' liz levin interiors nesting guide to nursery design

nesting guide to nursery design – 10 steps to baby room bliss!

Having designed a gaggle of nurseries in our day, we’ve learned a thing or two about a nursery in the making.  Our handy how-to list of nursery musts prioritizes and simplifies your tiny tot’s new digs.

  1. Sharpen your pencil – grab the old tape measure and sketch out the perimeter of your room.  Determine your space and plan what furniture fits where. No need to order a changer that’s too big or a glider that can’t groove – your space plan will dictate room available for each piece.
  2. Color me happy- If window treatments are in your future, find a drapery fabric first and use it to guide you to the perfect wall color. Waiting to find out whether pink or blue?  Pick a happy gender neutral like Benjamin Moore’s “Waterbury Cream” or Farrow & Ball’s “Hound Lemon” and select bedding to coordinate.
  3. Back to basics- every nursery will need at minimum a crib and a place for changing diapers. At Nesting we fancy a white crib for its fresh finish and how it plays well with light colors.

    Presto Change-o – Let your changer do double duty. Pair a dresser with changing topper and storage cubbies for handy grab-without-looking access.
  4. Underfoot- Choose flooring in a soft texture so you and baby can play on the floor. This is where natural fibers like seagrass or sisal are definite don’ts. A nylon blend cleans up in a snap and is soft to the touch. Purchase the appropriate pad so the rug lies correctly, doesn’t “walk” and is comfortable! A fun pattern in the right colors adds a dose of excitement, and helps to hide future stains as well!
  5. Get Comfy- Create a nook that’s cozy for you to sit with baby for feeding, reading and cuddling. A chair on a swivel is a nice alternative to a traditional glider. Many of our Nesting chairs can be converted to a swivel. Ask a Nestpert for details. If space allows, add a matching ottoman for additional comfort.
  6. Hiccup- Spills are in your future, so plan ahead! Use a durable upholstery fabric treated with Nano-tex or made of Sensuede or Ultrasuede. All of our Nesting collection comes pre-treated. Our favorite chairs (ask a nestpert to special order):
  7. Perch- Place a side table next to your chair with space for a bottle, coffee (you’ll need it!) and your favorite parenting and baby books. A floor lamp on a dimmer will provide ambient light in the wee hours of the night.
    Best Side Table Parenting books- happiest baby on the block; healthy sleep habits, happy child; what to expect when you’re expecting; Best laugh-about mommyhood books: Sippy cups are not for Chardonnay, Girlfriends guide to pregnancyGather ye toys in chic portable storage-We love the Skip Hop Bin-Go extra large bins for tossing in toys- built-in handles are great for toting to grandma’s too!


    Accessorize! As your room comes together, look for art and accessories that make you smile and that will inspire both you and baby!  Shop for original art or reframe pieces in your collection; prints from your travels or baby photos of family members offer a nice nostalgic touch.  Nurseries don’t have to stay on message when it comes to art and accessories. We love modern art and unexpected “non-baby” décor to spice up the standard nursery fare. Sites like www.amenityhome.com and www.20×200.com offer affordable wall art online.  Pottery Barn and Ikea sell simple DIY framing at great prices.  Look for tchotchkes in a bold accent color that enhance your color scheme. Accessories present the perfect opportunity to add an off-beat shade that provides the healthy tension and interest we love while complimenting your colors. Think pop of turquoise in an otherwise all baby-blue room, or, in a pastel paradise, try red trim for that light pink glider pillow. If this isolated color injection feels too random as a color statement, play with adding more splashes throughout the room so it looks intentional. Carry this color accent in a toy, a lamp shade or a storage bin; your eye finds that color as it travels across the room.

    Add Baby – I personally had the best time designing my baby’s nursery. I found design inspiration in most unlikely places: a 5’ tall giraffe. Every room needs a jumping off point – be it a stuffed animal or an offbeat pattern you fall in love with.  Pregnancy hormones can sabotage decision-making; I relied on my designer pal and co-workers for help. Call on our Nestperts if you find yourself in a similar position. We’re eager to share our expertise! My happiest design moment was seeing my baby’s reaction to all the pretty things I’d placed in her room. From gazing up at her vintage prints as a newborn, to telling me there’s a balloon and kitty in those prints now that she’s two, the payoff is in the details.

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