Guide to Nursery Room Decoration: Colours, Furniture, Baby Proofing & More

Congratulations! Your newest family member is about to make their grand entrance. Just like rolling out the red carpet, welcoming them home with a beautifully decorated nursery is one of the best ways to proclaim, “We have been looking forward to meeting you!”. In fact, that’s probably why you’ve been having that overwhelming urge to clean (look up “nesting”). And so begins the amazing journey of parenthood, within your baby’s very first sanctuary. 

At mothercare, we are all about creating a cosy and nurturing environment for babies – whether they are on-the-go or at rest. From choosing the perfect colours to selecting the most practical furniture and the softest bedding, every detail is an opportunity to infuse comfort and warmth into their life. Here’s to decorating a nursery that radiates love in every nook and cranny for your precious newborn. 

Important Considerations 

There are some things to keep in mind as you embark on your nursery planning. Remembering these practical aspects will enable you to design the nursery of your dreams without tipping the scale for fun and functionality. 

  • Keep the Nursery Near: Before shopping for furniture and essentials, it’s crucial to determine the ideal location for your nursery. The closer your room is to the nursery, the better. This ensures easy access for attending to your baby’s needs promptly and conveniently. It also allows you to monitor your baby more closely. 
  • Prioritise Long-Term Versatility: It’s easy to forget that sooner than we realise, our child will outgrow their newborn stage. Take a moment to consider the adaptability of your choices and whether they’ll keep pace with your baby’s growth over the next months or years. Think convertible cot beds and multifunctional units that can transition with your child’s needs.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Clutter can be not only disruptive but also hazardous. Keep your space clean and tidy to minimise visual chaos and prevent accidents. A calm and organised environment shows that you put safety and well-being first. Only shop for items you need and stow them properly.

1. Designing and Organising by Zones

A helpful guideline for designing a well-thought-out nursery layout is to establish separate zones for the baby’s main activities. 

  • Three Basic Zones: There should be at least three sections in your nursery for sleeping, nursing and changing. Some parents may incorporate an additional zone for playing, which for newborns will include tummy time.
  • Furniture Grouping: Group related furniture according to your flow of movement for each zone, so that you can move and reach for essential items seamlessly.
  • Assess the Space: When carving out your nursery room’s zones, be mindful of noise, light and other environmental conditions that may affect your child’s activities and their overall comfort. 

2. Choosing the Perfect Colour Scheme

Colours play a pivotal role in shaping the ambiance of your nursery, while also influencing both physical and psychological reactions. 

  • Colour Psychology and Symbolism: Different colours can impart various emotions and moods. For example, blue evokes calmness and yellow is associated with optimism. There are also symbolic meanings attached to colours which may resonate with some parents. 
  • Common Colours: Pastel shades are popular with nursery settings. Some conventional choices include baby pink for girls and blue for boys. Alternatively, parents may pick gender-neutral colours such as green, orange and muted tones that are at once timeless and accommodating.
  • Potential Effects of Colours: Colours like white and cream can reflect natural light, making a room feel more bright and spacious. We may also have conditioned associations with colours, perceiving a warm-toned room as warmer and a cool-toned room as cooler.

3. Selecting Nursery Furniture

The bulk of your nursery purchase consists of nursery furniture. Ensure you have the dimensions of your furniture to ensure a snug fit in your ideal location.

  • Start with Necessities: As mentioned, you don’t want to clutter your nursery. Keeping it minimal by sticking to necessities such as the cot, dresser, nursing chair and so on will create a serene and functional space.
  • Priorities in Order: When looking out for furniture, focus on these five things: quality, durability, functionality, comfort, and ease of use. Furthermore, some furniture will be easier to clean than others.
  • Watch Out for Toxins: There are some toxins commonly associated with baby products. Keep an eye out for chemicals such as phthalates, BPA and flame retardants. 
  • Style and Aesthetics: Consider if your furniture selections maintain visual harmony with your room (continue reading for more insights on finding inspiration, and personalisation tips!).
  • Storage and Mobility Solutions: Multifunctional, convertible and mobile furniture are the future. These solutions save space, money, and time spent on additional shopping. 

4. Picking Baby-Friendly Fabrics and Materials

Your choice of fabrics for your child’s bedding can significantly impact their comfort, sleep and safety. While most fabrics found at reputable baby stores have undergone testing for quality assurance, parents should still exercise vigilance when selecting them.

  • Softness, Breathability and Absorbance: Fabrics such as cotton, bamboo and organic blends are preferred by parents for their gentle touch on baby’s skin. Additionally, these fabrics often feature thermoregulating properties that maintain dry and airy comfort even during deep sleep. Cellular cotton stands out as one such example of a beloved high-tech material, excellent for baby’s use.
  • Low Maintenance: Find machine-washable materials to simplify care procedures while ensuring optimal hygiene and softness over time.
  • Harsh Chemicals and Irritants: Avoid harsh chemicals and irritants that can pose risks to your baby’s health. For instance, formaldehyde, found in some fabrics, can cause skin irritation. Instead, opt for fabrics known to be gentle on sensitive baby skin. Sheets aside, latex mattresses and anti-allergy protective coverings also present hypoallergenic options for babies who may be more susceptible to dust mites and bacteria.

