Working Moms Inspiration from Oprah's O You!
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  • Design a Nursery

    by Wendy Bellissimo

    T he ultimate baby room embodies a calming yet inspiring environment. Function and practicality are just as important as the look you are trying to create. Choose items that will grow with your child or that you will be able to use for your next baby. Some parents who think nothing of spending a small fortune on an outfit that their baby will wear only a few times, are hesitant to invest money in that child’s environment. Remember, however, that not only will smart items for your baby’s room be used every day for years to come, but that you are creating the backdrop for your child’s earliest memories.

    Once you have your home organized, think about how the layout of the baby’s room will function best. Make sure there is ample storage space for clothing, toys, and books. Avoid basing the nursery decor on overstimulating items. Bright and giant designs on the walls or an abundance of bright flowers over every fabric can be overwhelming Keep it simple.

    Time for the fun stuff! After determining the layout of the room, you’re ready to start shopping for ideas.

    1. LEAD WITH THE CRIB BEDDING. It’s best to choose your fabrics first. Your bedding collection will set the stage for the overall feel of the room. so be sure you love it! Build the room out from this focal point so that you are creating a coherent environment.

    2. FURNISH WITH NURSERY NECESSITIES. Furniture necessities include a crib; a changing table with two top drawers to store diapers, wipes, creams. and grooming supplies; and an enclosed bottom shelf area for toy and book storage that is easily accessible for floor-time play. An open-style changing table with shelves and storage baskets can also offer easy access to necessities. Choose furniture that fits with your bedding and accessories.

    You will also need a glider with a side table and a child’s chair to create a special place of his own. (Once your little one starts crawling. you’ll be amazed at how proud he is to climb up in the chair.) Gliders function effortlessly and are much more comfortable than traditional rockers. Whenever possible have all items slipcovered for easy machine-washing, And always select items that are appropriate for the scale of the room.

    If you have the extra space. I highly recommend the addition of a bed for those nights when your little one is not feeling well and you need to sleep in the room. Think ahead about whether you’ll need a trundle bed or even a bunk bed for future siblings if they will need to share the room. Doing this early on with our first baby’s room saved us once our fourth arrived.

    3. SELECT WINDOW TREATMENTS. Choose something to complement your bedding choice. It’s also a good idea to use window coverings flexible enough to make babies accustomed to sleeping in the dark or the light. Roman or pleated shades are good choices.

    4. CONSIDER LIGHTING OPTIONS. Overhead recessed lighting gives great coverage for playing and creating. Dimmers are also important for doing midnight diaper changes while keeping baby in sleep mode. Table lamps offer special warmth and add to the beauty of the room.

    5. INSTALL CLOSET ORGANIZERS. Having a clean and organized closet for your newborn will help you to keep your sanity after giving birth, You can install organizers yourself or hire a company that specializes in it. Allow for hanging areas, shelving, drawer space, and room for shoes.

    6. MAKE GOOD USE OF FLOOR SPACE. If you have wood floors. celebrate them. Not only are they beautiful. but later on it will be fun for kids to have the hard surface for cars and blocks while still having a soft play place on an area rug. When selecting an area rug, choose something that complements your décor and is soft, durable, and easy to clean. If wall-to-wall carpeting is your only option choose a neutral color and add an area rug to pull the room together and make it cozy.

    7. SELECT PAINT. Remember to think calming and soft—almost a whisper of color. And once all of the walls are painted, the color will appear a shade or two darker, so choose accordingly.

    8. MAKE SAFETY YOUR FIRST PRIORITY. Make sure all items hanging on walls, such as artwork and peg shelves. are safely hung. Secure the changing table to the wall and the changing pad to the changing table. Window treatment cords should be wound up high out of a baby’s or child’s reach.

    Wendy Bellissimo is president and chief designer for Wendy Beilissimo Media, Inc., and the author of Nesting: Lifestyle Inspirations for Your Growing Family. A favorite among celebrities, Bellissimo has designed nurseries for Kelly Ripa, Brooke Shields, and Denise Richards.

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