Baby Nursery

Nursery decor: 10 unique ideas for decorating a nursery

Use these 10 smart tips to create a nursery that's both practical and unique:

1. Appealing Ceilings. Hanging accents is easy and eye-catching. A row of colorful birdhouses hanging from ribbons adds a fairyland effect. Hanging planes or hot air balloons really gives lift-off to any nursery. Is it a jungle in there? Let plush animals hang from artificial vines. Accents can be hung using teacup hooks. Hanging decor creates more visual appeal and less furniture-top clutter.

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2. Family Collage. When little blessings arrive, lots of photos follow. There are first photos with parents, grandparents, godparents, siblings and so on. Framing all of these special memories soon creates clutter, not to mention expense. Instead, choose a collage frame and create a patchwork of "first meeting" photos. New-baby scrapbooking cutouts can be added to the matting to make the collage a work of art you'll be proud to display.

3. Bright Ideas for Lamps. Avoid themed lamps. Instead, go for sturdy, neutral lamps. You can add lamp-side touches like fire trucks or ballet shoes, but neutral lamps prevent buying new lamps whenever the decor changes. If replaced, neutral lamps will quickly find another home. Themed lamps often get left in the dark of the basement or attic.

4. A Measure to Treasure. Don't forget to hang a height chart in the nursery where it can stay long term. Height charts with wallpaper-weight paper and a "scroll" bar on the top and bottom are both durable and convenient to roll up and save. That's important if you know you couldn't part with these memory marks!

5. A Tisket, a Tasket, Organize in a Basket. Even though you'll want a neat and organized nursery, many items need to be easily accessible. Use baskets with colorful liners to store wipes, ointments, nail kits or baby toys. Sets of colorful cloth napkins can line baskets you already have on hand. Don't let a disorganized nursery make you a basket case. Use baskets to keep everything in place!

6. Old Books, New Looks. Avoid cheap wall art, but don't be tempted by the expensive. Peruse used bookstores for children's books. You'll find illustrations in colors and styles just right for your nursery. Frame and hang four in a row on long walls or four in a square for narrow spaces. Framed illustrations will make your nursery one of a kind - just like it's boarder!

7. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Every parent knows who's the cutest of all! There's hardly a more fun routine than looking in the mirror with babies as they delight in their reflection. Hang a large mirror at eye level for a babe in arms. Craft paints can really change the image of an old, plain mirror.

8. Flower Power. Bring the outdoors in by keeping a small vase in your nursery. You well know that "little" blessings bring big pleasure. Choose a vase that holds just one to three flowers: A rose for your delicate one? A branch of apple blossoms for the apple of your eye? Wild flowers for your wild thing?

9. Music to the Ears. When choosing a mobile, remember that black, white and bright colors are most eye-catching to baby. Regardless of how adorable a mobile is, make sure the tune and tones are pleasant enough to listen to over and over and over. Also, have a music player with classical music and lullabies that will be soothing to baby and sleep-deprived parents.

10. A Must in Decor from Ceiling to Floor. Think safety first. Even though your newborn can't crawl or pull up, now's the time to make your nursery a safe haven. Cap outlets, remove window chords, secure furniture, lock cabinets and cover sharp edges for starters. Keep reminders of dates like the recommended age to remove your child's mobile. Consider a phone (ringer off) in case of an emergency. There are many stylish child safety products out there, and safety is always in style in a nursery!

Using these ten decorating ideas will keep your baby's nursery safe and affordable but also organized and adorable.

By Angela La Fon