Six steps to a neutral and stylish nursery
This blog post has been sitting in my drafts for about 100 years. WHY can't I just pull my finger out and finish it? Oh, maybe it has something to do with the fact I have a new company and about ten jobs on, an 8 month old teething baby with conjunctivitis and a life admin list as long as the Old Kent Road (that road is LONGGG and skanky and Jude has a penchant for walks along it, the nice scenic route just doesn't cut the mustard. Might have to start making him wear one of those Chinese pollution masks soon). Anyhow. Six tips to create a neutral and stylish nursery below. The main two reasons I wanted a neutral nursery was a) We didn't find out the sex - HIGHLY recommend that, it was so cool to phone people with 'it's a boy' and b) I hate pink / blue / most colours.
1. GO FOR A NEURAL BASE
If you want to keep it calm, start with a neutral tone on the walls. We went for Farrow and Ball Shadow White (like the rest of the house) maybe a little boring but it's SUCH a soothing colour. The last thing I wanted was a room with manic wallpaper AND a load of plastic toys. The toys are inevitable but the wallpaper, that can wait until Jude gets his college degree in decorating and does it himself. My top neutrals are this one and Little Greene 'Clockface'
2. MIX UP THE FURNITURE
I'm not a 'set' kind of gal. I don't do three piece suites, I don't do matching dining table & chair sets and I don't do nursery furniture sets. NOT that there's anything wrong with them, nay, just mainly because a) you can usually save money when you mix b) I love to mix and c) i think it gives a more modern, organic, eclectic and less contrived look. It's just my approach to interiors. Feel free to ignore this advice (or all my advice for that matter). Anyway....I started with Ikea's wooden cot which I LOVE. I was actually planning to spank the nursery budget on the cot and go for the Sebra cot (£750) but when I saw the Sniglar (gross name) for £40 in reality I loved it. I threw our old vintage leather chair (not seen) in there and added the Ivar unit stained in white. Eventually we need to get a chest of drawers and i'll go for a lacquered one to contrast with the wood. We didn't bother with a changing table as the floor is just fine for me.
I am against rugs on carpets. 95% of the time it's a 'no' from me. Kids rooms and nurseries however can just about get away with the double. I have floorboards in Jude's rooms so a rug was essential. General rule of thumb with rugs in kids rooms; If you have a carpet go for a SMALL rug by the cot (sheepskin, kilim, or textured) It should contrast with the carpet in texture and colour. If you have a wooden floor buy the biggest rug you can afford to fit the space and try and get the majority of the furniture sitting on it. This not only looks good but it's practical, nice to have soft play space. Try to go for a short pile wool or a soft textured one and avoid souk or very shaggy as they will moult when little sticky hands and mouth yank at them. ones below are good choices. I've just seen that rug is bunched up under the cot in this shot. WHY didn't I fix that? Grrr. stupid.
The age old question; curtains or black outs? My preference is both, yes I know a little bit more pricey (soz) BUT you can be clever and sheer full length curtains add such a nice softness to a room, especially a kid's room. If you go for a nice sheer / linen curtain you can get a cheap blackout blind as it won't be as visual. You can even get away with a blackout roller-blind which are super cheap. Blinds 2 Go is about as cheap as it sounds and does the job just swell. If you just want a blind for the window, go roman I have used their linen roman blinds for years and can't rate the price to quality ratio highly enough.. These look more sophis'. If you're doing curtains my rule is full length or nothing. Great full length can be found at La Redoute, Ikea and Anthropologie. Get a sheer or a lightweight curtain and make sure it touches the floor. You can get curtains hemmed at those little random key cutting / laundrette places and it shouldn't cost more than £30 per curtain to hem to the right length.
A multitude of lighting is the way forward in a nursery, You want to be able to play with good lighting on a dull day - therefore a paper lantern should work on a pendant light or downlights just fine. For night time my suggestion is that you have at least two lamps. One for fun and one for low 'mood' lighting. Even if the mood might be pure rage / tantrum / over exhaustion. We have this blue neon cloud which I love (it's an Ebay rip off of the BxxLght one that I couldn't afford) Then you probably want a floor lamp / desk top lamp of some description for story time etc. These below are good finds.
Ok THE KEY to a 'calm' nursery is to be able to put all the plastic shite away at the end of the day (maybe week or month). Baskets are a gift from the storage gods. cheap, easy to cram things into and look cool. I use the rattan ones for nappies and the jute H&M one for toys. You can then just transfer them room to room rather than it being kept in a big cabinet. Gotta love how much of the contents of my house is now brightly coloured plastic.