5. Essential Baby Proofing Measures

Designing a nursery is exciting but baby proofing requires serious attention to detail. Here are some pointers to help you create a safe and secure nest for your little one.

  • Baby Proofing Accessories: From locks, latches, and door stoppers to socket covers, stove-knob covers, and corner guards, these accessories safeguard your baby against hazards well into their toddlerhood. 
  • Equipment for Monitoring: As parents, we want to be there 24/7 but when we can’t, equipment such as baby monitors and smart thermometers come in handy. Some of these nifty gadgets are also good at detecting things otherwise imperceptible.
  • Secure and Supervise: Secure all nursery items to prevent them from toppling over. Keep small or dangling objects, especially wires and cords, out of reach. Make sure the crib is free of suffocation hazards like loose bedding and toys. And always remember that active monitoring is crucial in the early months and years.

6. Ensuring Sufficient and Appropriate Lighting

Lighting can support our circadian rhythm as adults and for newborns, that is equally true. Evaluate the effects of lighting on your baby, both natural and artificial, so that their waking and sleeping patterns are fully optimised.

  • Natural Lighting: Check for any natural light streaming in through windows and doors. Exposure to some natural light in the day (with good ventilation, of course) can be beneficial, while darkness at night lays the foundation for better sleep quality. Regulate lighting conditions with window coverings like shades and curtains as needed. 
  • Functional Lighting: Explore lighting fixtures that facilitate your and your child’s various activities. Adjustable overhead lighting provides adequate illumination for play, and focused but soft task lighting allows changing and feeding with clarity. Meanwhile, night lights offer a gentle and soothing glow for night feeds, and wall lights lend comfort and indirect gleam for ambience. 

7. Adding Toys, Books and Accessories

The toys and books that bring your child so much delight and joy form the heart of your nursery. Moreover, these charming additions also serve to help children develop their skills and enhance their learning. Early Learning Centre, affectionately known as ELC, is one such brand that provides holistic support to make childhood fun and enriching for children of various ages. 

  • Age-Appropriate Selections: Toys manufacturers indicate age recommendations as a guideline for parents to follow when choosing toys for their children. Most toys designed for newborns feature rounded edges and are sturdy enough to withstand chewing and rough handling, and reduce risk of injury.
  • Exploration and Development: Many baby toys are made to stimulate their senses. Bright colours and different textures help to encourage exploration and promote development.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Excessive accessories are unnecessary. Seek out toys and books designed with educational objectives, offer open-ended play opportunities, and are built to last. Accumulating too many toys can lead to extra costs as children reach developmental milestones and their needs change.

8. Decorating and Personalising

Let’s be honest, this is arguably the most enjoyable part of nursery planning! While exhilarating, the abundance of options can feel overwhelming. Let’s get started with some key touchpoints to inform your nursery room decoration:

  • Themes: Themes can simultaneously kick off and round up your nursery room personalisation. Discover endless possibilities, from safari, rainbow, sea creatures, dinosaurs, to bunnies, space, princesses and more. 
  • Decor Types: Paint, wallpaper, decals, murals, artwork and mobiles can all contribute to your nursery’s theme and make it more inviting. Adorn shelves and surfaces with souvenirs and decorations (with safety practices in mind), if preferred. Consider what emotion others may feel when they enter the room – is it playful, comforted, or serene?
  • Adding a Special Touch: Elevate the personalisation and warmth of your nursery by incorporating custom decor, framed family photos and heartfelt DIY projects. Display cherished keepsakes like ultrasound photos and gifts from loved ones to infuse love and nostalgia into the space.

Inspiration Points

Parents can consult various media for inspiration. Sources include:

  • Books and Magazines: These literature are classic parenting companions that have helped countless individuals in their transition. There are books written solely for nursery decor, and magazines frequently feature segments for ideas.
  • Pinterest and Instagram: Pinterest boards are great for consolidating images related to your project, and Instagram provides a glimpse into other parents’ experiences. These platforms can also be used to identify trends and enable you to save and organise your ideas.
  • Home Decor Websites and Communities: Home decor websites and communities share guides, tips, and hacks that provide inspiration and insights for your nursery’s planning and execution.
  • Baby Stores: Last but not least, baby stores are the perfect destination for exploring and envisioning your dream nursery. They allow you to discover your preferences in a tangible manner, including varieties you never knew you liked until you chanced upon them. mothercare offers experiential stores at Tropicana Gardens Mall and Suria KLCC, where parents can touch and feel their ideal baby products firsthand. 

At these convenient locations, test out desired strollers on different terrains, simulate transporting a baby in a carrier, and have your well-worn and dependable baby equipment deep cleaned with our proprietary Sparkle Clean service. In addition, with our nursery advisors on hand, we provide advice for new parents designing a nursery for the first time. Our Tropicana Gardens Mall store takes it a step further, integrating an inspirational nursery showroom to spark your creativity. Alternatively, our extensive online catalogue is available around-the-clock for parents to discover and shop. 

Visit us in-store or online today!

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