We can safely say that 2020 did not work out as planned for anybody. For designer Sarah Sham, things went awry in one specific aspect of her life. When she discovered her pregnancy late last year, Sarah was excited about planning and designing a nursery for her baby. Having shared a room with her sibling as a kid, Sarah wanted to create a dedicated space for her child. But just as she began planning the design early this year, the lockdown was called in March and everything was put on halt. “We had planned to have the nursery done by June, since the baby was arriving in July. Once we realised that things were not going to work out that way, we just decided to roll with it,” says Sarah.
Her daughter Sophia was born in July and the nursery finally was ready for her to move into in October. And in this process, there were a lot of learnings. The biggest of which was how everything can happen digitally now. “If you have access to a basic design tool on your computer, everything can be done remotely,” says Sarah. And this meant that since things we were so well planned in advance and she didn’t have any big structural changes, Sarah had workers and contractors in her home only for two days. “This ultimately makes it easier for to-be moms, who can then avoid having contractors around for days and dealing with the mess and noise of it all,” she adds.
We asked Sarah to tell us some of the most important tips and ideas about creating a nursery for a child:
1. Create a mood-board to set the tone and feeling for the space.
2. If you want to keep your purchases to a minimum, the two
most important things you need to buy are a chest of drawers
with a changing station on top and a sofa-bed. As an extra, a
rug will be helpful as a soft surface for the baby to play on.
3. Ensure you have storage for small items and any big, oddly-
shaped items. Make sure everything you buy has built-in
4. For the first six months the child won’t need a crib, a basic
bassinet is just fine.
Designer Sarah Sham with her daughter Sophia.
5. In India you will have help from the mother, mother-in-law and even nannies, so ensure there is space for their things as well.
6. Leave as much open space as possible for the baby’s massages and to play around.
7. Select furniture with rounded edges for safety, and have a washable cover on everything in the room.
8. Incorporate a dimmer on your light switches for a different mood in the day and night. We also incorporated a CCTV system in the room so I
can keep an eye on my baby while I am out.
9. Use safe and organic materials, as certain things can be hazardous for a child.
10. Add plants to the room, because they say one plant can purify up to 100 sq. ft of space. And it makes for beautiful organic décor.
11. You don’t have to choose the clichéd pink for girls and blue for boys, gender-neutral nurseries are a great option. You can also choose to
have a tropical theme or even a monochrome theme.
12. If you don’t want to add wallpaper, you can add decals on the walls.