A neutral palette, convertible furniture and classic patterns mean you won’t have to redecorate for the phases of childhood

When I get to design and decorate a nursery, I get excited. No other room in the house can take on such whimsy and youthfulness. But it can also make clients uneasy. After all, babies grow into toddlers in a flash, so why spend money on something you’ll just have to change in a couple of years? That’s why when I brainstorm a design for a nursery, I think about the phases ahead and how I can ensure the room will grow with them.

I also often ask clients to consider the space not only for the baby, but for themselves. I believe the baby’s room is for adults to enjoy as well. It’s a space baby and parents use together in the first year or two of the child’s life — think late-night feedings or afternoon play times. Designing a nursery with equal parts baby and adult decor means you can have a nursery that lives beyond the infancy stage, through the toddler years and even into the tweens.

Here are 5 tips for creating a flexible, long-lasting room for your child.

Choose a neutral color palette

Often when people consider which colors to use in a nursery, they think of pastels. But long gone are the days when nurseries could be only soft blues, pinks, greens and yellows. Today, regardless of the sex of the child, consider using neutrals. In this example, the main colors are variations of gray layered with the freshness of white and yellow. The room is gender-neutral and not too baby-like.

This nursery is the perfect blend of baby and adult thanks to its coloring. The strong red and blue, mixed with a white neutral, establishes a space that can last into the tween year.

Purchase furniture they’ll grow into

Luckily, furniture manufacturers are creating convertible furniture that will grow with your child. Cribs now turn into toddler beds and changing tables convert into dressers. If you’re buying new furniture, consider a line that will allow you to change its function. This will not only save you a bundle, but will match your decor and room longer. Also note that many gliders and recliners can be turned into a standard armchair when the mechanisms are removed.

Use classic and timeless patterns

When choosing the style for a nursery, consider patterns that will last. Stripes, chevrons, polka dots and natural flora and fauna are motifs with staying power. Traditional Nursery by Tara Seawright Interior Design Tara Seawright Interior Design Save Email The combination of polka dots and an organic floral-like pattern gives this room a childlike feel that isn’t juvenile.

Choose interesting art

Stimulate the child and space with statement art. Large prints or photographs will help the nursery have a childlike feel without being cluttered. Center a piece above the crib or over the dresser. Contemporary Nursery by Lulu Designs Lulu Designs Save Email Try adding art that is more sculptural, such as this marquee sign that spells out the baby’s name. Not only will it add a cool factor, it could also be a great night light.

Have fun with small baby-centric accessories.

I don’t want to take away all the fun in decorating a child’s nursery, so don’t forget that the smaller items can be very whimsical and sweet. Add accessories like stuffed animals, toy baskets and rockers that can easily be swapped out as the child ages.

Original story by Krista Salter for Houzz

Read more at Houzz:

Pick a Neutral Paint Palette

See an Arizona Nursery That’ll Never Get Old

Keep Toys Tidy

Hero photo credit: JayJeffers, original photo on Houzz