Go beyond pink and blue. Pastels may be classic nursery colors, but they’ll seem too cutesy once your baby’s walking. Opt for a neutral, such as tan, silvery-grey, or ivory, recommends Sherri Blum, a decorator and mom of four in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Then add brightly-colored rugs, lamps, pillows, and blankets. Oh, and the baby (aka the best room décor of all).
Think non-permanent. You could do duckling wallpaper border—or you could go for framed art featuring baby animals, Winnie the Pooh, flowers, you name it. This way, the baby accents can be easily replaced by that [insert teen idol] poster down the road.
Choose multi-use furniture. “Today’s convertible cribs are wonderful—they take you from crib to toddler bed to full size,” says Blum. She suggests choosing a finish other than white, so that the bed won’t be too juvenile for a rock-star ’tween. If you’re buying a rocker, pick a fabric that can eventually blend in with your living room décor.
Get creative with storage. These days you won’t have to store much more than tiny diapers, wipes, and baby clothes, but soon that room will be filled with toys, books, and puzzles. Consider space-saving pieces, like an ottoman that opens up to hold toys or fabric bins that slide under the crib, suggests Nidhi Huba, a decorator and mom of two in Woodstock, New York.
Hang it up. One of the most useful accessories you can put in a baby’s room: clothing hooks. “You can hang the baby’s towels and blankets on them,” says Huba, “but as the child gets older, he can use them for jackets and sweatshirts. It’s the easiest way to get a kid to keep his room neat!”