For the first few months of pregnancy, whenever we were asked about how our nursery was progressing, we would shrug and reply breezily that it wasn’t, but it didn’t matter, since the baby would be likely sleeping in our bedroom for the first six months of its life anyway. Then some very sensible but bubble-bursting person enquired where we would put the baby down to sleep during the day?
There’s always the picnic basket…
Thus, last weekend, Mr Cath and his Dad undertook a furniture rearrangement project which involved taking apart and swapping around two large wardrobes, shifting another one, moving three bookcases to different floors and positions and generally attempting to nurseryfy our hitherto study. We were daunted by what we had planned but I was confident that my father in law’s skill with dovetail joints would see us through. In the event, it wasn’t as stressful or time-consuming as we’d feared – one of the wardrobes fit through the door so they didn’t have to take it apart – and my mother in law, nephew and I were pleasantly surprised to return from our walk to find the pair of them contentedly quaffing tea. They even built our cot so it actually looks a bit like a nursery now.
However, just placing a cot in a room does not a nursery make. The next step was to purchase a blackout blind for the window that, embarrassingly, we’d never even had curtains for since moving in. We went with John Lewis from whom we’d also bought our spare room blackout blind – they seem to fit our windows well and are reasonably priced – and said blind is now sitting in its box in the corner of the nursery (you didn’t think we’d actually put it up, did you?)
All the other essential items like the cot mattress, bedding and changing mat are stashed in the loft as to lay them out now would turn them into dust collectors. More concerning is the lack of, well, nurseriness. The walls, while a lovely light blue colour that we don’t intend to change even if we have a girl, are rather bare. But where to start with nursery décor?
It appears that you can go minimum or maximum and every stage in between with how you decorate your nursery. According to Mamas & Papas, “your baby’s nursery is a happy and peaceful haven for your baby, so you’ll want to make sure everything is perfect.” So only perfection will do – no pressure then! M&P have a wide collection of nursery ranges and coordinating sets of baby things, which are on the whole very sweet. But it is difficult to figure out what to get. The perfectly matching designer nursery may look good but I’m not sure it accurately reflects our family. I’d prefer to include more personal touches such as handmade quilts, family photos and things from our own childhoods. The real challenge is to organise everything so it doesn’t resemble a cobbled together charity shop display!
The bare walls are the main area that would make an instant difference. A fun way to decorate walls without making any nail holes can be wall stickers. These are temporary so you can change them around as much as you want. For example, Mothercare sell these lovely Little Bird by Jools Oliver stickers that I could really imagine in our nursery.
Another addition we’d like to make is some curtains to liven up the plain blind. JoJo Maman Bebe have some pretty curtains including these sunny yellow gingham ones, although they might be verging a bit too much on Pollyanna!
The question is whether to wait until the baby is born and build the theme around its gender, or completely deck it out now in more neutral shades. I’d be inclined towards the latter for two reasons:
- I’m sure the last thing we’ll want to think about when the baby arrives is nursery décor.
- If we have a second baby one day it would be useful to reuse the room as it is rather than having to overhaul the look.
Lots of decisions to make, but at least they are fun ones. Now we just need to hide our shredder and the destudying will be complete!