Painting Baby's World

On Your Mark, Get Set ... GO

The baby is on the way and before long the nursery will have to be finished. Decorating for a new baby can be a lot of fun - and it's all about doing what makes Mom happy. The basics are pretty - well, basic. Just make sure baby's safety is first and décor is second.

· Make sure the baby gear is safe and functional

· Ensure the furniture is safety compliant

· Decide on a layout for the room

· Choose a décor style and colors

· Make a list of necessities in the same theme as the décor

· Start shopping!

What's the Biggest Part of the Nursery?

The biggest and most obvious part of nursery décor is the walls. The nursery walls provide the backdrop for everything else and they set the tone and affect the mood of the room. The color, painting technique, nursery wallpaper or art that has been chosen has a profound effect upon the feeling you will have when you go into the nursery.

Even though you have chosen your color wheel brilliantly and you've checked all of the latest gurus of nursery world, if your window treatment or the baby's bedding set is a bright and busy print, then papering the entire nursery with a great, bold pattern just isn't going to work. Sooner or later the energy (not necessarily positive) will take you to the last nerve in your body.

Bold colors are great, and given that babies see color in purity (without association like we do as adults), they can be very stimulating. However, if you're thinking of mixing bold colors and bright patterns, then it might be a good idea to invite a professional with lots of experience in to help. The best thing for a do-it-yourself decorator is to grab color and inspiration from either the largest design or most colorful pattern you're using and keep it simple.

It's Your Thing, Do What You Want to Do

DIY decorating is usually the way things are done these days, especially with the economy in the condition it is in. As a result, paint, paper, and décor companies are making it easier than ever to find nursery themes and decorating ideas in virtually any design you'd like. For example, if a giraffe theme is your pick, then paint a savanna on the wall and make a grouping of "wild animals" that would appear in the jungle to occupy a strategic spot in the room. If the chosen décor is a cowboy theme for the nursery, then create a border with a cactus stamp all around the edging of the wall.

Regardless what your decision, your main theme should dictate how the nursery wall is finished - whether a mural, stamp, wallpaper or smooshing. Another thing, don't let the "decorating mavens" in the magazines dictate what you do. Just because they say wallpaper is passé, if you have found a paper that you absolutely love, hang it and enjoy it. Unless you're planning to put your house up for sale, decorate the way you want - it's your game.

The Choices are Endless

Decorating methods come and go, so wallpaper, borders and stickies, like everything self, are constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the consumer. You can get almost anything you want, from faux moldings to embossed metals. Just a reminder - wallpaper (whether you hang it or you have someone else do the job) costs a lot more than paint. If painting intimidates you, practice on some pieces of wood until you get the technique down pat so you're not disappointed in the job when it's done.

A Few Bright Ideas

A solid wall color provides the perfect backdrop for great hangings, pictures, and giant letters spelling the baby's name, or painting a favorite quote on the wall. You can even create a mural using wallpaper cutouts or stickies in just one area on the wall instead of doing a huge mural. Here are a few other ideas:

· Paint the top third of the nursery one color and the bottom in another. At the joining line, paper a wonderful border.

· Create your own design on the wall by using a projector or tracing kit

· Stencil your theme motif onto the wall

· Paint hearts, polka dots or diamonds scattered randomly on the walls

· Cover the ceiling with clouds or stars

· Mask off stripes and paint them red and white for a Cat in the Hat theme

· Use colors that are pleasing to you - pastels can make a statement, just not as loudly as bold colors

Regardless whether you've decorated yourself before or not, there are many tools and helps available to make it a fun experience and one you'll enjoy.