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Color and Light in the Nursery

We get a lot of design magazines, but a few weeks ago, we came across an issue of Monitor on Psychology (yes, one of us is married to a psychologist). One of the articles in the magazine was titled, “Design in Mind – How Psychologists are Influencing Our Spaces.” It summed up a lot of things we learned in design school, and we wanted to share some of our thoughts on nurseries in particular, and how using color and light in the nursery can affect the space.

Color. We wrote a post a while back about how color affects your baby, but this time we want to talk about how color affects you. There is a lot of research covering how colors evoke certain feelings, but there’s another huge aspect to it all—each person’s individual makeup. For example, if you have a higher body temperature and usually feel warm, you might be drawn to cooler colors like green and blue.

Light Blue Nautical Nursery - Project Nursery
image from Project Nursery Gallery

If you’re someone who always needs a sweater, you may feel more comfortable surrounded by reds and oranges. What does this mean for your nursery? Simple—your energy is more important than the color on the walls. Choose colors that make you feel good! Babies will be exposed to every color in the rainbow throughout their lives and will eventually make their own associations.

The rich tones of orange and brown in this nursery would work nicely for someone who tends to feel cold.

Modern Orange and Brown Twin Nursery - Project Nursery
image from Project Nursery Gallery

Light. We’re sure you’ve heard that light attracts bugs, right? Well, the same goes for humans. In fact, architects often use specially placed lighting to guide a person through the building without them even knowing it. Like color, the type and amount of lighting in a space can also change the feel of the space. In a nursery, make sure you have multiple types of lighting, both for function and for comfort. Sometimes you’ll want the room to be dim so you can rock baby to sleep but still have enough light to move around safely.

Elegant NurseryNursery by Nelson Wilson Interiors

Other times, you’ll need it as dark as possible to aid in baby’s sleep habits. Assuming you also use the nursery to play and learn, an option for bright and open lighting will be important, too. Flexibility is the key.

This nursery has great natural lighting but also has shades to darken the room when needed.

Bright White and Gray Nursery With Natural Light - Project Nursery
image from Project Nursery Gallery

Have fun when designing a space for baby, and remember that using color and light in the nursery won’t just make it look good, it will make you feel good when you’re in the room, too.