5 Ways to Design and Organic Baby Nursery

If you're nesting, you know what this title means by 'tonight'. That is, this room must be designed and decorated NOW!  

Since there's no time like the present, let's get started on 5 ways to create an eco-chic nursery tonight, not tomorrow, but tonight. These 5 areas for action will help you design a cozy nest for your little one using natural materials, organic products, and share some easy and affordable ideas on upcycling old furniture and accessories into new. 

1. Start with space planning. Grab a note book or some scratch paper and a pen and start laying out your nursery. If you have the time and inclination, check out some fun free floor planning and layout tools at sites like Floor Planner. Main furniture and large items to check off your list are included below. When choosing furniture, try using items you already have or up cycle that old dresser into a diaper changing station. An old trunk can double as a toy bin or side table for your cozy nursing station. A living room floor lamp can be embellished with shade flair and fit right into baby's new nest.

  • Crib (co-sleeper or bassinet can stay in your room for now)
  • Chest of drawers (if there's room in your space great, otherwise we can play with closet space to give you what you need in terms of bins/boxes to store ridiculously cute items like socks and hats)
  • Changing table/are (this could double with the Chest above if you're shy of space
  • Rocker or Glider (you may want this in your room, but we recommend adding it to the nursery if there's room. It's just nice to create an environment for your baby that's comfortable for all of you during the day or night. You want baby to be comforted in her space and connect that soothing space with his own room.)
  • Lighting (this can be overhead/recessed, but we also recommend some floor/task lighting that you can turn on at night that's gentle and soothing for you and baby)
  • Window coverings including blackout roller blinds or drapes - consider a DIY solution here. Find a happy upholstery weight or heavier cotton print and stitch some blackout material on it and call it totally custom. Off white or gray combines well with most cottons.
  • Area rug(s) if needed
 2. Gather elements above PLUS accessories, art, items you've accumulated before delivery, etc. These might include:
  • Wall art
  • Family heirlooms such as blankets and clothing (Gather things that you'll want to use, but preserve and even display.)
  • Picture and board books (Find a few old favorites from your bookshelf or used book store. Consider asking for a 'Library Building Baby Shower' to celebrate your newest family reader's arrival.)
  • Table and wall frames (Touch up with paint or other embellishment old frames that maybe be hiding in a box somewhere.)
  • Growth charts (Create your own with 2 yard sticks drilled into the wall. Add wall decals on either side to spice up the design.)
  • Toys (If they have them, ask your parents for a few of your old wooden eco-friendly toys to display in the room.)
  • Storage items and baskets (Use what you have and tie colorful ribbons around the top/handles for a cute look.)
  • Clothes
  • Mom and Dad accessories: Throw blankets for night feeding, Boppy, nursing items
  • All other nursery essentials that you've accumulated so far including any favorites from Satsuma Designs. You can spend the weeks and months ahead enjoying the nesting phase!

3. Clear out and clean the room. If you're converting a spare bedroom, storage area or even a home office you'll want to store items in a way that will be easy to set them back up again in another location or after they've been put out to pasture for a spell. Recycle old boxes and ask your local liquor store for free empty boxes (they're usually smaller in scale so while not as much may fit in them, they're very easy to lift and fit into small storage areas).

Pick up as many as you can fit in your vehicle and begin filling them, marking as you go. Store like items with like items and even take quick phone photo of the contents if you like. Large furniture will need a home and if you're ready to purge consider listing items on a local sale or up cycle site. You can get credits for other items in some of these programs.

Check out BarterQuest for a primer. Give the room a once or twice over with all natural, organic cleaning supplies. Check out our recipe list here at Satsuma Designs for 5 Must Have Tools for Organic Spring Cleaning.

4. Paint the room. To really get this done in a night, we recommend using wall decals that can be found in a zillion patterns and baby friendly prints. These are quick to display and there's no paint fumes to avoid. If you do paint tonight, please have your partner do it and use NO VOC paint.

Use a light color to lower the toxin load on all paint and thoroughly ventilate your space now and in the coming days. Sherwin Williams and all the other major paint players have great products that are addressing consumers' concerns around toxins. Prices amongst these shops will vary, but always ask for a promotion or at least 10% off for expecting parents discount!

5. Furnish the room. Go to town! Remember to lift with your knees and ask for help when you need it. Throw down your area rug and start moving furniture in. Play around with placement until the room feels tranquil and serene. Remember to consider time of day in the room and where sun might shine during nap time. Decide where you'd like to sit and nurse in the middle of the night and place your rocker there. Add a small side table to hold a glass of water and your iPhone for lullabies. Should the crib be nestled away from the door and traffic area? Have fun finding the answers and relish this time in your new little nest!

 * Our only disclaimer is this. While we've been right where you are and amped up enough to design and decorate a nursery in a night, we also want you to do some deep breathing and sip some herbal tea. You can gently instruct your partner to execute on these tips above tonight just please don't overdo it and enjoy the ride!

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