What does it take to put together a fantastic nursery? It turns out you don't need a huge budget, interior designer pals or even a perfect space--just a little creativity and sense of what will work for your family. In fact, the whole process was a lot easier than P&N's very pregnant AMY BRAYFIELD expected it to be--which is a good thing, since she waited till pretty much the last possible minute to prep her own nursery.
Things to consider.....
You're going to need a crib and a storage center, but beyond that, think about what you and your baby will really need. Some moms can forego, say, a changing table completely, while other moms swear their changing table was an essential they couldn't live without.
When it comes to furniture, the key is to think about how you'll really use it. If it's important to you to be able to move your baby's crib around, look for a crib that rolls easily (like Bratt Decor's Dick and Jane cribs), or you'll get way more of a workout than you're looking for. If your plan includes more children in the near future, it might be worth investing in a more expensive, gender-neutral crib that you can use for each child. On the other hand, if you're definitely planning to stop at one, you might invest in a nice armoire and chest that will carry your child through his school years and save money with a less expensive crib.
- Amy's picks: Baby Number Two is the final addition to our family, so we decided to go with a convertible crib and furniture that can grow up with the baby.
Color your world.
Choosing nursery bedding may be one of the most fun parts of putting together a nursery--and there are so many cute options out there at every single price point. The key is to find something you like that feels baby friendly. A newborn's developing visual sense will be most attracted to strong, graphic prints in contrasting colors during the early days, but you might want your nursery to be more soothing than stimulating. You really can't go wrong by choosing bedding that you genuinely like.
- Amy's pick: Since we needed something that would work for either a boy or a girl, and we wanted bedding that would blend in with the rest of our house and still be baby friendly, we chose a cool graphic print in shades of green, blue and gray.
Create a feeding space.
One of the best things about having a nursery is that it gives moms a cozy place to feed. Obviously, this is a huge plus if you're breastfeeding, but it can be just as useful for bottle-feeders. Every mom should have a calm, quiet zone where she can feed without the rest of the world butting in on her. Splurge on a super-comfortable chair--trust us, this is one place you don't want to cut corners, so buy the best chair you can afford. Add a cozy blanket, a supportive pillow and a sound system that lets you play your favorite tunes, and you'll have a feeding space you look forward to spending time in.
- Amy's pick: I love an old-fashioned rocking chair, but after a year of breastfeeding my daughter, I knew that I'd want a cushioned perch for feeding. I found the perfect combo-a plush, comfortable chair with rocker legs in a pretty shade of lime green.
Pile on the fun
It's the accessories that really make a nursery shine. Choosing lamps, artwork and other nursery accents gives you a chance to put your personality to work in your baby's room. You can pick up great stuff from Bratt Decor stores, get all crafty and make your own or splurge on something fabulous-in any combination you want.