Learn from a Local Expert about Nursery Design: Mindi Kessenich, Owner of Amazing Space by MK

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I'm so excited to share this Q&A with my good friend, who also happens to be a very talented home stylist, mom and real estate professional.  I know I felt challenged with how to go about decorating my daughter's nursery, and figured my clients and other readers would love to get a pro's thoughts on where to start.  Read on for Mindi's expert tips and tricks for decorating a baby room.

1)  Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!  I thought it might be helpful for people to learn- where do you usually begin when conceptualizing a design for a room you are styling?

Thanks so much for asking! Nurseries are so much fun to design. I like to get a lot of input from the parents-to-be. Gender is obviously a big deal! The thing about nurseries is there are SO many options for color scheme. We are past the days of Winnie The Pooh and movie themed decor, but some people still prefer a softer, more pastel feel for their babies resting place. There are some really great modern day decor to help make those preferences feel more up to date. Nurseries are probably the only room in the house where ALL shades are still considered, which is why I like to have a pretty specific idea of how the parents want the room to feel. I usually start the same way most people probably do...with Pinterest! I create a board to get inspired by and then I run with it. Color scheme is number one though, and a good rule of thumb is to pick around 3 colors, and no more than 5. I also like to have some sort of loose theme. I am personally not a matchy matchy person, but everything should still work well together. 

2)  As you know, design is not really my thing, and my husband makes fun of my love of neutrals.  Do you have tips for those who love a clean palate, but also want some "pop" or "interest"?

Well I love design and I also LOVE neutrals!! There is nothing wrong with that! In fact, that's a great way to start a gender neutral nursery! The last gender neutral room I did, we picked a few colors that would go great with a masculine color, like navy blue, AND a feminine color like coral or pink. That way, we can bring in pillows, blankets, and other easy to add elements to incorporate those pops of color.

3)  What about those who don't care for the traditional pink or blue, but want the room to have a feminine or masculine vibe?

Yes! A lot of people these days are doing very non-traditional nurseries with bold colors that a little ones can really grow into as they age. There are still great themes you can stem from that will undoubtably be gender specific but not too immature. There is something for everyone in the world around us. Consider plants, flowers, mountains, animals, feathers, leaves- even world maps look awesome in kids rooms. They grow quickly so it makes sense!

4) What do you think are the key pieces every baby room needs?

Great question. Baskets are a necessity in my opinion. You can use baskets for diapers, toiletries, laundry, books, toys, anything really! I also recommend layering. I think this is something that's easy to overlook. For example, drape a blanket over your chair and throw a pillow on top. Any decor you have on a table or dresser, put a book underneath. These are little details that can add so much dimension to a space!

5)  As a mom and also expert decor shopper- what are a couple items or brands you think are worth an investment, and for what items do you think moms could bargain shop?

You know, the only things I would say are worth a possible spurge is a large, well crafted, sturdy, dresser that is NOT kid or baby specific, and a nice bookshelf if there is space for it.  I wouldn't even bother with a set because the crib will be gone within the first couple of years and a dresser can last through adulthood if it is high quality! A bookshelf is another piece that can be used for years to come. It can house much more than just books. Toys, clothes, decor, art supplies. You'll need something like that in a kids bedroom for life! The rest of the stuff in the nursery will come and go. 

Thanks so much to Mindi for these great ideas!  Find more awesome ideas and inspiration on her Facebook and Pinterest pages, and check out her decorating business, Amazing Space by MK, here.  She can also help with real estate or remodeling needs as a licensed realtor and Home Revival Specialist with Property Revival Realty.

Written by Angie Traska of Align Doula Services, providing intuitive, attentive doula support that aligns with you.  Serving Madison, WI and the surrounding areas.  Looking for doula support or lactation counseling in Madison?  Contact me here.