sarah trotter: nursery design
Our friend Sarah Trotter, owner of interior design company, Hearth Studio was one of our wonderful Melbourne speakers in our Motherhood Series workshops at our pop up store. Here she shares with us her ideas on nesting and setting up a peaceful & beautiful nursery, including some essential items that make life easier for those early days with little one.
Personally - I found nesting to be the best way to channel some nerves and also some energy pre-baby. Space is obviously important to me, so I might have gone a little nuts organising stuff before my son arrived. It can be very overwhelming though, there are so many opinions and things said about safety etc. which hopefully I can shed some light on here.
On Kids Rooms:
As a design professional, designing kids rooms has to be one of the best parts of my job. I have had meetings with my 'kiddy' clients. And kiddy briefs. One of my first projects was for a young family and I had to try and appease a request for a fire station pole! I have also had meetings with aesthetically advanced twin 12 year old boys - one that came to me with a palette of orange, purple and burgundy. That was a challenge, but we did get there.
On Nursery Design:
Everyone and every baby is really different. We lived in a (generous) one bedroom apartment when my son arrived last year and we shared our room with him until he was nine months old when we moved into a space where he has his own room. Everyone has opinions on sleep, sleeping styles, co-sleeping and everyone has plans. There is also the possibility that the plan you have before the baby is born will change and evolve as they grow too - so fast - especially in the first year.
Everyone has their own baby journey and there are so many ways to do things, but here are some tools for the aesthetic and practical things you can do to make a space thats really comfortable and lovely, not just for your baby, but lets face it, for you too.
sleeping bassinet and cot
There aren't any Australian Standards for bassinets but generally you want to look out for the same things as a cot. Breathability, a well fitting mattress and obviously something very stable.
Cots that transition to a bed make sense to me, only having to buy one piece of furniture that will last a little while is a great idea. Two mattress heights is fantastic for your back and when they begin to stand you can lower the cot. Then by removing the rails you have a toddler bed. Make sure you buy enough bedding for nappy leaks and a good, natural mattress protector for your little one if you have a non-standard shaped cot this is particularly important!
Think about what the mobile looks like from below. I was fascinated when shopping for our mobiles to discover that many don't look like much from below - which will be your babies perspective. We have two Flensted Mobiles that are gorgeous and have great shilouettes from below.
Very young babies respond to high contrast - so think about strong colours and about the backdrop too, a white mobile perhaps wouldn't work as well against a white ceiling/walls.
If above a sleeping space make sure your mobile is well made and has no chance of falling into the cot, especially if there are small parts.
book shelf & toys
Research shows that having a bookshelf down low can encourage babies to read as well as having as many books as possible around the house!
We keep our toys in a few baskets, babies don't need many toys to start - then suddenly there are blocks and nesting blocks, puzzles and push trolleys! We also have some playing stations in the living area with books, baskets and a rug for play during the day when we want to get other things done. Throwing it all in a basket at the end of the day is easy, restoring some order!
changetable or mat
It is a good idea to have a changetable, but it isn't always essential. If you are short on space you could set up a change pad near the baby bathing area - ours was on our washing machine to begin with - now it sits on our thrift store set of drawers. I use the top drawer for nappies, creams and wipes etc. Some friends of mine have always just changed their babies on the floor - especially when they start to get wriggly you don't have to worry quite as much about containing them at a height