Designing A Nursery Room
Things To Look Out For
Whether you’ve got a bun in the oven or are already at the stage where baby makes three, designing a nursery room takes a bit of thought. There are not only design considerations but also safety precautions to be mindful of. To help us along, we sought counsel from Mark Chen, co-founder of interior design firm Artistroom and father of one, as well as Natasha Liok-Quek, a full-time mother-of-three who was previously involved with family business Monticello Designs.
1. Divide and conquer
As with every other room in the house, space planning is key. A good plan is to divide the room into zones based on the type of activity, whether passive or active. Passive activities are things like sleeping and feeding, while active ones are things like changing and playing. If your infant is already a few months old by the time you’re designing the space, you should be familiar with his/her routine when he/she is settling down for a nap or nighttime slumber. This would make it easier to plan the space in a seamless flow, according to the sequence of activity.
2. Keep calm and use neutral colours
Do you plan to have more kids in the future who will take over the nursery? If so, then Liok-Quek says “You will need to choose a neutral colour scheme which is non-gender specific.” As an added benefit, a neutral palette also has a calming effect on adults. After all, newborns can be very demanding, so parents (and helpers) need all the peace and tranquility they can get. You might also decide to keep the walls white. In which case, Chen suggests putting up stickers to create a friendly, creative look.
3. Use freestanding furniture
Kids’ needs change as they grow up, so it’s best not to install built-in furniture like wardrobes. Instead, opt for loose furniture that can be moved around as required. If the room comes with a wardrobe already built-in, then “Make sure the drawers, shelves and hanger racks are adjustable,” says Liok-Quek. “After all, clothes get longer as (kids) get taller. And they may want to store other things besides clothes, like keepsake boxes, backpacks, bags and accessories.”
4. Safety first
This sounds like a given, but sometimes it’s almost all too easy to forget the obvious. Starting with the cot: you need to ensure that it’s deep enough to be considered safe, that there are no sharp edges, and that the bars are spaced the right distance apart from one another. It’s also important to create a safety zone around the cot. This means placing it away from potential hazards like windows, shelves, wall decorations, fans, air-conditioning units and electrical cords. It’s also advisable not to position the cot near another piece of furniture. Once your newborn starts to crawl, he/she might climb out of the cot and onto whatever is within reach. Finally, Chen suggests using easy-wash paint on the walls for easy maintenance. “Sometimes kids might draw on the walls. You don’t want to hamper their creativity, so this is an effective solution.”
5. Don’t overdecorate
If you’ve been overdosing on nursery room ideas on Pinterest, it’s time to take a reality check. Themed rooms can be fun, but they can also be highly impractical. Chen explains: “It would be ideal to keep the room not too cluttered. Kids need a lot of space to play and move around.” This is especially true as kids grow older. And the older they get, the more elaborate the themes become. Think princess rooms or F1 garages. But it might be advisable to rein in your impulse to splurge. “Don't get sucked into buying that fancy bed with a slide because that should be reserved for the playground,” offers Liok-Quek. Kid’s rooms are usually messy anyway, and an overdecorated room will just add to the visual clutter.
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