Speculation is mounting that Kate Middleton is expecting a baby girl. While we don’t know for sure, the rules for designing a royal nursery is the same as any; we’ll simply amp up the wow factor a thousand times more! We would expect the Royal Nursery to have a largely British lilt to it, either in the actual products used or in the inspiration the nursery is drawn from.
The nursery is the baby’s room as well as a retreat for mum, it is the room you’ll remember each time you recollect those first years of childhood. The royal nursery will be designed for style and ambience, as well as for functionality- with safety being the bedrock of the design. Designing the royal nursery has the luxury of turning out exactly how the new parents imagined, even better.
The most important factor in selecting furniture for the royal nursery is safety. Safety trumps aesthetics any day, and this applies to all nurseries. Cot safety is regulated by the British Safety standards which has a list of points to which all cots must adhere to preventing falls, strangulation, suffocation and entrapment. A cot that is made to the latest British safety standards is as safe as can be. The paints used in the finishes must be lead-free and with low VOCs.
Less is more when it comes to Royalty. Have you ever seen Kate Middleton in a cacophony of colours when out on official duty? Keep it simple is a thread that should run through the royal nursery; simple but luxurious and classy. It is preferable to ‘suggest’ rather than ‘say’ or even worse ‘shout out’.
We recommend starting with a precious item as a source of inspiration. This could be an actual physical item like jewellery or favourite dress, or even a nostalgic photograph. It can also be abstract like a memorable vacation spot, an English garden, a fairy-tale or a historical figure. Inspiration should be something that evokes feelings of joy and peace. Period accents are a great source of inspiration representing the long lineage of the monarchy. We have chosen damask featuring botanical patterns as our inspiration. History refers to damask as the fabric of royalty, since the common man could not afford such a luxurious fabric. In our design we have used damask on the walls, this could be hand painted directly on the walls by a mural artist, or wallpapered on. Damask can also be used in the soft furnishings; bed linen, upholstery, curtains or/and canopies. We suggest using any synthetic fabrics on the outside of the bed linen, as we recommend 100% cotton for the portions that come into contact with baby’s skin.
Damask has a soft sheen to it and we have used this element in the girl’s nursery in the form of a gold chandelier and mirror, the nightstand and bed linen also features soft gold. This reflective element suggests luxury, yet it is understated and not over the top. The soft beiges and creams warms the nursery making it feel cozy and not aloof.
Our boys’ nursery furniture features an emblem which would be designed in the House of Windsor royal crest. The furniture is hand rubbed to give an aged finish, again a symbol of longevity. A variety of textures- cotton, silk, satin and wool all give it interest and depth.
Our choice of furniture has been aged to give it a period finish. The Iron cot is distressed by hand giving the impression it has been passed down generations. The wood furniture is also rubbed down by hand in the corners and edges to give the same effect. An organic baby mattress is preferred to a non-organic one, which may have harmful chemicals in it. Kate’s changing dresser will be made to measure just for her, so the top is at a comfortable height for her to change the baby.
A nursery is not complete without an upholstered glider. Upholstered nursery gliders are very comfortable, with a removable cover in royal blue, piped in white. This is where a lot of bonding happens and memories are formed as the proud parents rock and feed their newborn.
A bedside table next to the chair makes reaching for necessities easy.
Linens and Soft Furnishings
Colour can be introduced to the nursery via the fabrics used in the baby bedding and other soft furnishings. A theme can also be introduced this way too. The fabrics should be selected first as it is easier to match paint (for the walls) to the fabric than vice versa. Organic cottons now come in various designs but the availability of designs is still pretty limited. The work-around is to use your preferred fabric on the outside and softer, natural fabrics on the inside. This can be achieved by having the linens made to order from scratch. Texture can be introduced using an array of different textiles, lace, satin silk and cotton all combined in the same colour gives an amazing result without going over the top with colour. Window treatments in coordinating fabrics complete the look.
The Finishing Touch
Decorative items like rugs, lighting and artwork should mirror the look and feel of the nursery. Plain, soft shades as opposed to heavy patterns and bright colours keep things simple yet elegant. Parents today are no longer saddled with the limited choice of an all-pastel nursery, but now opt for more ‘grown up’ looks that maintains serenity in the room.
The completed nursery fit for a prince or princess features a range of inviting hues and textures which reflect the parents’ personal style and taste. The result is a space that feels good, safe and homely.
To read more on the Baby Planners royal nursery series visit their blog.