When you find out that you are going to become a parent, many things run through your mind. After the initial shock, joy, uncertainty, and acceptance, there is only one thing to do: prepare for baby! This can be a great deal of fun, and one way to include your husband and get him excited too. I find it more fun to design a home nursery once the sex of the baby is known, but for those of you who want the sex to be a surprise, there are still tons of options to make your baby's space unique. Baby products are always in demand, and have come a long way in terms of having options for style. Traditional, transitional, and contemporary furnishings and accessories are all available at a variety of price ranges.
We'll begin designing your dream nursery with determining a color scheme for your little one's new space. For girls the tradition has always been soft pink, but I find more new parents wanting other options. Look at brighter pinks or soft purples/ lavenders. Powder blue is no longer your only option for boys either. Orange or green hues can also be used to spice up your son's space. If you want to be really inventive or brave, use combinations of the above colors to set your nursery apart from the rest. One of my favorite combinations is a soft pink with orange accents for happy baby girls, or blue and soft green for a bouncing baby boy. For those trying to prep nursery's for a baby whose sex is not known, yellow is very common, but you could still use an orange or green theme and add the blue, pink, or purples in later. My personal favorite option for this situation is to remain very neutral. Bright or soft whites, tans, and browns can be easily accented to reflect the sex of your little one once you bring them home. This can also give mom something to do during the resting period after the birth.
On a normal basis, I discourage matching furnishings, but for nurseries it seems very appropriate. It gives a crisper, cleaner look, which most new moms find to be very appealing in the “nesting” period. If a whole suite of furnishings is purchased you should have a crib, changing table, and chest of drawers or armoire. White painted, natural or stained woods are my general recommendation. I don't believe in purchasing new furnishings for every child, but instead changing the surroundings and accessories to reflect the child's individuality, therefore I would consider it bad practice to purchase a pink, blue, or gender specific crib. The only exception would be for my clients who have more than enough money to burn and are less concerned with cost than showing off their new bundle of joy's space.
For mom's comfort I like to specify either nursing chairs, or for those who bottle-feed, a comfy rocker/glider (some nursing mothers like to have these chairs as well). Dads are fond of the gliders too, and I will get requests to accommodate more than one in a room so he can share the experiences with his spouse.
Baby items have become big business, and accessories and bedding can be found everywhere. If you're looking for value, you are no longer given two or three options, there are thousands. Quality items are also abundant, but becoming more boutique store items, as cheaper alternatives have started to affect their niche markets. Baby bedding and curtains can be purchased to match, but in this regard, I still like to switch it up and add a designer's touch by using coordinating (not matching!) fabrics. Accessories for babies' rooms can go from art to decals on walls, knickknacks or vases, toys, and mobiles.
As far as making feedings and other things more convenient, I like to include a hidden bottle prep area in the closet, which generally isn't used until the child is older (unless for storing extra items baby is to young for). A small freestanding refrigerator for extra milk or nursery water can be easily hidden in most closets and the bottle warmer and clean bottles stored on racks can be neatly placed on top of the refrigerator for easy accessibility.