In my day (and I like to believe that wasn’t THAT long ago), nurseries were more about cute color-coded walls (remember opting for yellow when parents didn’t know the gender?), loads of toys, and an old chair for mom to feed. Today, though, things are different.
Décor has always been one of the most fluid elements – quick to change with trends and seasons. And nurseries are no different. In 2017, we are seeing some really new and exciting trends for our little ones’ rooms. These are not confined to urban epicenters or developed metropolises. Parents all over the world can get inspiration from these ideas and infuse their baby rooms with some trendy magic.
Ester says, “The general trend is to keep things simple. Moms are choosing furniture that can be reused as the baby gets older – cribs that can be converted to beds, diaper boxes that can become storage units for toys/books/puzzles later, and chests of drawers that will last a lifetime. Disney themes are pretty much OUT. Winnie the Pooh and Cinderella stay in the fairytales and interest is rather added with color, texture, interesting fabrics and wallpapers.
“Your baby will not be a baby for long, so try to go for a look that will last. We all want our baby’s rooms to be special, so spend money on one or two items that give you that ‘baby room’ look and feel, but keep the rest neutral and soft. It must be a calm space for both you and the baby. But, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring. Add pops of color with fun accessories, soft toys, and books in boxed or floating shelves.”
Ester recommends using plenty of paint to create dramatic effects without spending a fortune. “Create your own “wallpaper” look by painting stripes, spots or geometric patterns (masking tape is your friend)”. Her other money-saving tips include:
- Use plywood for the baby room furniture and seal it with a matte sealant. Combine the ‘raw’ sealed look with some paint (pastels or grays work best for this look).
- A loose rug always adds warmth to a room and is a great way to bring in a splash of color and texture.
- Pictures printed on canvas are very cost effective.
- Use the top of your chest of drawers as the change station.
- Boxed and floating shelves are modern and great for storage.
- Stick to buying items that can be converted to toddler furniture later on.
“Simple is key,” she says. “Life with a baby is chaotic enough, don’t over-complicate things. And don’t buy every weird and wonderful mini-newborn-Landrover, baby-genius-twirly-whirly station and baby-merry-go-round-with-life-sized-ponies available on the market. Clutter in the house clutters our mind. Repeat that. And again.”
In terms of colors for the walls, Ester recommends playing it safe. Choose grays and whites, and then add pops of avocado-green or soft yellow for boys, and duck-egg or rose gold for girls. These colors work for any style – whether you go ultra-modern, traditional, boho chic, or feminine.
Ester list of must-have items for baby room shopping lists includes:
- Chest of drawers that doubles-up as a changing station
- A rocking chair or even a single bed for changing, dressing and feeding your baby
- Enough packing space for all those diapers, creams, wipes, powders, oils, etc…
- An air-tight diaper bin (you’ll thank us later)
- Curtains or blinds with full block-out lining
“Most importantly,” says Ester, “you will both be spending a lot of time there, so create a haven that you will both love and feel comfortable in. And listen to advice up to a point, smile and wave, and then do what it best for you and your baby!”
There is no formula for a modern nursery. We met two moms that both went modern, but couldn’t have more different styles.
Heather opted for the calming effect of a white, gray and duck-egg color theme for her son, Jude. But, she incorporated bold prints and textures for a dramatic touch. Her favorite piece is her armchair. She says, “It’s so comfy and funky, I love it. We have story time in it every night. Jude would disagree with me. His all-time favorite is his teepee with all his ‘friends’ (his teddies) inside.” Heather worked closely with Ester to create her simple, stylish look. She also got some inspiration and ideas off Pinterest.
Judith, on the other hand, indulged in a whimsical bohemian adventure theme for her little girl, Lumen Belle, in the heart of the bustling Johannesburg. She says, “I’ve refined my wardrobe and home over the past few years to be very unique. I love warm colors like cognac, mustard, neutrals, grays and leather browns. For Lumen Belle’s room, I added a splash of teal to balance these colors. I basically started with a Kilim rug that I loved. The colors and patterns really appealed to me and were a great starting point.
“I want my girl to grow up being aware of the variety of colors and knowing that pink does not equal girl. I want her to know that femininity can be fierce, independent and exciting. I don’t want her to feel like she has to submit to anything because she is a girl. I’d want to teach her the ABC’s – adventurous, brave, creative (thank you Walter Mitty). I want to encourage her to be confident with her choices, especially when it deviates from the norm.”
Judith is a fan of local small businesses and loves eco-friendly and sustainable designs and the businesses that create more opportunities for the people in South Africa. So, she found her inspiration from local markets. She also up-cycled and recycled some elements.
Still need some inspiration as a starting point? Here are some key trends for 2018:
- Massive florals – prints, wall tattoos, paintings or textiles, giant flowers and plant motifs (including leaves, trees, cacti and twigs) are everything right now.
- Metallics – be still, my racing heart. I love, love, love the use of rose gold, silver, pewter and bronze in a little room. It’s bold, clean, and modern, but classic.
- Go boho – think bold, warm colors (burgundy, navy, forest green, and tan), daring prints, and a dreamy quality with this cool theme. I love how easy it is to create a boho chic look from wooden furniture, rugs and an eclectic collection of ornaments and pops. Include bulky picture frames, mandalas, crocheted pieces, feathers and leather elements to perfect the look.
- Monochrome and bold – this kind of theme works well in a home with a similar look. Grays, blacks, whites, and muted nudes are the order of the day. To add some pizzazz and excitement, these are translated into bold prints, which are not only beautiful, but also stimulating for the baby’s eyes.
- Pieces of art – capture the essence of your home and personality by including some elegant framed art in your baby’s room.
- Natural – think green, glass, real aged leather and a few plants.