When you're expecting your first (or - in my case - third) baby, there really is nothing that comes close to the excitement of styling a nursery...
While we will take pretty blankets and divine artwork any day, the key to the room is – of course – the cot and the dresser. For this, we go straight to the latest brand of contemporary nursery furniture – Kidsmill. With their signature Dutch design and a distinctively clean, minimalistic aesthetic, they provide the perfect base for a nursery. Timeless, thoughtful and with styles to suit all homes, let’s just say we’re glad they’re now available in Australia … But secretly wish they were around six years ago.
What’s more, all Kidsmill cots come with a ‘junior side’ which transforms the cot into a junior bed, daybed or sofa, so the piece can grow with your child, making it one of the few baby investments that will last well into childhood. And to add to the beauty of the range, with each purchase of a nursery package (which includes a cot, cot mattress and dresser), there is complimentary home delivery and assembly (including set up and complete rubbish removal – hooray), making it a convenient, hassle-free experience, which is exactly what we all need when expecting a new family arrival.
We styled three beautiful sets and spoke to some of our favourite stylists to hear their tips on how to decorate the ultimate nursery. So if you’re ready to enter the nesting phase, consider this your guide…
Photography: Hellene Algie | Go to www.kidsmill.com.au
SHOP: KIDSMILL Portland chest in white/oak, $1,199. KIDSMILL Portland cot in white/oak, $1,149. Pretty Snippets wire words, $45 each. Pretty Snippets rainbow, $55. Numero 74 flag bunting, $29. Pretty Snippets ‘Toys’ basket, $52. Pretty Snippets framed pressed flowers. Rose In April blanket, $119, from Kido Store. Lilu Wicker Dolls Pram, $245, from Talo Interiors. Armadillo & Co rug. Olli Ella changing basket, $119, from Kido Store. Numero 74 mobile stars, from $22. Sunday Lane print, $39. Maileg bunny, $77, from Kido Store. A selection of books from Kido store. Twenty One Fifteen heart, $49.95. Bedding from Kido Store. Numero 74 star cushions, from $49.95, from Kido Store. Little Peach cushion, $60. Mama Maya swaddle, $38.Numero 74 fitted cot sheet, $88, from Kido Store
"When designing for little spaces, I like to keep it really gentle. These babies need the softest little vibes … Because above all, we need them to sleep!"
Rachel Castle, founder of Castle and Things
"I will never forget the experience of decorating my firstborn’s nursery - I took the time to enjoy it. You don’t have the time with your second (and beyond). For me, it was about creating a calm sanctuary filled with pieces that sparked joy (thank you Marie Kondo). The cot and dresser were the big tickets items – pieces I invested in as I knew they’d be passed onto my next baby. KIDSMILL’s Portland cot and dresser is my all-time favourite"
Georgie Abay, founder of The Grace Tales
SHOP: KIDSMILL Portland chest and cot in white/oak, $1,599. Numero 74 bunting flags, $29. Twenty One Fifteen anchor, $57. Wooden Story Round Stacker, $99.95, from Kido Store. Soopsori Elephant Cart With Dominoes, $59.95, from Kido Store. Miann & Co bear, $70, from Kido Store. H&G Designs shelf, $144.95. One Two Tree treasure board, $199. A selection of wooden toys on treasure board, from One Two Tree. Maya Mama swaddle, $38
"Less is more. Don’t let your in-laws convince you that you need battery-run toys or swings. Your baby doesn’t need it. A newborn is much more interested in the shadows on a wall or the light glistening through a pretty chandelier. But … Just because less is more, it doesn’t mean you should be afraid to wallpaper the walls or the ceiling. Patterns and prints make for such a fun environment"
Chiara de Rege, interior designer and co-founder of Maison C
SHOP: KIDSMILL Sixties chest in white/light oak, $1,099. KIDSMILL Sixties cot in white/light oak, $1,049. Castle cushions, from $49. Numero 74 star cushions, from $49.95, from Kido Store. Olli Ella changing basket, $119, from Kido Store. Little Peach cushion, $60. Castle throw, $89. A selection of books from Kido Store. Nana Huchy Frida doll, $63. Numero 74 fitted cot sheet, $88, from Kido Store
"A nursery can still have a sense of sophistication. Consider a wallpaper in a motif that will look just as stylish now as it will when your child is older, or look to a beautiful artwork for a unique touch - Violet has had a whimsical print of flowers by photographer Derek Henderson hanging in her room since she was a baby. Investing in classic furniture that will stand the test of time will also help the room evolve as your child grows. I used a vintage chest of drawers as a change station when the girls were little and now it acts as a handy way to store their toys"
Amanda Woodward-Brown, journalist and contributor to The Grace Tales
"Remember your little one will grow out of their nursery in the blink of an eye, so it’s always worth investing in quality pieces that will grow with them. A chest of drawers, for example, is a perfect to use as a change table in the early days and will stay with you for years to come. I also don’t think you can wrong with warm, earthy colours and textures. Terracotta, sage, oatmeal and golden mustard hues are all wonderfully gender neutral and right on trend"
Nicole Ray, founder of Minty magazine
"When purchasing the big ticket furniture items, opt for pieces that work double duty, such as a cot that converts to a junior bed or a change table that converts into a dresser. That way you can simply update the room with fresh bedding and artwork as they grow. I’m not a huge fan of themed nurseries, instead I think the room should be an extension of your family's style. I prefer to pick one or two hero pieces, like a rug or artwork that anchors the room. Then it’s simply a matter of allowing the rest of the décor to evolve over time so that it reflects your little one's style. You want the space to feel personal so find ways to include a few sentimental pieces into the design. Try combining keepsake items, like baby’s first shoes with a few treasured pieces from your own childhood such as your favourite book or toy"
Eliza Ashe, interior stylist and founder of For The Young