Lately, we have been doing a lot of nursery/kid's room designs at work. They always make for fun projects and in my short time working on them as a non mom I have learned a few key lessons for nurseries in particular.
1. Skip the crib skirt - As the baby grows you will be adjusting the height of the mattress so they only work for a short period.
2. Use washable or indoor/outdoor fabric- This rule applies for any upholstery in a kids room.
3. Mix styles of furniture or shall I say avoid the "set" - Getting a bedroom or nursery set will end up making your nursery look like it belongs in the pages of a catalogue.
4. Buy multiple sheet sets
5. Incorporate fun art
6. Think ahead - A baby will not be a baby for long and having to completely redo a nursery when a child transitions to a toddler or big kid is a hassle and can be very expensive. Design a room that has pieces that can evolve with the child.
7. More than one - If you plan on having more than one child consider keeping one room as the designated "nursery". Move the older child to a different room when the new one comes along. In this case, you will want to keep the nursery more gender neutral.
8. Use color - I tend to be a neutral kind of girl but I think in a kids room color is key. Make it fun but not juvenile or baby.
9. Multiple seating options - Nurseries in particular tend to only have one seating option for adults - the rocker or glider. This isn't very conducive to family time so if you have space think about adding a daybed or sofa so that Mom, Dad or whoever can enjoy nursery time as well.
10. Don't wait till the last minute - Furnishing a well designed room can be an involved process. Ideally, start thinking about the design of your nursery after the first trimester. You want to give yourself plenty of time to find pieces you love and for them to be delivered!