Creating a nursery for a new baby is one of the most enjoyable preparations for prospective parents, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undoubtedly be choosing the best that money can buy for their eagerly-awaited baby.
‘This is a room on which people lavish a huge amount of care, attention and money, and they will often want it to match the rest of their home and style,’ says Lucinda Croft, managing director of Dragons of Walton Street, which created nurseries for Princes William and Harry, as well as their cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
‘Parents-to-be view a nursery as a particularly special space.
After all, it’s their child’s first view of the world and a room they will probably never forget, so getting it right is incredibly important.’
Princess Diana chose a pale blue Beatrix Potter design for her sons’ nursery, while Beatrice and Eugenie’s featured a Flower Fairy design.
Nowadays, on-trend parents are opting for a neutral palette, says Croft, and prefer to add colour and personality through accessories or murals.
‘Muted colours are very ‘in’ at the moment,’ says Croft. ‘People are moving away from bright primary shades, which apparently is due to the economic downturn.
‘Instead, they want a quiet, peaceful sanctuary, where they can feel away from the world; particularly important as we endure stressful economic times.
‘It’s sensible cost-wise, as gentle shades such as ivory, cream and dove grey will still be suitable for an older child, so there’s no need for an expensive redecoration.’
Croft says nurseries should be magical places where memories are created.
‘One cot we made was upholstered to resemble a fluffy cloud, with drapes hung with crystal droplets to replicate raindrops, and a mural of a glowing pink sunrise and sky, while murals can transform a room.’
Pretty and pink is the conventional and timeless combination for a girl’s nursery.
‘Mothers often feel more free with a girl to create the fantasy room they dreamt of when they were little, or to recreate the style of the one they enjoyed as a small child,’ says Croft.
‘Flower Fairies and Beatrix Potter scenes – for the walls or featuring on the furniture – are enduring favourites.
‘Alternatively, some clients want a Sleeping Beauty-style room.’
Classic blue decor will always be a favourite for boys.
‘This can be interpreted imaginatively with a ceiling hand-painted to resemble the sky, with clouds made from plaster of Paris, or a mural of a seaside scene, so the overall effect is soft, soothing shades of blue.
‘Nursery rhyme characters and safari scenes are popular for boys, too.’
Impressive rooms are no longer the sole prerogative of celebrities.
‘Whatever the Duchess of Cambridge chooses in fashion sets a trend, and
the same will undoubtedly be true if her nursery style is revealed,’ says Toks
Aruoture, owner of nursery company Punkin Patch.
‘People see the rooms created by the famous and they’re happy to invest in their own out-of-this-world setting.’