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An Insider's Guide to Creating an Awesome Transitional Nursery

July 06, 2015

The difference between designing a traditional nursery and a transitional one involves more than swapping alphabet blocks for neutral wallpaper. Interior designer, Patricia Halpin says it’s all incorporating, clean functional design with a few personal pieces to truly make the space grow. Most parents will need to redecorate a child’s room about three times from birth to adulthood, so it’s important to begin by picking the right staples to ensure that you don’t throw out furniture with each passing milestone. “Having furniture that allows them to play but will also incorporate enough storage for their clothes as they grow and change is important, she says.” “Certain beds such as race cars are so short term, so if you can fit a double bed, or even a queen-sized bed in a room, instead of a twin bed, then I would say try to do that because they are more flexible. ” This also goes for beds with headboard and footboard combinations, as children tend to quickly outgrow these types of restrictive designs. This Oeuf Sparrow crib is ideal because it can easily convert in to a toddler bed. By positioning the crib towards the back of the room, it gives a growing toddler tons of space to run around on the soft carpet and rug.
Staple pieces such as a dresser and night table should not be overlooked because it may seem like the child is too young to use them. Incorporating a bookcase, that can be used to house bins for storing everything from diapers to blankets will also allow your child to have a place to keep their favourite items as they get older. This dresser/change table and the bookcase featured in the room below, are excellent examples of how to incorporate functional and beautiful furniture in to a small space.
Creating an ultra modern nursery room, is extremely popular right now,  however, Halpin says that one of the most common mistakes parents make while decorating a child’s room is overspending on trendy finds. Instead, sticking to more timeless pieces will guarantee that you’ll love market finds from today, just as much as tomorrow. “If you are doing trends, then try to do it so that if you have to change things later, you can ensure that it is only small things that you are changing such as accessories or photos on the wall,” she says.
                          Contemporary Nursery by Brooklyn Kids & Nursery SISSY+MARLEY
Choose your colours wisely. Although blue and pink remain the two most popular colours for kids rooms, opting for more gender neutral shades instead of bright bold patterns or wallpaper will save you time and money in the future when your little one outgrows dinos and alphabet prints. “Keep it classic for boys and girls with colours such as yellow and green. Traditionally, blue is for boys, but you can also use things that have blue in it for girls and maybe even girly it up by incorporating some white, and adding some girly linens.” This room is painted in a neutral shade and bright accent colours are incorporated to create a warm unisex environment.
Most importantly, when transitioning a nursery into a room for a toddler or early grade schooler, be sure to get them involved in the decision making. “I had a client who’s kids are very artistic and so I had her kids create drawings and we put them in little shadow boxes,” she says. “They are so proud of it and it’s really their little space, so you want it to reflect their personality and you want it to be a place that addresses their little fantasies.”
This room was designed for a very girly girl. Halpin added personal details such as shadow boxes adorned with vintage Barbie dresses and this little eyelet dress and satin purse.

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