With the royal baby due in July, leading nursery designers show Gabrielle Fagan how to set up the perfect room for a VIB (Very Important Baby).
Creating a nursery for a new baby is one of the most enjoyable preparations for prospective parents, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undoubtedly be choosing the best that money can buy for their eagerly-awaited baby.
“This is a room on which people lavish a huge amount of care, attention and money, and they will often want it to match the rest of their home and style,” says Lucinda Croft, managing director of Dragons of Walton Street, which created nurseries for Princes William and Harry, as well as their cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
“Parents-to-be view a nursery as a particularly special space. After all, it’s their child’s first view of the world and a room they will probably never forget, so getting it right is incredibly important.”
Princess Diana chose a pale blue Beatrix Potter design for her sons’ nursery, while Beatrice and Eugenie’s featured a Flower Fairy design and pale pink gingham.
Nowadays, on-trend parents are opting for a neutral palette, says Croft, and prefer to add colour and personality through accessories or hand-painted murals.
She’s created a new royal-style luxury nursery, Suite Dreams, at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, which features child-sized furnishings, as well as Dragons’ classic rush-seat chairs, a favourite among celebrities - both Samantha Cameron and Sophie Dahl had their own hand-painted creations.
“Muted colours are very ‘in’ at the moment,” says Croft. “People are moving away from bright primary shades, which apparently is due to the economic downturn. Instead, they want a quiet, peaceful sanctuary, where they can feel away from the world; particularly important as we endure stressful economic times.
“It’s sensible cost-wise, as gentle shades such as ivory, cream and dove grey will still be suitable for an older child, so there’s no need for an expensive redecoration.”
Croft says nurseries should be magical places where memories are created. One cot we made was upholstered to resemble a fluffy cloud, with drapes hung with crystal droplets to replicate raindrops, and a mural of a glowing pink sunrise and sky, while murals can transform a room.”
Choose from one of these four royal decor settings.
Little Palace - A traditional setting is enhanced with period-style nursery furniture, bringing a sense of harmony to a room. “There’s an increasing desire for exquisite ornate furniture which reflects antiquity and can be passed down through the family as heirlooms,” says Toks Aruoture, owner of specialist nursery company Punkin Patch.
Room for a Princess - Pretty and pink is the conventional and timeless combination for a girl’s nursery.Room for a Prince - Classic blue decor will always be a favourite for boys’ rooms.
Golden kingdom - Rooms where no expense is spared are no longer the sole prerogative of celebrities.