It is such a giant cliche (especially in a parenting/family-oriented) magazine to say, “Once you become a parent, your life is changed forever,” but I’m gonna say it anyway. Having children means that your world–which consists of your personal agenda, daily schedule and short and long-term plans–now have to coordinated and followed around the needs of the little one(s). It is a complete and total paradigm shift.
Everything changes. Suddenly you become acquainted with new feelings such as indescribable awe, joy and contentment. There is also frustration, doubt and the occasional embarrassment (such as when your baby wails and screams at a public place). Then of course the weariness, exhaustion and that dreaded state of sleeplessness during the first few months (in most cases). You, who were formerly so sure of yourself, so confident, now sometimes lay awake at night fearing for this kid’s future, afraid for him going out into an increasingly crazy world, doubtful if you’re doing right by her, giving it your best shot, being enough, being there enough. There are endless questions, perhaps never to be fully answered for a long, long time.
Then perhaps the most visible changes that occur once parenting begins (no, it’s not just your girth) happens in your home. Your once pristine and well-coordinated living room becomes overrun by colorful gadgets and baby furniture.Your outlets get covered and cabinets safety-locked. The floor is littered with toys. It’s amazing how many items manufacturers have managed to invent to convince us that they are all absolutely, positively necessary for the health and wealth being of your child! Swings, rockers, saucers, high-chairs–four different types of seats and it does not end there. In the middle of it all is the baby, with whom it is next to impossible to keep everything neat and tidy, all the time.
Despite this, baby equipment and paraphernalia is big business. Manufacturers and retailers are never short on the latest and chic-est stroller, crib or baby sling. Magazines are full of swanky celebrity nurseries outfitted and decorated in uber-luxurious fashion. These are breathtakingly beautiful rooms that are not your typical pink or blue or ultra-colorful Disney. They are very modern and contemporary, and curiously lacking the usual cartoon characters.
Decorating a stylish nursery doesn’t have to require dipping into your child’s college tuition fund. There are ways to help keep costs low, but style high. The most important element is color, which has gotten more sophisticated in recent years. Pink and blue have been replaced by silvery greens, pale yellows, grayish lavenders and even straight gray tones. Rooms are no longer cutesy or gender specific, and can go with the rest of the apartment, because parents are more fashionable than ever before.
The key to designing the best baby nursery is balance. You must balance between your baby’s need for tons of sleep along with your baby’s need for brain stimulation. A nursery is both a bedroom and a playroom. Just like any other bedroom in the house, you’ll want colors that help your child keep calm and snooze well in the crib. Soft, soothing colors such as light blues, greens and pinks instill calmness. If you want something more contemporary, go for muted grays and silvers. Something in the middle would be a neutral color such as sand, punctuated with the more traditionally livelier pinks, blues and yellows.
Murals also do wonders for nursery walls! It can set the entire theme/mood of the room and personally I think, with a spectacular mural in place, there is little need for much else in the way of decoration.
Another way to up the sophistication factor is lighting. Do this by adding a mini-chandelier, or a modern table lamp. Add a lamp and a reading and or rocking chair that picks up the general furniture scheme of the home.
I know a great muralist. I have worked with her and she is awesome. Her name is Jeanine Hattas of Fresh Murals. Check out her website at www.getfresh.biz
Keep posted! More on this topic next week.
Next week: Selecting furniture for your nursery.