Whether you're preparing for your first baby or revamping an existing nursery, choosing the right curtains is probably one of your biggest decisions. We've researched this topic in-depth and have some very important design - and safety! - tips to share with you in this post.
When choosing curtains for the nursery room, safety should be your first priority:
- Keep drapes away from the baby's bed, and make sure a toddler won't be able to reach out and pull them down either.
- Stay away from beads, cords, or ribbons, and above all - make sure you install the curtains in a secure way.
Design-wise, incorporate your curtains in an overall peaceful yet happy color palette. Plan ahead so you can match items of the same fabric elsewhere in the room. If you have a theme - express it in window treatments as well.
That was a lot of information to take in, we know. Which is why we elaborate on it all in this post! Keep reading, as we break down safety and design issues to help you choose the right curtains for your nursery.
Safety tips for choosing nursery room curtains
Naturally, your first consideration is to keep the room safe for the baby. Remember, your precious newborn will quickly turn into a toddler. Within a year, he or she will probably be taking their first steps. That means you need to plan ahead when choosing window treatments - keeping toddler safety in mind too.
And don't worry, this should not come in the way of your curtains looking absolutely fabulous! We promise we're going to cover design tips too in a minute. As they say, safety first!
Keep drapes away from the baby's bed
Even a month old baby can grab the drapes and pull fairly hard. And that can be very dangerous. Even a lightweight curtain could be dangerous for a small baby who might not be able to throw it off. To be safe, try to keep curtains away from the baby's bed.
The very best way to do that? Keep the bed away from the windows. That's actually also better for making sure the bed is in the area that's least affected by a drop - or rise - of the temperature outside.
Opt for lightweight curtains if possible
Think about your one-year-old toddler running around and pulling on the curtain. It's going to happen. Now, if the curtain is lightweight and fully secured, that's not a huge safety issue but with heavy drapes - and heavier rods - it could get risky.
Heavy drapes or valances? Go short
If you have your heart set on heavier drapes or rods, it's best to keep them short and out of a toddler's reach. Valances can add weight too but fortunately, they are naturally short by design.
Avoid beads of any kind
Beads are choking hazards that you'll have to keep away from your baby. It will be a few year's time before you'll be able to let your young one play with beads unsupervised, so just keep them out of reach for now.
In terms of curtains, anything beaded - is a no-go. Not even in the form of applique or woven into the fabric. You just never know when a tear will get a bead loose. With plenty of other beautiful designs available - why risk it?
Keep cords and ribbons out of a toddler's reach
Again, choking hazard alert. If your curtains have cords - make sure they're always firmly tucked out of a toddler's reach!
Install the curtains in a secure way
In the nursery, anything that has the potential to fall and hurt a baby needs to be very securely held in place. That goes for furniture and also for your window covers. The heavier they are, the more attention you need to pay to make sure they firmly adhere to the wall. If you're not sure how to do that, consult with a professional.
Read more: Types of curtain hooks.
There is more to safety than just the curtains, so make sure you read the CDC guidelines for keeping the baby's room safe.
Design tips for choosing the curtains for your nursery room
Finally, with safety issues all covered, let's talk about the fun part: home decor!
Curtains are a huge item when it comes to any room design. Literally, they're very large and that means you need to pay attention to choosing the right ones for your overall design.
Because curtains are so central to the overall result, don't leave the decision on curtains to the very last minute. Take window treatments into consideration in the planning stage. Right when you're thinking rugs, wall color, and furniture. The curtains need to match the overall theme and color scheme.
Get enough fabric
The fabric you choose can have an impact that goes beyond the windows. You can use it for other items in the room but again, for that, you need to plan ahead.
Whether you're sowing your own curtains, getting someone else to do that for you, or buy ready-made drapes - invest in the extra fabric so you can use it elsewhere in the room. If your budget allows, why not get a full cover for one of the pieces of furniture in the room? And if that's too much, a couple of throw pillows would work too.
Choosing the right color and pattern
You should decide whether or not the curtains are going to be a focal point in the nursery. A focal point is an item that draws the eye to it, designed to stand out in the room. Drapes can certainly do that - if that's your goal.
Alternatively, curtains also "know" how to stay in the background, leaving the spotlight for your beautiful antique crib or rocking chair.
The way to draw attention to - or divert if from - any item can be via color and pattern. If you want, go for an eye-catching color or pattern for your drapes and make them the star of the show. Or, go the opposite way and get them in a subtle neutral hue such as cream or beige, and avoid loud patterns.
For many parents, introducing that level of calmness to the nursery matters.
If you do go for a strong color or loud pattern, remember to balance them out. Use other items in the room to avoid making the drapes your absolute centerpiece. A focal point, yes, possibly. Just complement it with other items for a harmoniously balanced result.
Express your theme
Last - but not least - work with your theme.
Curtains are a fantastic way to express a theme in any room, including the nursery. You can use textures, colors, and prints to compliment pretty much any theme.
For example, if you're going with a princess theme for a girl's nursery, why not go for pink or pearly-white satin-like drapes? Or maybe a Disney princess print? Maybe a safari-themed nursery is your thing? Think green, lush drapes, or go for kid-friendly animal prints.
Blackout curtains for the nursery
Many parents are rightly concerned about keeping the nursery dark - even during the day. It may be even more of a concern if you live in an area where day hours are very long during summer months.
After all, newborn babies spend 14-17 hours a day sleeping, and later on, they still need 12+ hours a day of sleep throughout their first year. As any parent will tell you, those hours aren't necessary during the night either. All babies and infants need midday naps - often more than one.
Which means you want to keep the nursery dark when the baby is asleep. Blackout curtains are the solution to this problem.
You can buy drapes that are made as blackout curtains. Unfortunately, they're usually dark, dull and devoid of pattern. Not ideal for the nursery. The good news is that some companies manufacture very cure nursery curtains with blackout lining.
The even better news?
You can buy blackout lining - in the form of simple inexpensive blackout curtains - and have them sown on the back of your nursery curtains. If you can afford to - consider getting them on both sides of the blackout curtain so that you'll be able to enjoy them from the outside as well. Otherwise, make sure the pretty design is on the inside, so you and your baby can enjoy the color and pattern.
Enjoy designing your nursery - and enjoy parenthood!
Don't forget to have fun decorating your baby's room! This can easily become an enjoyable part of your parenthood experience - preparing the best possible little nest for your precious baby and yourselves. Make it safe, cozy, and beautiful - a place where you'll be creating memories for years to come.