Parents to be give a lot of time and consideration to the design of their new baby’s nursery. From your choice of furniture, to the colour of your walls, to linen patterns and clothes storage.
In the hectic lead up to birth, how much thought is given to lighting? Often the answer is very little to not enough.
Here are some tips to get you thinking about your nursery lighting.
The first and most important consideration when lighting your baby’s new room is not even related to your newborn. What will you be using the room for after it is a nursery? Will it become your baby's childhood room? Will your baby move into another room and leave the nursery for your next child? Or will the nursery change into a study, sewing room or something else?
What the room will be used for next must be a constant consideration when planning lighting. Unlike a lick of paint, holes in the walls or roof are a bit harder to cover up should you need to change the room dramatically.
This is not to say given consideration to future uses should be difficult. Its not difficult, just necessary.
For example, if you know you want to use wall lighting to light up either side of the cot, measure the width of a single bed and allow this much distance between the two. This way, when you move the cot out and the single bed in the wall lights are ready to go. The same, beautiful and practical lighting, two ways.
Wall lamps can be ideal in the bedroom, for example the Soho Wall sconce in Brass would provide a muted lamp like light around your cot, and compliment a range of furnishings, especially wood, or a pale coloured decor.
Another important consideration is that of ambiance, or levels of lighting. Fluorescent lighting in a nursery is not going to work for anyone – the baby who wakes constantly during the night and doesn’t want bright glaring lights in his eyes, or mum and dad who are half asleep tending to baby.
A nursery needs two kinds of lighting – the first is at least some relatively dim lighting. You may choose to use dimmers, however this may limit your ability to use modern eco friendly globes.
The better alternative is to use lighting which is meant to be dim, think wall lighting with opaque glass, or lamps which provide a mellow circle of light.
The second priority is being able to light parts, or zones, of the room, not the whole of it every time you flick a switch. For this you will need to have different switches – say one switch for the wall lights near baby’s cot, and another for your overhead light. Alternatively, or if installing new switches and wiring is just not going to be a reality in your newborns room, use floor or table lamps to light up part of the room at a time.
For example; a small nursery may have a cot on one side, and a chair and change table on the other. Being an established home, the overhead lights are already in place, and it is impractical to change these. Instead, a floor lamp next to the chair will allow mum to feed at night and give enough light for night time nappy changes.
If you choose a lamp that has an extra globe on a different switch like the Horizon Mother and Child Floor Lamp, you can rely on the lamp for extra messy nappy changes as well. The key here is having muted light at night, such as that provided by an up-lighter to keep the baby settled, and bright lights overhead for morning and evenings when you need to be able to see into the dark depths of cupboards or shelving.
Using that same room layout, if you are able to install some new lights you could try installing some wall lights on the wall near the cot. You could then put a pendant light like the Crystal Moon Globe Pendant Light above the change table.
This would not only provide some focused bright light for those messy moments, but it would give something for the baby to look at while he is getting changed (provided the pendant light is not directly in his eyes!) Nursery lights don’t need to be plain, they should be decorative, unusual or stand out pieces.
With planning and creativity you can light up your new baby’s room so it is both practical and beautiful. When you are designing the layout of the room, don’t forget to consider floor lamps, table lamps and wall lights.
Pendant lights will make a nice feature, think different colours and shapes to match your decor. Remember to consider the future uses of the room, and think about how you will use the room when feeding, changing and putting baby to sleep.
Have you used lighting to give a room different zones? What sort of lighting have you put in your nursery? Leave a comment below for all of the parents-to-be planning their new baby’s room!