’s how I think about it.
How I Create a Simple Nursery
1. Use as little furniture as possible.
The empty space adds elegance and makes our tiny bedrooms feel bigger. For these reasons, I love minimizing furniture in every room of the house.
And sometimes, the more storage we allow ourselves, the more junk we accumulate to fill it! I know I do. Less furniture may mean less storage, but for me, that’s not a bad thing.
2. Use only a few decorations.
In a simple nursery, there’s no reason to over-do the decor. Less is more. A blank wall is not a sin. A few well placed wall decorations can go a long way.
And table top decorations just don’t make as much sense in a young child’s room. Once that child starts exploring, nothing within reach will stay in it’s place,
3. Bedding=a crib sheet.
(Along with a plain white breathable crib bumper… if you consider that part of the bedding.)
Most crib bedding sets contain items that are impractical, unusable or unnecessary. Think about it.
- A plush crib bumper: cute but dangerous, since it increases your child’s risk of crib death. You don’t want that.
- A plush crib comforter: cute but dangerous. You’re not going to be able to cover the child with it for 1-2 years, although It may be useful when they’re a bit older. They also might have outgrown it.
- A crib skirt: nothing wrong with it, but not necessary or particularly practical. I’ve never used one or favored that look.
- A valance: most moms I know agree that blackout curtains are the way to go.
- A crib sheet: super useful and cute.
So, for a simple, practical and fun look, choose some crib sheets you love and be done! I love these Aden sheets. They are amazingly cute and comfy!
Land of Nod is also a good website to browse for fun crib sheets.
If your child’s a mover and you want a bumper, I have loved this breathable option for safety.
4. Decor favors a “clean” style.
This is personal preference, but I like clean lines, contrast, and touches of black to make the space feel fresh. To me, that is a simple style.
This clock is an example of what I look for. And it’s only $6.99 at Target. Win, win.
5. Double a dresser as a changing table.
For the first two kids I had a changing table, but getting rid or it in favor of adding a changing pad to a dresser consolidates and maximizes the space.
It has the added bonus of keeping clothes handy so you don’t have to juggle the baby while getting the items needed from across the room. She stays on the changing pad while I access her clothes. Much easier!
6. Streamline and dedicate the room’s storage.
I know this may not always be possible, but I’ve worked to organize each child’s closet so it only contains those items that belong to him/her or are used in that particular room.
And yes, we do have very limited closet space. But we also have an unfinished basement were I can stick stuff… so I have an out where others do not. Ultimately, though, much of what was stored in those closets previously were things I was able to get rid of.
It feels nice, uncluttered and organized to have only Emily’s clothes, diapers, hamper and baby items such as the Bumbo and baby carrier stored in her closet. It makes sense to have all her stuff together.
It’s not fancy, just diaper boxes and plastic drawers, mismatched hangers and odd bins, but it works.
I also have switched to storing bedding in the room it will be used. This is functional and helpful since I didn’t have another good place for it around my house.
Overall, I know where to find things!
Now a little on Emily’s room…
For Emily’s nursery, I went with a simplified “shabby chic” idea. I loved the colors and use of roses (her middle name is Rose), but I modified it to fit the clean look rather than the shabby look.
I found this mobile on Etsy and fell in love with it. Unfortunately it cost $165, which was more than I spent on this entire nursery. It looked like a fairly intuitive design, so I decided to make my own copycat. It cost about $20 and turned out beautifully if-I-do-say-so-myself. 🙂
The Prints (with free printable!)
The monogram E was another Etsy find… one that I purchased for only $8. You can find it in any letter here.
The “Jesus loves me” print was my own creation. If you’re interested, you can download it for FREE here or by clicking the image below.
The rug is actually three rugs sewn together because I found such a good deal on them at Marshall’s and loved the colors. How’s that for thinking outside the box?!
A friend bought Emily her adorable Aden and Anais sheets. They are super soft and so cute! I definitely recommend them if there’s a design that matches what you’re going for.
Everything else is pretty much pieced together from around our home. We were mostly able to use what we already had… another simplifying factor.
I’d say Emily-girl is loving her girly, simple, clean-shabby-chic, makeshift nursery! Now if I could only get her to sleep a little longer at night…