It’s OK to Design Your Nursery for Yourself

It’s OK to Design Your Nursery for Yourself

Elizabeth Licata
Sep 12, 2014

Having spent the better part of the past nine months searching for, ogling, and pinning inspiration pictures for nursery decor, I’ve come to one conclusion: It’s okay for the nursery decor to be all about you.

While I was gathering my own decor inspiration pictures, I found several stunningly glamorous or modern nurseries that looked comfortable and stylish enough that I envied the babies whose bedrooms were cooler than mine. But while I was wondering if it would be wrong to hang a mobile in my adult bedroom, there were almost invariably some commenters impugning the design choices and even parenting skills of the people who laid out those rooms on the grounds that the rooms were designed for the parents’ tastes, not the upcoming baby’s.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s fine. Babies don’t know about midcentury furniture and can’t talk about Jackson Pollack, but Winnie the Pooh is just as alien to a newborn. With no way of knowing what the baby will like in a year, you might as well create the nursery of your dreams and then make adjustments as the baby gets bigger and becomes able to express likes and dislikes.

My infant owns a lot of pastel dinosaurs and “baby-friendly” art, but at this point the only things she’s interested in looking at are my black iron headboard and a big piece of modern art in the living room. I’m not trying to humblebrag about my infant having some kind of inborn taste for sophisticated art or anything, it’s just that babies’ eyes don’t see well at first. The big, brightly colored picture in the black frame is probably the only thing she can really focus on.

Maybe someday she’ll love Winnie the Pooh, and at that point I’ll happily nail up some prints she likes and fill the shelves with toys and stuffed animals of her choice, no matter how tacky or how much they clash with the rug. But until my infant is big enough to actually like things besides food and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies," anything that goes in the nursery is a guess at best, so I'm just going to go with things I think are pretty and hope she agrees.

The baby and the parent are going to wind up spending approximately equal times in the nursery. The baby doesn’t care what it looks like, so you might as well make yourself comfortable. You’re going to be in there for a while.

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