The joy of setting up a nursery is something only new parents can understand. The sheer excitement of building a world for your newborn and the anticipation of selecting every perfect thing. Needless to say, building a nursery is perhaps the definition of a “labor of love”.
Unfortunately, love cannot trump time. As your child quickly grows up, you will see things you bought with great affection being rendered useless. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You have the option of creating a nursery that could be adaptable for kids of all ages. Think about a playroom sofa that doubles as a couch, or a playroom wall storage that could also be an excellent bookshelf. In simple terms, how about setting up a nursery that grows with your kids? Here’s everything you would need to know.
Laying The Foundation
Creating a multi-functional kid’s space is something that should be reflected in the core approach when setting up the nursery. Most parents tend to only think about what their child – the little bundle of joy – would like *right now*. Instead, you need to learn to start thinking about what your kid would like (or at least find interesting) over the years.
For instance, imagine a wall poster with illustrations and text. While your toddler would initially be fascinated by the illustrations, he will also slowly start reading the text as he grows up. In this way, you found a wall décor that would last you for many years. Or think about a diaper changing station that could eventually become a playroom storage furniture. Such kind of approach should be reflected in any decision you take for the nursery.
Finding The Right Furniture
1. Convertible Crib
Even if you google “furniture that grows with my child”, convertible cribs would be the top results. Convertible cribs, as the name suggests, are cribs that could be converted into other furniture. In most cases, cribs could be converted into a toddler bed (by replacing the guard rails with smaller rails and/or adding a headrest). Some cribs could be further converted into an adult bed by expanding their surface area. There is no limit to convertible furniturefor kids options in the market. With it, you can ensure that your child’s bed remains the same right from infancy to teenage.
2. Multi-functional storage units
As little as they are, kids are already swamped with worldly possessions. And this is only going to get worse with time. Your kid would need to store different stuff at different ages, but you can’t keep buying playroom storage cabinets every few years. Hence, you need to plan ahead and pick storage units that offer multiple functions to you. For instance, some storage units allow their internal partitions to be re-arranged, thus allowing you to create drawers as per your needs. Many others work as a changing station when need be, then detach the top shelf and function as a regular cabinet.
3. Furniture That Could Be Repurposed
Eventually every piece of furniture outlives its utility. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be reborn as something new. Repurposing furniture means modifying it into something else entirely with minimal effort/cost. Not every play room furniture can be repurposed, so it is something you need to keep in mind before you buy the furniture for your nursery. For example, a crib could be turned into a stool, or a toddler bed be turned into a playroom couch.
Choosing The Right Accessories
- Be Wise With The Toys: Toys remain the primary thing parents tend to go overboard with. It is understandable that you would want to give every soft, cute thing to your precious kid. However, the fact remains that most toddlers prefer to play with just one or two toys and discard any further choices. Rather than quantity, you should focus on quality. Pick toys that are durable and could be your kid’s companion for many years. Furthermore, try to go beyond soft toys and pick toys rated for all ages, like puzzles, balls, or coloring books.
- Lights & Sound: When you are installing the fittings in the nursery, do remember about two very vital senses: seeing and hearing. Infants mostly love darkness or natural light, but as they grow up they need soothing light to move around and – eventually – bright lights to read and do other tasks. If you are installing lights, you can choose ones that satisfy all these needs. Sound is a similar scenario. For infants, sound speakers might be helpful in playing soothing music or playing recorded lullabies. But music is something everyone, of all ages, enjoys. Hence, invest in a speaker that could last you multiple years.
Versatility in Design and Décor
- Pick Your Own Colors: Most parents try to design their nurseries like it’s a world apart from their regular home. The thing with “standing out” is that there is a high chance the room would stand out, in a few years, “like a sore thumb”. Instead, go with colors that (more or less) match the color theme you already picked for the rest of your home.
- Don’t Use A Theme: Choosing a nursery theme is a big trend at the moment. Princess, Astronaut, Sportsplayer, Hero – the theme topics are endless. However, if you want your nursery to last without a redesign, perhaps skip on the theme. Most themes for babies won’t work on pre-teens or even toddlers. It’s better to skip the theme rather than choosing one only to remove it a few years later.
- Get Durable Flooring: Busy with cribs and playroom sofa beds, most people never think about the fact your child would spend a lot of time on the floor. From crawling around and playing with toys to running around the room – your floor would see it all. As such, you would want flooring that is kid-friendly yet lasts many years. Laminated wood flooring is a slightly expensive but very durable option that would last throughout your kid’s childhood. If you want to pick rugs, go with ones with good-quality material.
Case Studies: Real-life Transformations
For Hannah Smith (Illinois, Pennsylvania) and her husband Martin, setting up a nursery was a messy affair. Particularly because when they moved into their new home with their 2-year-old son, Hannah was already expecting another daughter in a few months. Short on space, the couple decided to create a nursery that would be cozy to their newborn daughter as well as appealing to their young son. The first step was to ditch boy-blue and girl-pink, and go with gender-neutral palettes; they finally settled on warm pastel shades of ivory and grey. They installed smooth wooden flooring that was easy enough for her daughter to crawl while also being able to withstand her son running around. They also picked convertible playroom cabinets which could be modified as per their storage needs over the years.
Shelley Woods (Austin, Texas) had a different motivation. As a single mother expecting her first child, things were bound to get difficult - particularly from a financial aspect. Despite her desire to get the best stuff for her infant, Shelley understood that she needed to invest in items that would work for a long time. And thus, durability and longevity became the mantra of her nursery setup. She chose a convertible 3-in-1 crib which could eventually turn into a toddler bed and finally into a day bed. Shelley also picked playroom seating and storage furniture that focused on space over aesthetics; this ensured she wouldn’t have to buy another storage unit for many years. As for the décor, she made sure that the color scheme of the nursery blended well with the rest of the house and could be repurposed into another room without having to paint over.
In every aspect of our lives, we look for solutions that could last us many years. Your nursery doesn’t have to be any different. Even as your toddler grows into a healthy adult, the nursery around him/her could remain the same familiar place. Investing into playroom furniture or room décor not only saves your money, but also ensures that your efforts and care that went into choosing them don’t go to waste so soon. Not to mention, keeping things same over the years also allows your child to form an emotional attachment with the space. It’s a win-win for all of us.