by DeAnna Radaj, Bante Design LLC
Did you know that a nursery can be one of the most toxic rooms of your home? As parents-to-be strive to create the perfect room for their newborns, they go overboard with painting, new furniture & accessories, not realizing that some of their actions can actually do more harm than good. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are trying to decorate a nursery.
Use a NO VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. Paint is on of the top indoor air pollutants (carpet & candles are the others). VOCs are the drying, anti-microbial & other toxins that off-gas into the air upon application. Now, all major paint manufacturers make a NO or LOW VOC line of paint with a wide color choice. If you don’t see it on the shelves-ASK.
Color: From a color THERAPY standpoint, color does affect your mental/physical well-being, it is imperative to choose a color scheme that promotes a healthy night’s sleep & a calm, nurturing atmosphere for the baby. Green is the perfect color for any space, and particularly so for a baby/child’s bedroom. Green is neither hot nor cool, & symbolizes growth & new beginnings. Use a PRIMARY color that you can pair with pink or blue. Use yellow sparingly, or not at all (!) as yellow is the hardest color for your eye to break down. Neutrals also work as a secondary color to help ground & stabilize the room. Do NOT use a contrasting color scheme here-save that for tween/teen room.
Opt for HARD flooring choices as opposed to wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet is part of the “big 3” indoor air pollutants, therefore, look for hardwood, bamboo, cork, rubber or tile options for nursery flooring. Adding area rugs made from natural fibers (wool is strongly suggested as it is a self-extinguishing fiber!) add the needed warmth you want in a bedroom, & also add a sound deadening quality to help sound from bouncing off the floor & walls.
There are studies being done on the correlation between crib mattresses & bedding & SIDS (keep watch for updates as they become available)…this is an area that is vital for children, as well as adults, to be addressed to help prevent (or manage) any upper respiratory issues, sleep disruptions, headaches & fatigue as there are correlations. Due to this, there are more & more bedding/mattress manufacturers who are addressing this need for “natural and/or organic” bedding. (Check out Naturpedic as this company ONLY makes crib, T & F mattresses for children).
A quick Feng Shui tip: Choose bedding that is solid, and NO pattern. This will help promote a health night’s sleep. If you find a pattern that you “love”, make sure that it is flowing lines, organic shapes and/or nurturing pictures (i.e. mother/child, happy non-threatening animals). Jarring, jagged edges and patterns can subconsciously affect you when you are sleeping, disrupting sleep patterns. Look for COOL colors in bedding (blue, green, purple) to help lower body temperature & heart rate, again, to calm you & promote a good night’s sleep.
Cribs & Furniture:
Many people discount the effect of the material of what furniture is made out of & its impact on health. From a purely HEALTH affect, look for UNFINISHED WOOD furniture & then stain/paint with a NO VOC stain or paint. This will limit any off-gassing of toxins that a FINISHED piece of new furniture would emit into the nursery. From a “green/eco-friendly” aspect, look for a piece of furniture that is reused/recycled (a family member/friend) & from a local source to reduce transportation costs & pollutants in getting item to your location.
A quick Feng Shui tip: WOOD is the best material to purchase for a baby, toddler and child’s bed & furniture as WOOD corresponds with the FAMILY Life Area & symbolizes growth, new beginnings & opportunity. METAL would be second.
***If you purchase from a rummage/estate sale, make sure that item is safe (i.e. not recalled, all parts in working order…)! Also, from a Feng Shui perspective, try & find out about the “previous owner” & the story behind the piece. You don’t want to bring any “negative energy/chi” into the nursery.
You must remember that as parents you are decorating a nursery for you & not the baby…really, admit it…That being said, you WILL be spending a lot of time in this space, & it does set the tone for a happy baby. Therefore, choose a theme that is uplifting, nurturing & calming. Think mother/child, baby animals or nature (plants, flowers, water). Stay away from sky/clouds as a THEME, you can use to symbolize a “sky ceiling” but not clouds as a mural on the wall itself.
***Group pictures of family and/or accessories in 4s (grounded, stable) to represent “family.”
These are some basic, general tips that any parent-to-be can apply to their newborns new room to help promote a healthy, supported baby.
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*Image provided by Natural Mat and Bante Design.*