1) Gather ideas by looking at blogs, pinterest, magazines, books, etc. This is probably my favorite step of the whole process. I love looking at all the different ideas out there. Believe it or not, there is a purpose to all that pinning! This helps me decide what I like vs. what I like, but know is not for us. I have to admit, this time around I have had a terrible time at this. I have envisioned 3, yes 3 different looks for baby Claire's room. BUT I am happy to report that we have finally made a decision on the "look" we are going for and are ready to get things started.
2) Set a budget. Before we even started Owen's room we talked about what our overall budget was and what we hoped to be able to accomplish with that money we had set aside for his room. This can get really overwhelming but if you talk with your spouse ahead of time about what the "money plan" is, it can save a lot of tension in the end. The first time around-with Owen's room, I have to admit that this was not one of my strengths-(big surprise I know!) the hubby was much better at keeping us on track and reeling me back in when my ideas got too big for our budget. This time around I am doing a much better job of being aware of the budget.
3) Choose a color scheme AND overall look you hope to achieve. When designing Owen's nursery the first decisions I made were on his crib bedding, specifically his crib skirt and the "look/feel" I wanted the room to have. The color scheme was pulled from the colors in the skirt and really the look was too. His crib skirt fabric was a thick linen with two different shades of blue stripes. I would say his skirt was a pretty traditional fabric, the linen bumper a neutral, which we paired with a modern Serena and Lily sheet combining the Modern-Vintage look I wanted to achieve. The idea for the rest of the room evolved from that idea of combining modern and vintage styles.
I like to choose 3-5 different fabrics for the room, making sure they all compliment each other and all contain various scales. A big pattern maybe with a more traditional look, matched with another fabric that contains a few of the same colors as the first fabric, and lastly pull in a modern/trendy fabric made up of at least one of the same colors. I am no expert on this and refer back to helpful links like this one to help me make decisions. I ultimately go with what I like though and know that even if it's not "correct" it will be for us if its what we like.
4) Paint color, wallpaper, etc.- Some people might start with this step first but I always seem to pull my colors from the fabrics I choose. If you are using wallpaper in the room I tend to think of it more like fabric and may choose this first and pull colors and designs from it. (which is what I have done for Claire's nursery)
5) The big pieces. After the color scheme, fabrics, and look have been decided on then I think it's time to focus in on the furniture. I think this is the best time for this step. If you don't know the overall look you are going for then you might end up purchasing that expensive modern crib that you love but that actually doesn't really "go" with the look you are trying to achieve. Again, just my opinion. I think it could also help you narrow down your search because once you start looking at let's say, cribs you will soon find there are endless options. Knowing the generally color scheme/look will help you narrow your search.
6) Rug. I think most people want to include a rug in the nursery in some way, whether you go with a big over- sized rug or a small sheepskin. A soft place used for exploring, crawling, or just hanging out on while you are putting away laundry is essential. Rugs can also make a big statement in a room, in Owen's nursery the rug really pulled together the modern element of the room. It gave the room an interesting visual point and softened the whole space quite a bit, with dark hardwood floors and a big open floor space we needed to go with a large rug. A few of my favorite affordable places to look for rugs are RugsUSA, (that's where Owen's is from) Ikea, Crate&Barrel, World Market, and occasionally you can find a steal on Overstock.
7) Window Treatments. Panels, roman shades, valances, bamboo shades, shutters.. so many options. I think deciding on whether or not you want your nursery to be really dark, or if you want your baby to get use to sleeping in a room with a little more light is essential. Make that decision and then deciding on window treatments is a bit easier.
8) Lighting. I love picking out lighting for the nursery. I know some people stick with ceiling fans and I think that is great, but since we don't have ceiling fans anyways it was something I looked forward to adding to the room. I also think it can add a lot to the space. Besides the big vintage map, Owen's light was the main "vintage" element in the room. We used a schoolhouse barn light from Barn Light Electric and have been really happy with it.
9) Accessories. Artwork, shelving, pictures, special keepsakes, all these things just make the room unique. I think it's important again, to focus on the look of the room and pull in elements from all aspects. We used vintage jerseys, hand painted artwork from grandparents, as well as modern fabric framed to pull the gallery wall together in Owen's room. The shelves were then filled with more keepsakes and vintage finds from various stores. Accessories are just plain fun and don't have to be expensive. They can add so much personality to a room.
My favorite part besides seeing the finished room is putting all of my ideas together on some sort of design board. I think this helps you see what you have envisioned all come together. It helps you see what works and what should be changed. I usually use polyvore and create a set with all of my items but I'm sure there are many ways to do this.
I didn't include any furniture on the design board because we are pretty much using the same furniture we used in Owen's nursery with the exception of a new oversized chair/loveseat. We are hoping to do the same thing we did with Owen's chair and convert it into a rocker/glider. I really hope we can make that happen but that of course is a project for the hubby. I know he will do his best to make it work. I will keep you posted. I am so excited to get our wallpaper in the mail soon. I just hope it is as pretty in person as it is online. It's time to get this little girl's room going! I can't wait.