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Five Tips for Designing your Nursery Portraits

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Every first time pregnant mom knows the feelings of excitement and trepidation when waiting for baby to arrive. The energy it takes to just get through the day with swollen feet and backache can often be overwhelming. The thoughts of trawling the shopping mall to find pieces for a baby nursery that looks like it came straight from the pages of a catalog seems almost impossible!

The nursery layette list can seem overwhelming considering the sheer volume of options available. Crib bedding, curtains, crib styles, diaper bags, gliders, nursing accessories, safety equipment, baby clothing – the list goes on and on. If like me you’re not the browsing kind, I thought I knew what I wanted for my baby nursery until I started looking and got so confused by the info overload! Fret not help is at hand. With a little bit of thought and planning you will be well on your way to discovering your inner designer.

Consider your own family story as heirloom wall art that you will display to illustrate the story of baby. Forget the impersonal poster or painting, making your wall space personal and meaningful will make baby’s nursery a place of warmth and give it a sense of serenity. At every diaper change and every rock on the glider you can enjoy the memories of baby’s passing stages with portraits of baby as they zoom through their first year. You will appreciate it even more as baby starts to talk and point our “baby”, your heart will well with so much love you never thought possible!

Tip #1 – Capture the Moment…
Treasure every little stage along your parenting journey. Even though you may think you look and feel like a beached whale, your pregnant form is beautiful. You’ve sacrificed a lot to bring your precious bundle into the world that you should celebrate your pregnancy by having professional maternity portraits taken. This is the first step in telling the story of your baby’s beginning. The second important step is to book your newborn portrait session while you are still pregnant as the most ideal time to capture your newborn is when he/she is still itty bitty at 4-14 days old. This is the ideal time to capture them snoozing hard in their milk coma so your photographer can pose them safely in artistic poses.

Tip # 2: Create your own Inspiration board…
The saying is “Men are from Google+ Women are from Pinterest”. I get so much inspiration and ideas from the online Pinterest community it’s so visual and appealing. I’ve often seen ideas I would have never thought of before, the creativity is astounding. You don’t have to pick a particular theme for your nursery but instead think of a particular style you like. Ask yourself “What inspires me?”. Create your own inspiration board from things that describe your likes and tastes: magazine ads, newspaper clippings, fabric swatches, paper samples, candy wrappers, gift wrap paper etc. You’ll be surprised how arty you can be! You can create an eclectic mix of your own ‘loves’ from elements that bring you joy. Tell your photographer your style choice so he/she can incorporate the same color tones during the photo session with accenting fabrics, props and backdrops e.g. laying baby on a pink blanket perfectly complements the pink accents in her nursery.

Tip # 3: Pick a Color Palette…
Take a trip to your local hardware store and pick out paint swatches that make you smile! Whether you’re getting dressed or designing your room, remember odd numbers work a treat. Color sets in three shades are very complimentary, any more and it looks messy. Think light, mid tone and dark for the best results. In art terms choosing complimenting colors from the color wheel help to blend the design of a room. Popular matches are: pink and green, yellow and blue, green and yellow, blue and brown, pink and brown, chocolate with purple and pink, navy with light blue and brown, green with white and tan, two tones of pink with cream, turquoise with white and navy etc.

Tip #4: Pick your style of furniture…
You may be surprised to know that custom furniture orders can take 8-16 weeks to arrive! Depending on the manufacturer the style and availability varies greatly so order early to avoid having baby arrive before his/her furniture. If you prefer a modern contemporary look, consider a plain white crib; dresser and changing table. If you like something more traditional with darker tones, you may like Expresso brown furniture. With either choice you will have the basis to pick the finish of your framed wall art pieces. I advise my clients to consider their décor when choosing frame colors and styles so that your wall art will compliment your overall style of your room. Dark wood frames look gorgeous hung above a dark wood crib, just like a stained white frame looks beautiful hung above a white washed changing table. Or even better is to have your frames painted to match your color scheme.

Tip #5: Why Size Matters…
In design terms your wall space is considered ‘negative’ or empty space and thereby ‘swallows’ a portrait making it look smaller. You may think an 8×10 looks big up close, but hang it on the wall and take three steps back. If you can’t see the color of your subject’s eyes it’s too small! This is why it’s key to fill the area of view (or the wall) with a larger sized wall portrait to create the WOW factor. Measure up your empty wall from left to right and take down the measurements. When you decide on the final size of baby’s portrait make sure to use at least two thirds of your wall space measurement for it to look aesthetically pleasing. Avoid using a frame that is too thick for the size of the portrait as the frame will take center stage and not the image. A good rule of thumb is your frame should be one fifth of your overall portrait seize.

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