When you’re designing the nursery, it’s natural to get caught up in the early stages of your baby’s life. But while diaper changes and late night feedings will be your reality for a while, it won’t be forever (we promise). And sooner than you expect, your little one will have outgrown baby-themed furniture and decor in favor of more “big kid” options.
Raising a child is expensive enough without having to decorate the nursery from scratch every few years. Instead of buying less-expensive temporary items that will only last for a short time, think about investing in higher-quality pieces that could last through your child’s high school graduation (and beyond). With the right planning and some key pieces, it’s possible. Still, keep in mind that you’re decorating a room for a kid, not a little adult, so it should still be fun and a bit whimsical. The goal is to maintain a lighthearted feel while investing in the right items. Get our tips for designing a room with staying power.
For more inspiration, watch the clip of the nursery makeover we designed for Dr. Rachael of the tv show ‘The Doctors’.
The color of your child’s walls can be a quick giveaway of the age (and sex) of your child. Pastel pink or blue? That has an expiration date of about two or three years. Instead of constantly repainting, opt for neutrals like pale or dark grey, which works for boys and girls, babies and kids.
If you opt for wallpaper, replacing a baby-centric pattern is even more pricey and labor-intensive. If you’re set on a design that your kid will probably outgrow in a few years, consider limiting it to an accent wall. To make things even easier on yourself, opt for self-adhesive wallpaper, which is much easier to remove than traditional wallpaper.
Investing in great artwork is another way to lay the groundwork for a room that will grow with your child. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. Instead, choose pieces from emerging talent. (And who knows? It could be worth a lot one day.) But find pieces that speak to you, and not pieces that you feel like you should buy, like prints of cartoon characters. Choose pieces that are timeless, and make sure to protect your investment with beautiful, quality frames.
There are certain pieces of furniture that your child just physically cannot use for very long (we’re looking at you, crib). But there are other items that will last for years, especially if you are strategic about what you choose. For example, instead of buying a changing table, opt for a dresser that you can top with a changing pad while your kid is in diapers. And, if gliders and rocking chairs aren’t your thing, just choose a roomy, comfy armchair. It will seamlessly transition from late-night feeding spot to your child’s reading nook.
Nursery light fixtures are becoming increasingly glam and sophisticated, and that’s a great thing. Chandeliers, geometric wire pendants, mid-century fixtures … there are so many stylish options that will look great in more grown-up rooms. Table lamps with drum shades and simple silhouettes also seamlessly transition past the nursery stage. So if you’re looking to keep costs down, skip the butterflies and baseball bats and instead opt for these timeless looks.
A high-quality area rug is a thing of beauty, and with the right care, it will look great for years. If you’re planning to invest in a luxurious area rug, steer clear of colors and patterns that are too trendy or that you think you’ll quickly tire of. That doesn’t mean you have to get a boring rug; instead, opt for timeless motifs, or at least patterns that aren’t played out.
Since your child will be playing on the rug at least through their toddler years, choose a soft, plush or shag style. Or, layer on a sheepskin rug or two for extra padding and a more layered look.