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Contributed by: Danielle Kurtz
Designing a nursery can feel like a daunting task, but I view it as an awesome opportunity. After all, how often in your life do you have a chance to create a room completely from scratch? Usually decorating is much more about evolving a space over time, but chances are with your nursery you’re pretty much starting with a blank slate, or in my case a really lack-luster office/guest room. However, if you don’t spend your days designing rooms for families, I can see how you might find the process overwhelming.
When I’m designing any space I always start with color. Color is the easiest way to set a tone in a room, but can also be intimidating. I think this is why people often end up with rooms that have only 2-3 colors in them. You’ve seen all those white/pink/pale green or navy/red/white rooms that I’m referring to. While they work, they end up lacking a little depth and contrast, and they also really tie your hands in terms of the things you can layer into the room…not one of my three colors, can’t buy it! And, that’s not real life. I’m sure you have family mementos or gifts you’ll want to display and chances are they won’t be one of the three approved colors, I know I did when I put my kids’ nurseries together.
To avoid getting stuck what I like to do is choose a piece of colorful inspiration, I’m talking something with upwards of a dozen colors or tones in it. I use this object or photo to help inform my color choices for the space. Your piece of inspiration can be anything. From something that will be in the room like a colorful rug, throw pillow or piece of art; to something you use purely as a muse like a pic of an outfit, a flower or a photograph. Then, as you’re choosing items for the space, you can go back to your inspiration to do a check to be sure it fits.
Not only do you use the inspiration to help guide color choice, you can also use it to decide how much of each color to use. What I mean by that is if you have a photo of an outfit that’s dark rinse jeans and a kelly green top, and it also features some gold bangles, a hot pink handbag and black patent leather shoes, that’s tons to work with. You want your core, largest pieces to be navy (the furniture), a good bit of green (maybe the rug or bedding) and then accessorize with the gold, hot pink and some glossy black. I mean you’re basically dressing the room right? So translate the colors and proportions right into your space.
Here are a few examples of how you can translate an inspiration piece to a nursery design.
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By using a color muse you can have the confidence that the colors will work nicely together. And, if you create a space with multiple colors, you can easily layer in additional items over time as your and your child’s tastes change versus being stuck in a white/pink/pale green room for the foreseeable future without a complete redesign.
Still not sure where to begin? Check out The Land of Nod Design Services. We have folks that are experts at this stuff standing by to design the nursery of your dreams, from product selections and paint colors to mood boards and floor plans. They’ll take care of it all, and best of all, the service is completely complementary. So you can put your feet up and let them do the legwork.
If you’re all set on color inspiration, check out my other posts in my Designing a Nursery series. In Step 2: Building a Strong Core I breakdown some of the most important things to consider when choosing a crib, rocker and changer for your nursery. Step 3: Tips & Tricks from A Mom Who’s Been There is all about my advice on what you really need, what you can skip and some things you might not even know are a thing yet. And Step 4: Finishing Touches…Secrets from a Designer is all about adding that extra layer that takes your nursery from nice to looking professionally styled, curated and uniquely yours.
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Danielle Kurtz: Creative Director and Mother of Two, landofnod.com
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