Veronica Valencia, a talented interior designer
What kids see, hear, feel and find all impacts their development. That means the nursery has a lot to answer for. Let open and airy be your design philosophy for the room, and bold and bright be your plan for the toy chest. We know newborns see only in black and white with no depth perception—and side note, I’m with you babies, it’s my fave palette too. Color and three dimensional shapes come into focus around month five. That means pattern and color are essential to get their synapses firing in all the right ways as they grow. Yet, at night, when their brains need rest for their physical and mental development, serene and uncluttered is essential. To pull off this balancing act, I say stick with an overall room design that lets in plenty of natural light, with mostly crisp whites and neutrals as the backdrop. You’ll have pops from all the playscapes to bring in plenty of color to light the room and your little one’s learning.
Make sure there are plenty of places to sit. Most everyone thinks of the glider, but in that first year, you’ll spend a lot of time in the nursery with your partner and all the family that flocks around your new arrival. Make it comfortable for two; this way parents or grandparents have a place to sit when they come to visit. It’s special to have them there with you in this space you’ve so carefully designed. Even if your nursery isn’t large, an extra pouf and overscale floor cushions are a perfect solution.
If you have hardwood floors, a plush rug is important for crawling. Keep only on the floor what is safe for baby’s hands. Have plenty of ways to keep them busy, like an activity center, a rattle or a take-along mobile, so you have a moment or two to fold the laundry. I have three siblings and learned early from my mom that free play is sometimes your only hope at a free minute.
Kids have a lot of stuff. From what I can tell, half the battle of parenting is corralling all of it. Color-coated bins on low bookshelves or in the base of the closet help you and your little one remember what goes where and makes him a part of clean-up time. Pick furniture that does double duty like a bed that has drawers or a toy chest with cushions that turn into a seat. If it’s in this room, it needs to help solve the “stuff factor” of the space.
The parents were really excited to transform their office into their baby boy’s nursery. Being their first boy, they were elated to get started and were open to different styles. With the existing rustic barn door in the room and their love for rich green tones, I was immediately inspired to design a safari-themed nursery. The goal was to keep the room open and bright while incorporating a mix of colors, patterns and textures. I wanted to create a space that was unique and welcoming, but also fit the family’s needs—allowing room for play as the baby grows. I added lots of warm nature inspired colors but paired it with pops of bright whimsical development toys like the Tiny Love mobile. The juxtaposition turned out so fun and beautiful!
There are so many different elements of the nursery I love; however, if I had to pick one in particular, it would be the way in which we addressed the use of storage. The wood and copper wall mount clothing racks were such a great find; they are both stylish and functional. We also incorporated a rustic bookcase that we used for storage with wicker baskets, as well as to display baby’s books and toys. The parents love how open the room is. Not only is it a nursery, but the space really lends itself to a playroom for the entire family to enjoy time together. They’re also big fans of the rich hunter green wall, paired with the green drapes, and Mom was especially into her glider—it is a recliner, swivels and has a built-in USB port. Score!
Photography by Ala Cortez
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