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Real Leanurserydmother's day iconMothers – and fathers – who are expecting a child naturally want to create a nursery that is a ‘perfect little haven’ for their little one. However, designing a nursery requires more than just choosing the right colour and theme.

Here are six items to factor in when designing a nursery:

Location. A nursery should ideally be located on the ground floor and not the upper floor of a house since staircases pose ‘fall’ hazards. Select a quiet room close to your bedroom so you can hear the baby cry and do not have to walk far to reach him or her. If you do not have a spare room, put up a divider in your bedroom to create a nursery; a space that measures eight by nine feet is more than adequate.

Furniture. Acrib is obviously the first thing that comes to mind when furnishing a nursery; however, remember to add a snug, comfortable chair with a footstool beside the crib. This is ideal for parents to relax in when they rock their baby to sleep. Other nursery essentials include a closet and changing table.

Decor. Opt for lightweight artwork on the walls instead of wooden frames because there is always the danger that they might fall. Photo clusters add a personal touch and also ensure memory development as babies learn to associate names with faces. ‘Storyboards’ with farmyard and jungle themes are also worth considering because most children love animals, even when they are older.

Colour. Shades of blue and green interspersed with sunny yellows invoke calm and serenity, much-needed after countless sleepless nights. Remember to use natural, water-based paint as lead based paint emits harmful odours.

Flooring. Wood flooring is the easiest to keep clean; avoid carpets because they are ideal breeding ground for bugs and collect dust.

Safety. While your first instinct will be to splurge on aesthetics, remember, safety comes first. Invest in electrical-cord shorterners and plug protectors; replace loose and damaged bolts and screws.

– Ayesha Shaikh
First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 11, 2014.