Thursday, November 09, 2006

Make Baby's Room Fun, Advice from a Mother

By Christina VanGinkel

Setting up a brand new nursery is often a much anticipated event for new parents. Shopping for a crib, dressing table, rocking chair, and various other pieces of furniture is all part of the fun. Then picking paint colors and accents such as throw rugs and curtains. Often, parents have a preconceived idea about the colors they want to use, or the theme they intend to create the room around. Soft pinks or blues, maybe a neutral yellow or green if they do not yet know the sex of the baby may be at the top of their list. What many people forget though, is that baby is only going to be a baby for a very short time. While you do not want to skip these tender moments of early infancy, you also do not want to find yourself repainting walls and changing out furniture before baby has even been able to leave their first fingerprint on the wall or drool on the floor. As much as you do not want to rush along their growing up, it can be fun to think just a bit ahead when planning baby's nursery.

With this in mind, be a bit bold when choosing the room's elements. No one ever said that a nursery must be done in a theme that resembles the inside of a sherbet container, which is just something that got started a long time ago, and has carried on through time. In recent years, I have seen some unique and fun nurseries that I am sure appeal just as much to the parent's sense of fashion as the rooms will once baby is old enough to appreciate them.

Camouflaged crib bedding and room accents can be found for the family that loves the outdoors. The first time I saw a crib set in a camouflage theme I thought now why, did somebody not think of that before. While women are as apt to like the patterns as men are, a nursery done up in this is sure to feel welcoming to even the most macho of men. I found a three-piece crib set in Realtree Hardwoods, or Mossy Oak Breakup, at Cabelas for less than sixty dollars. I also came across a similar priced set at Bass Pro Shops, and they also offered a diaper stacker, comforter, and extra sheets to match. Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops both sell curtains to match, just look by the regular sized adult bedding. Add some fun stuffed whitetail deer, or even the traditional teddy bear, and both baby and them will feel right at home.

A couple other room themes I found to be ideal for growing up with baby, taking them from infancy to toddler, and even a bit older were designed around NASCAR and the new movie Cars. Both offered bright colors and even the popular white and black design that is supposed to be good for early baby eye development. One room had a black and white checkerboard pattern on the floor and parts of the wall, with brightly colored bedding and throw rugs to match. Imagine the fun baby will have as they begin to appreciate the huge array of colors in a room that follows a NASCAR or Cars theme.

Ok, I hear you. What about a room for a little girl you are all asking. While I personally would find the camouflage room as ideal for a little girl as I would a boy, I know some of you might want something a bit more traditional for the little princess on your list. With that in mind, visit any store that caters to decorating a pre teen or teen's room and borrow some of the fun colors so popular with those age groups. Bright oranges, lime greens, hot pinks, all will appeal to a growing little princess. Paint a mural on a wall of a castle and use some of the bright colors from the accent pieces to brighten it up. Fish are another good starting point. From Disney's Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, or a more typical fish theme, all will provide you with the choices of bringing in bright colors and fun designs. Do not forget texture either. A friend of mine that did her infant daughter's room in a mermaid theme created a border that ran along three walls in the room that looked and felt like fish scales. She used an iridescent paint and a stencil she made herself. She went over the stencil with several layers of paint, building up the design so that when it was finished, you could actually feel the design, not just see it.

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