When it comes to a gorgeous baby nursery, you don’t need pot-loads of money or exxy interior design to make a style statement.
Sara Silm, co-founder of Home Design Editorial & Styling, says simply abide by three key rules. “Don't buy into trends or gender specific children's décor - the best rooms are authentic ones,” she advises. “Remember that less is more, and have fun - they're not little for long and you only have a short window of opportunity to dictate what their rooms look like, so make the most of it.”
Keep things simple – then splurge wisely
Sara admits that she’s a self-confessed bowerbird – and that many of her pieces have been rescued from the trashcan. “Many of my most treasured pieces come from my local tip shop or they are things I've made myself. The old adage of less is more is certainly the mantra to have in mind when decorating children's rooms,” she says. “One or two hero pieces are all that's required, so if you spend money, spend it wisely. I'd rather keep things simple and splurge on a beautiful Enzo Mari print."
Use wall colour as a base
Sara recently launched a range of colours with Bauwerk, a toxin-free paint company, with zero fumes making it the perfect choice for a baby’s room. “Paint is a great way to achieve a fresh new look,” she says. “When it comes to colour schemes for boys or girls, my advice is buck the trend of pink and blue, and give your little one a unique introduction to the world with a colour that's totally unique.” She adds that it doesn't always need to be on the walls. “An all white room looks fantastic with a simple coloured floor rug. I love NSW Leather's range of coloured cow hides. A splash of red, pink or yellow, or a graphic black and white hide is sometimes all that's required.”
Hunt down interesting family keepsakes
Treasures for your children’s rooms don’t have to come from a baby boutique or store, they can also be found in your parent’s attic or a forgotten keepsake from granny. “My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful handkerchief she bought in Paris in the 1940s,” reveals Sara. “I had it framed with a big white mount for my daughter's bedroom - we now have a wonderful heirloom and a piece of art in one. Sometimes decorative elements might only be as far away as your linen press or charity shop.”
Make wallpaper a feature
Sara says she loves wallpaper in children's rooms, but advises avoiding typical children's designs and choosing timeless, non-gender specific designs instead, as they will give longevity. “If you're after just one wall for maximum impact, try Mr Perswall,” she reveals. “You can even have them make images into your very own wallpaper - great if you want to scan your child's artwork into a full-scale wall mural for posterity.”
Leave colourful bedding for older kids
While paint and wallpaper are great for creating colour focal points, Sara advises avoiding colourful layers of bedding for babies, due to safety hazards. “As a mother of three, for newborns I always recommend sticking to the rules for SIDS and not having a lot of bedding in the initial stages. A beautiful Flensted mobile above the cot is a better way to add visual interest and colour,” she explains. “Once they are at the toddler stage, bedding can be more exciting. A simple polka dot print is always timeless. Castle and Things make beautiful spotted sheeting and great felt artwork, too.”
Make flooring a focal point
Bright colours and bold stripes at floor level are great for creating visually stimulating play areas for littlies. “Rugs tend to zone play areas, so they're an important visual anchor point in a baby's room or nursery,” says Sara. “One brand I love is Dash and Albert rugs. Their striped indoor/outdoor rugs are made of a soft Polypropylene weave that look like cotton, but are super forgiving when it comes to the inevitable spills that are part of life with children - they're even hoseable, scrubbable and bleachable - you've got to love them for that!”
This article was written by Joanna Bounds for birth.com.au
Last revised: Monday, 7 April 2014
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.