Choosing decor to grow with your child by Carmen Raynor

How many of us, when we first see the positive pregnancy test,

have started decorating our child’s nursery in our minds? Many

women I know (myself included, I must admit) have only found out

the sex of their unborn child so that they can get a head start on

the clothes and décor! But it is worth putting some consideration

into how the choices you make when first putting your baby’s room

together will affect the room they will be living in for the next few



Firstly, when choosing your babies furniture, try not to put too

much focus on the cot. Obviously it is very important to find one

that is safe and comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing, but

try to remember that your baby will only be in it for about 2 years. If

you have bought furniture to match it, consider how that furniture

will look in 5 or 10 few years time. Unless you want to spend a lot

of money every few years, pick furniture that will work for an older

child as well.


Chests of drawers that have a change table attached are great as

long as you like the chest of drawers themselves. Otherwise you

are better off buying a cheaper change table and getting rid of it

when your child is out of nappies.


It is tempting to indulge in child size furniture but probably best

limited to chairs and tables. Scaled down wardrobes and chests of

drawers can look very out of proportion when your child upgrades

to a bed, especially in rooms with high ceilings. Children grow very

quickly, and their clothes get bigger and longer. You will need the

space an adult wardrobe provides. You can always make it more

fun by changing the knobs or painting it in a colour to co-ordinate

with the room.


Avoid babyish themes unless you really do want to change the

room every few years. It may be hard to reconcile the fact that your

gorgeous 6 week old baby will one day be a headstrong 3 year old,

but it will happen. Young children hate to be considered to be

“babies” and will reject babyish things. You can either choose a

colour based theme and add more sophisticated items as the child

grows, or choose a theme slightly older than your child to start with

and your child will grow into it. Wall to wall ‘Winnie the Pooh” will

be the bane of your existence by the time your child is three.


Choose your linen carefully. Falling in love with a cot cover and

designing your room around it is a great idea, but think about what

will happen when your child moves to a bed. Does the

manufacturer make a single bed doona cover in the same pattern?

If so, buy it at the same time as the cot cover. You will regret it if

you don’t because it will undoubtedly be discontinued a few years

later. If you change your mind and hate it a few years later you can

always sell it on ebay to someone with less foresight than you!


When designing a room for a client I usually start by sourcing

some great fabric for the bed coverings. I then have a cot cover

and single bed cover made, as well as matching cushion covers.

Then I co-ordinate the room around the colours and patterns in the

fabric and there is a seamless transition as the child grows up.

A child’s room will always be a work in progress, but if you start

with good basics you will save yourself a lot of money and hard

work in the long run.


Carmen Raynor is an interior designer specialising in kid's rooms.  Her Retro Rooms for modern kids can be found at



Last updated by Paula Kuhnemann:Smart Woman Jun 1, 2009.

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