5 Tips for Designing a Safe and Stylish Nursery in Your Apartment
While safety is no doubt the primary concern of any expectant parent, many also have to consider the space they have available. This is especially important in you live in an apartment. Of course, you also want your nursery to be a warm, inviting, and even stylish space that reflects your aesthetic and welcomes you and your baby. Luckily, you can meet all of your goals when designing a nursery for your newborn. Here are some tips to get you going.
- Start at the beginning. While you might not have the authority to make many changes in your apartment, your landlord may allow you to paint (at your own cost) or even install carpeting in your nursery (even if only temporarily). But when it comes to safety issues regarding these products, you probably don’t have the first idea of how to find the best options for your newborn’s bedroom. For one thing, most paint products contain potentially harmful toxins called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can linger for months or even years. So you might want to look for non-VOC options. As for carpeting, organic-fiber pile is chemical-free and should not cause allergic reactions.
- Furniture. In design, the number one rule should always be “form follows function”. What this means for your nursery is that style comes second to utility and safety. Certainly you might find a crib or changing table that is undeniably chic. But if it has received terrible safety ratings from consumer reporting agencies, or been the subject of a recall, you definitely don’t want it. That said, once you’ve found essential furnishings that meet your criteria for safety, you’ll want to make sure that they fit in your space (which can, of course, be limited in an apartment) and that they go with the style of your home. On the utility front, you might also want to consider convertible options like a crib that can transform into a child’s bed as your infant grows.
- Lighting and accessories. Once you’ve got the foundations of your room in place, it’s time to decorate. You’ll want to begin with lighting options, and you should assemble a mixture that includes an overhead light, preferably on a dimmer switch, a lamp, and a nightlight. These will provide you with options for all kinds of activities. As for accessories, you should think about the possibility of organic linens and make sure that all additional items meet safety standards so that they don’t pose a choking or suffocation hazard or the risk of poisoning. And anything on top of furniture should be secured with safety tape (like Velcro). Once your baby starts crawling and climbing, items atop furnishings could become dangerous if they should topple and fall.
- Storage. There are a couple of really great reasons to include abundant storage solutions in your nursery plan. For one thing, space in most apartments is at a premium, so having a place to put everything can only add to the utility of your nursery, not to mention help you to keep the area looking clean and clutter-free. In addition, toys littering the play area can definitely be a hazard. So rather than leaving blocks, stuffed animals, books, and other toys underfoot, keep them safely stored for your own safety and that of your child. In-closet storage is ideal, but shelving or cubbies complete with bins can offer a storage wall that runs floor-to-ceiling, maximizing use of even limited space.
- Toys. The final piece of the nursery puzzle is the inclusion of toys for your newborn. On the safety front you’ll obviously want to include items that are rated for infants. But you also want to consider quantity. Too many toys in the crib or playard can be hazardous. So limit yourself to just a few, knowing that gifts from family and friends are probably coming your way. And don’t hesitate to donate any extras that your baby has no use for so that they can benefit a family in need rather than letting them pile up in your nursery.