Decorating the Nursery
I’ve always liked the idea of having a nursery. It sounds incredibly posh, don’t you think? “Where is Humphrey?” “Oh, he’s with Nana in the nursery, learning RP and studying a map of the Empire.” Also, magical things happen in nurseries, from a curious Peter Pan looking for his errant shadow to the Velveteen Rabbit aiming to become “real”.
With that in mind, a nursery is one of the few rooms in the house where you can inject a modicum of whimsy into the décor. Not only is it a room where you’ll spend a lot of time (thus it should look nice), it’s also a room that needs to calm and stimulate your baby in equal measure, a room where both sleep and play happen. And let’s face it, who hasn’t walked through the kids’ part of Ikea and thought, “I want to buy everything here, including the oversized ladybug pillow and the coat hook that looks like a dog’s a*se sticking out of the wall.”
Until a month before Baby’s birth, the room we’d marked out for the nursery was filled with boxes. It had acted as storage while we’d been working on our renovation project the previous year and we’d never gotten around to unpacking it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was in those boxes because we weren’t missing anything. I never thought, “Damn! Where’s the asparagus steamer? Oh, it must be in the nursery.”
When we finally unpacked them, the boxes contained most of the post we’d received while the building work was going on (the builders just kept storing it in there); five years’ worth of Vanity Fair (which James made me throw out, except the Obama and Hollywood issues); and our memory boxes. I insist on keeping a lot of memorabilia because I believe my biographers will need it one day. Ha ha.
This room is also where my business started, back when I was homebound. Thus, there is a huge built-in desk and shelving unit in there, which will be great for Baby when she has homework one day although it’s not very nursery-ish now.
I spent hours pouring over hundreds of images of nurseries on Flickr. The images ranged from fun and outrageous to traditional (read: boring). Most of the images were taken in houses with rooms much larger than the average London matchbox. I could feel my jealousy quotient rising image after image and I started hankering after the huge American houses I used to know and love. But then I snapped out of it. How much room does a baby need anyway? (Also known as “famous last words”.)
One of the first decisions to be made when contemplating a nursery is what colour to paint it. I was gravitating towards something really designy and modern, like dark grey with splashes of bright colour and crisp white skirting. James hated the idea. He said he wanted a happy baby and grey walls sounded depressing. Fair enough. I continued my search for an acceptable colour combination.
Looking through even more images, I decided that, with the orientation and size of the room, a light, cheery scheme would work best. I was in favour of white walls with dashes of bright primary and secondary colours in the furniture.
James wanted pink.
For those who have read this blog since the beginning, you know my aversion to the colour pink. It’s cliché and I absolutely hate doing what everyone else does. But for anyone who knows James, he can be very persuasive and, before you know it, I’m down at the Dulux trade shop buying pink tester tins. Oh, the horror.
I chose just about the palest pink that I could. And because the rest was up to me, I decided red would be the accent colour. So, there. Humph.
The fun part has been getting all the little decorations, deciding what would go on the walls and putting thought into the detail. I’ll be sharing pictures of the completed nursery in all its pink glory next week.