Nursery colors aren't just pink or blue


Expectant parents don't need to know whether they'll be having a girl or a boy in order to plan the design of a baby's room. And even if the child's sex is known in advance, the following tips on furnishings and decor should still be useful.

For longer wear and easier maintenance, be sure to get a scrubable wallpaper. The tradition of blue for boys and pink for girls has just about expired -- and about time, I say -- so there's a range of colors from which to choose. Lilacs, greens, yellows and lots of white will make any nursery a cheerful place. But remember that babies do need visual stimulation.

It's usually wise, at first, to leave some wall sections without any pattern. That way, as the baby becomes a toddler, she or he will have places for displaying handmade art.

If just one wall is to be papered, as was done in the room in the photo, it may be best to leave the window wall uncovered and painted in a light color. This will reduce daytime glare while increasing the options for window coverings. Another possibility, in such situations, is to apply an easy-going pastel striped paper to the window wall.

In order to tie together the wall treatments in this model, a coordinated border of colorful Victorian houses was added above the baseboard and below the ceiling all around the room. All the wall coverings shown here are from the Walltex "Victorian Village" collection.

If the nursery has a sound wooden floor, it can be bleached and stained white. For an entirely different look, cover the floor in a light vinyl material. In either case, an area rug should be added to provide needed softness underfoot and to ensure the comfort of a crawling baby. Deep-pile rugs aren't appropriate in this sort of setting. A much smarter choice would be a woven cotton rug that can be easily picked up and cleaned -- a geometric Indian dhurrie perhaps.

As for the furniture, wicker is one of my personal favorites in a baby's room. It can be combined with wooden pieces that have been painted white or stained in natural colors.

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