The fact that we are affected by our surroundings is pretty well-worn territory, but the implications for children carry a different weight. Decades of research demonstrate that the environment of a child’s earliest years can have lifelong implications. No pressure, right?
The good news is that parents can help create a physical environment for our youth by creating spaces that are designed with the intention to evoke desirable emotional states. From their earliest days, babies respond to sensory triggers such as contrast, texture, movement and color. When you’re deciding on the right nursery design for you (Yes, you! Don’t forget who will be awake at all hours in this precious little angel’s room.) and your baby, you can intentionally incorporate these triggers into the design to create an environment that evokes desirable emotional states for your child.
Embrace the chance to make bold color and pattern choices. Children learn by example, after all. Use your own creativity to choose a combination of colors, textures, and patterns you love. This can be done by using accent colors associated with specific psychological reactions.
Here are some of the best nursery colors to keep in mind when you’re starting to form a plan.
Green is known to be calming and nurturing. It’s used in schools and learning environments frequently because it has been shown to promote concentration.
Blue, historically associated with baby boys, is a great option for all genders as it is soothing and demonstrated to increase productivity. Be mindful when you’re choosing the shade though, and opt for warm or bright blues and avoid using darker shades like navy or grey-blues in excess, as too much of this good thing has been linked with melancholiness.
We can’t talk about blue without giving a nod to the traditional pink. This is another choice that can have a calming effect. With some pale shades, this can almost act as a neutral, inviting more vibrant pops of accent colors.
Surprisingly, some shades of orange are associated with comfort; darker shades evoke feelings of warmth and coziness. More vibrant or neon shades are flashy, attention-getting and energetic.
If you’re thinking of going with an overall neutral palette consider white — a beautiful but risky choice with the very stain-prone lifestyle children can bring. If done right, it can be striking and crisp. Opt for scrubbable paint options, such as Scuff-X from Benjamin Moore to make this a more realistic choice.
Some of the aforementioned colors are most effectively used in moderation against a more neutral palette. For example, use splashes of red or a more vibrant orange to incorporate passion and excitement. Or bright yellow to bring cheer and lively energy.
If you are color-shy, wallcovering can be a great option to introduce color through pattern, which has benefits in its own right. Exotic Butterfly Wallpaper By Schumacher and Wonderland Hoppet by Brewster Home Fashions are two great examples for permanent wallpapers that also add texture. Nervous about making such a permanent choice? Opt for some vinyl decals or removable wallpaper.