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Choosing a Color Scheme for the Baby Nursery

One of the most exciting parts for most parents when planning for the arrival of their baby is designing a nursery.  One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made in planning the nursery is choosing a color scheme.  The colors you will use are a key component that will set the mood in the nursery, so you will need to choose wisely.  With thousands of colors and combinations to choose from, how can you make the best decision to create the perfect nursery of your dreams?

First and foremost, you need to start with an idea of what you want before just rushing to the store and buying the first paint colors that look good.  Many times, unless you’re one of the few lucky people out there, this will only bring disappointment and frustration.  Remember, it is best to take your time when planning the perfect nursery, so make sure you give yourself enough time to plan before baby arrives. 

One of the best places to find ideas for your nursery is the Internet.  You will find thousands of ideas from both professional and personal sources.  See what other people have done, and decide what you like and what you don’t.  One of my favorite places to get color schemes is HGTV’s Rate My Space website.  You could also try going to a book store and browsing room decorating books.  The way that I chose a color scheme for the nursery was by selecting the bedding I was going to use first.  I had no idea what colors or theme I wanted to go with for the nursery.   I decided that first I would choose a bedding set and then base my colors from that, which worked out great.  If you are having trouble knowing what colors you want to use based off of a website or book, maybe you will be inspired by a blanket or maybe even a picture.  Shop around until you know what you want to do. 

Once you have an idea of a scheme, it’s time to test it before you decide to put it on your walls.  Many companies that sell paint have a place on their website to test color combinations in a room of your choice, such as the Sherwin-Williams paint visualizer.  You can oftentimes select a premade room or even upload a picture of the nursery itself to try different colors in.  This tool will give you the name of the paints you have selected so you can know exactly what you want when you go to make a purchase.  Also, this tool can be helpful as it will automatically generate ideas for coordinating colors to accent the nursery with if you’re not sure what colors would be complimentary.  Keep in mind that your nursery will probably have at least three colors involved; the wall color, the furniture color, and an accenting color.  For example, the main colors for my son’s room are white (the furniture), soft beige (the walls), and chocolate brown and sky blue as accents.  Accents can be anything from artwork, bedding, shelves, a rocking chair, or even the dresser painted a custom color.  Unless your theme is monochromatic, you will want to have at least three colors overall in the nursery.

Taking a trip to your local paint store and selecting the color swatches is the next step, whether you have used an online tool to select them, or whether you are just going by what catches your eye.  If you are basing your color selections from bedding or a picture, bring the item with you so you can easily match colors or find coordinating colors without having to guess.  Even if you’ve used an online tool to visualize the paint colors in a room, it is probably a good idea to bring several swatches home with you before making a purchase.  Many times paint colors will look very different on a computer screen or on a swatch in the store.    Most importantly, save yourself some frustration by bringing the swatches home first and looking at them in the light of the room it may be used in.  Look at it during different times of the day.  Some paint companies sell miniature containers of paint colors to paint a small portion of your wall to test the color before investing in a large amount.  Do what you think will help you make the best decision.

Once you have selected your colors, it’s time to decide how to use them.  You may decide to paint the walls one solid color or paint one wall an accent color, such as the wall behind the crib.  Making a pattern or design such as stripes or circles is another option.  Try drawing it on a piece of paper first before you go for it.  You probably don’t want your nursery to be too busy and drawing it first will help you visualize a pattern.  Remember that the main wall color will have the most effect on the mood of the room, so if you are wanting a calm room, use lighter colors.  If you want a bold or rich room, use the brighter or darker colors.  Once you have decided on the wall colors, the accent colors will fall into place.  Accent colors are just the icing on the cake, adding visual interest to highlight different areas of the room.  You can use accent colors in the bedding, furniture, or the artwork you choose for the nursery.  If you are especially creative, you may want to paint-your-own nursery artwork.  Just remember that the accent color should not overwhelm the space, but be used tastefully and in key places.  Trust your gut when deciding on how much to accent and when in doubt, get a second opinion of a trusted friend or family member who will be honest. 

Most importantly, don’t be overwhelmed by the process.  Planning the color scheme of your baby’s nursery should be fun and not stressful.  If you find you are having a hard time, step away from it for a while until you can come back to it with full energy and a fresh start.  Go with your vision and make it happen! 

And once you’re done with the colors, you may need help choosing your nursery layout.  Read about choosing a layout for the nursery right now.

How did you make your decision for a nursery color scheme?



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