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Baby nursery fit for royalty

William and Kate might need ideas to decorate for newborn

Courtesy photos
Donna Hoaglund designed a nursery using a Beatrix Potter rabbit theme. A wide, soft chair in the room is a great space for late-night feedings and comforting.
Hoaglund transformed an office space in the home into a nursery for a local couple.

Now that Duchess Kate and Prince William are expecting their bundle of joy any day now, perhaps it’s time to think about preparing the royal nursery.

Not that they need our advice, mind you. But we couldn’t resist checking with some Fort Wayne décor mavens for suggestions for the baby who could have everything – or any other baby for that matter.

After all, doesn’t every baby deserve to be treated royally?


A crib is a nursery essential, says Donna Hoaglund, owner of Decorating Den, 1611 Holliston Trail, and it’s an item where practicality rules.

She says convertible cribs are trending because they’re an economical solution for parents faced with the fact that babies grow up – really fast.

One manifestation: Atlantic Furniture’s palace-ready Versailles 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, which goes from a baby sleeper to a toddler bed, a daybed and even a full-size bed by reconfiguring pieces ($825 at

Not all convertibles are that pricey. A 4-in-one model by Graco can be had from for less than $160.

Many cribs (and other pieces of baby room furniture) come in natural-wood finishes and sophisticated styling that doesn’t scream that a baby once slept in them – think sleigh-bed-style cribs or ones that look like they’re made of red barn wood for a country look.

A particularly regal model, which has outside end panels upholstered in a tufted gold-and-white pattern can be found for $1,600 at

Changing tables

“Nappy time” in Britain hasn’t much to do with sleeping. We’re not entirely sure royal babies, well, you know. But we’re pretty sure regular babies do.

Which means the need for some place for changing nappies, or diapers as we know them. And, as with cribs, changers that change into something else are in demand.

Carter’s Manchester model (a fine English moniker!) has shelves that can convert to book or toy storage later ($160, Another changer ($500 at promises to become a child’s desk. Still another, the Bedford Baby Monterey, at J.C. Penney for $525, can become a regular chest of drawers.

“You know what I suggest when a baby is new? Something that you can strap on or screw onto the top that is a plastic surface that you can sanitize,” Hoaglund says. “You have to be able to wipe it down to disinfect it.”

Not that Kate will be doing much of that, we expect. But we also suppose she’ll be considerate of the help.

Themes and colors

Uncountable websites aim to assist those puzzling over this issue.

Fire trucks, space robots, prince or princess, dogs, Bible stories, polka dots, ponies, circus animals, soccer. What’s a new parent to do?

Go with whatever theme or colors you like for the nursery, Hoaglund says.

“If you want your child to have the typical pink or blue bedroom, that’s perfectly all right,” she says, noting that themes that are less gender-stereotypical do seem to be rising in popularity. She cites as an example a posh nursery, for a boy, done in a Beatrix Potter rabbit theme.

“I know of one young couple who didn’t want to know the sex of their child, so they did it all in greens and yellows,” she says.

News reports have it that the duchess, who does not know or is not divulging the gender of the baby, lately has been spotted shopping chic boutiques in London, looking at textiles in “herringbone brown.”

We’re all for her restrained elegance, but we sincerely hope the color is for a general palace redo.


The big question, says Becky Miller, interior designer with Decorative Circle, 7309 W. Jefferson Blvd., is carpeting or bare floor.

Wall-to-wall is soft and fuzzy and adds an aura of warmth, but babies not infrequently mean wet messes. “If you have a hard floor, it’s easier to clean up,” she says.

As a compromise, Miller suggests bare floor with “a really cool area rug.” Parents might even be able to find an indoor/outdoor rug able to withstand unkind treatment or a colorful mat made of rubber tiles that will double as a play space.

Or, Miller says, a tile or wooden floor can be warmed up with stenciling. “It looks real cute,” she says.

Perhaps Kate could try her hand at a royal crest?

Window treatments

There’s been a change in the air lately, says Angie Lash, designer with Midwest Blind and Shade in Fort Wayne.

Many nursery windows now are decorated only with a valance or topper or sill-length push-aside curtains because of safety concerns about cords.

But shade and blind manufacturers have responded, and a trend is room-darkening cellular shades, also called “honeycomb shades,” that are cordless or have concealed cords, she says.

“Everybody wants room-darkening shades because people want babies to take naps,” she says.

Perhaps even duchesses.


Miller says many moms make sure there’s a comfy chair with a soft cushion in the nursery, a rocker or glider or recliner, for late-night feeding and comforting.

These days, she says, more parents make sure the chair is daddy-comfy as well. Some even are adding other touches to make care-sharing more bearable, like a mini-stereo or small TV with headphones.

A painted or stick-on mural or wallpaper accent works nicely in lieu of heavy wall décor that might fall – there are even stick-on mirrors to amuse baby in the crib, Hoaglund says. “A fun touch,” Miller says, is painting something on the ceiling over the crib.

The duchess apparently has purchased one accessory – she and her mum were spotted with something called a Moses basket in white wicker.

For us uninitiated Americans, the item is a baby-sized basket with handles for transport. Some can be placed in a special stand for stationary nursery use.

The items, also called badger baskets, can be seen at, where they cost about $40 to $360, with the latter price for one lined in white Dupioni silk.

Which is royally impractical, as far as we can tell.