Creating an Eco-Chic Nursery for Less: Part 1

07.13.11 By //
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Creating the Nursery of your Dreams…on a budget.

Bambino on the way and you haven’t even started on the nursery? Not to worry, it’s easier than you think! When you are starting from square one and don’t have a clue where you want to end up…take a deep breath and head to the fabric store to start collecting some samples (just samples, don’t get crazy now..)!

Designing your child’s room using fabric as the basis for your inspiration, is a wonderful way to arrive at the look you love without spending a fortune on baby gear. With a very basic understanding of sewing and access to the internet, you can find step-by-step tutorials for creating and making almost everything your child will need in his or her room, aside from their crib. By heading in a handmade direction for your decor, you have the ability to choose the materials your items are made with.

Choosing a Color Scheme:

If neutral is your tendency you are in luck, the new neutral palette is anything but bland…

There is good news on the neutral color scheme front, with the addition of some fabulous colors, to what has traditionally been a very lonely pale yellow and minty green territory. If you are planning on “not planning” for the sex of your expected bundle of joy, you can still enjoy decorating for your new arrival, in a manner fit for a king or queen, even if you aren’t sure which…The staple colors in any neutral color scheme include greens and yellows as they always have, however, the array of shades being used that fall within that area of the color chart have expanded exponentially.

Take a look at a few of the shades of green that are now prominent at every turn for both boys and girls. Every nursery will benefit from one or two of these notoriously calming and pleasing hues…The new array of greens includes everything from deeper Olive tones, to Chartreuse, even dark teal, and the ever trusty sage and minty greens.

New Neutral Color Palette:

The exciting colors that we are seeing partnered with greens, and quickly becoming staples in the neutral and non-gender specific themes, include:

An array of oranges, both pale and vibrant
Reds, Turquoise, light and dark hues Timeless black and white with Sophisticated grays. With the retro vibe of current fabric options and the large prints available in organic and eco-friendly options, putting together a room for your little one becomes a play on pattern and a creative mix of textural fabric choices. A playful combination of fabric for use in bedding, plush toys, window treatments, decorative accessories and even art allow the Mindful Mama to understand exactly what the items in her child’s room are made from and with. With the right choice in durability and ‘washability’ your room decor will be lasting and easily cleaned, should the need arise.

When you are ready to begin creating your space, browsing through fabric samples online, and creating fabric arrangements or strolling through the fabric store and collecting swatches, will help you visualize how different colors and patterns will mix with each other. This process will help you find color combinations you wouldn’t otherwise choose, and allow you to edit thoughtfully when you begin to make decisions. I suggest collecting and saving to disk any and every fabric that catches your eye, from there you can begin to see how they play off of one another, and start to allocate certain fabric patterns to certain items in the room, based on how much of a particular fabric you would like to be prominent.

Below are several fabric arrangements I have put together, using the New Neutral Color Palette outlined above, as the foundation for the color scheme.

An Exciting Gender Neutral Fabric Mix

This mix uses bold pops of color, large prints and eye catching patterns:

A Calming and Soothing Gender Neutral Mix

This mix uses fabrics with pleasant patterns that don’t overstimulate and colors that provide a sense of well being and calm:

A Feminine Take on the Gender Neutral Color Palette

This color story uses many of the same fabrics from our gender neutral arrangement, yet includes a few decidedly pink and botanical prints to the mix:

A Girly yet Sophisticated Color Scheme

This mix of fabrics is for those who want to indulge in princess wishes and pinkish dreams, while keeping it grounded with grays:

A Warmer Mix of Complimentary Colors, with a girlish persuasion:

This mix is has a bohemian feel using warm complimentary colors and retro botanical patterns:

A Particularly Boyish Blend

This mix still builds on our foundation of neutrals yet takes a decidedly masculine turn with darker colors, more contrast, and boyish patterns:

Now that your mind is open and you are beginning to play around with pattern mixing and colors, we will move on to Part 2 and begin making some decisions…eek! Stay tuned…


All Fabric shown can be purchased online from, Fabric and Art, and Textile Arts

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