Designer Kenneth Brown
Kenneth shares some great advice on saving money and creatively reusing non-nursery furniture for the baby's room without giving up good design.
1. So, Kenneth, when starting a nursery for a new baby, what's the most important thing to keep in mind?
Remember this room is still part of your home and should reflect a style that is comfortable for you to spend a lot of time in. It should also be a design that can easily translate into a toddler’s room. They grow too fast!
2. What are your best tips for saving money while decorating a nursery? Where can you scrimp and where should you plan to spend a little?
Here are some tips for saving money on nursery design:
- Make an area rug out of leftover remnants from the local carpet store. Look for easy to maintain carpets that are soft. You can create a fun custom shape without breaking the bank. An area rug is a great place for tummy-time in the middle of the room.
- Instead of painting the entire room, consider painting a 42” horizontal border in a fun color on the walls.
- Don’t overspend on an expensive crib unless it converts into a toddler’s bed. There are many affordable cribs that look great!
- Invest in a comfortable rocking chair. Most of the time I spent with my newborn daughter, Harper, was in a slip-covered rocking chair (because spit-up happens...the slipcover has been a great investment).
3. It's a great time to apply "creative reuse" in the home. How can you reuse existing or thrifted items to save money and the planet while decorating a new nursery?
I used a chest of drawers that I already owned for Harper’s changing table. It was the perfect height for me, and I attached a changing table frame and pad to it. When Harper grows up, I can easily remove the changing pad and frame. (:: SouleMama also used an existing bureau for a changing table).
4. What are your favorite nursery/kids room storage solutions?
I’m a fan of storage with baskets with handles! You can take the entire basket with you around the house and easily carry it back to the nursery when finished playing or doing laundry. A talent you will develop as a new parent is the ability to work with just one available hand—so being able to hold storage with one hand is great!
5. How can parents give a nursery unique and creative character?
- Find photos of you and your family and frame them to coordinate with your nursery’s design (:: Ali Edwards just did a lovely family photo display in her new nursery).
- Don’t ignore the ceiling. Remember that is what your baby will see the most of. I hung butterflies from the ceiling and Harper is now starting to notice them and coo at them. It’s the best sound ever!
6. What's the biggest mistake you commonly see in nursery/kids room design?
A big mistake parents make (and I did it too!) is using materials that do not hold up well to wear and tear. Although this is an emotional time, you have to think practically. A baby’s room should be a worry-free zone and have good design at the same time. Also, open floor space is very important! This is the one time I say it’s okay to have all of your furniture up against the walls!
Thanks, Kenneth. Your tips on nursery design are wonderful.
About Kenneth Brown:
Kenneth is one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after interior designers and has long been acclaimed for his ability to blend warm Southern hospitality with clean Southern California lines. Kenneth has two hit TV shows, HGTV’s reDesign and TLC’s Over Designed, and is MSN’s resident interior design expert. A new father himself, the birth of Kenneth’s daughter Harper has influenced his recent designs. In fact, Kenneth introduces his first foray into baby bedding this month—with the new Kenneth Brown Baby collection with Babies“R”Us. For more information on Kenneth Brown, visit kennethbrowndesign.com.
Here's a peek at the new Kenneth Brown Baby collection, available at Babies "R" Us: