Next: Decorating a nursery? Top tips for baby’s first bedroom!

One big benefit of having your own Shared Ownership home is that you can decorate to your heart’s content – whatever colours, floor coverings and wall art you love, you can bring to your own place.

This means you can truly make a house a home, and a family home at that. Starting a family is one of the most exciting times in life, and every parent is keen to make sure their home is ready to welcome the new arrival. In fact, a recent survey found that 68% of parents agree design and décor is important in a nursery.

But where to begin? DIY decorating can be daunting, especially when you’re new to nurseries. So we’ve brought together the most important things to bear in mind, along with some great tips for your baby’s first bedroom.

Bear in mind that you may have some restrictions, or have to apply for permissions, for more structural work to a Shared Ownership property (like a new bathroom).

Think about what space you have

Small nurseries can be just as gorgeous as larger ones, but it’s important to think carefully and make the most of a room. Think about how much natural light there is – if you’re working with a smaller space, avoid dark colours and use paler shades that reflect light around a room.

Prioritise the furniture that you need closest to the baby’s cot, like a nursing chair or changing table. A bookshelf is important too, but this can easily live in a different room!

Calming colours: go for neutrals and pastels

“Babies are happier when surrounded by soothing pastel shades; following birth they have a lot of adjusting to do and thrive in a calming coloured environment,” explains colour psychologist June McLeod.

Alongside this it seems that today’s parents are less keen on the typical “pink for a girl, blue for a boy” colour scheme, with 57% opting instead for bright colours or muted neutrals.

Pie chart showing the preferred colour schemes for a child's nursery

This means that shades like soft grey, pale yellow, mint green and peach are absolutely spot on for newborns. These colours will also be easy to paint over when the time comes to redecorate.

Check out the full survey findings from Next Home here.

Brand new or second hand? Try a mix

Interior decorating can quickly become expensive, and there are plenty of other items to buy when you’re preparing for a baby.

One way to be a little bit thrifty is to browse second hand furniture. Of course your little one will need a proper bed at some point, but you might find you can afford both by purchasing a pre-loved cot (and spending more on a bed in the future). This approach is also environmentally friendly.

Ask friends and family if they’re looking to get rid of anything, and take a look online for second hand bargains near you.

Plan ahead to save time and money

Decorate the nursery before the baby arrives, if you can (like 60% of parents surveyed). This will be harder to do once you have a little one to attend to, and you can allow more time to plan.

Think about what you and your baby will still need in a year or two – consider carefully before buying something brand new that a newborn will quickly grow out of.

Introduce bright colours with soft furnishings

Bed throws, rugs, wall art, cushions and other soft furnishings are a brilliant way to update the colour scheme in a room.

Use these to add new, bold colours to a nursery – you (and your little one!) can experiment with different shades. It’s easier to refresh a room by updating these than re-decorating the whole space!

Discover more Shared Ownership news and top tips here.

New parents decorating their nursery