So baby is on the way, and that little wrinkled ball of flesh is going to need a place to sleep. That’s the easy part. Dad, empty out your man cave, pack up the X-Box 360 and the action figure collection, and get ready to start painting.
It would be easy enough to go with the traditional pink-for-girls/blue-for-boys scenario. And easier still to purchase color-coordinated bedding and window treatments. But what fun is that? Go with a personalized themed nursery, and a world of fun opens up for both parent and baby. Here are a few suggestions for a space-themed bedroom, a place where the little one can explore the universe, a place where dad might even be able to store a few of those aforementioned action figures.
Stars. Planets. Galaxies. Babies are fascinated with shiny, twinkling stuff, and they respond well to contrasting colors and large, well-defined shapes. So decorating the baby’s room like outer space seems fitting. Of course, the first consideration for the sleeping quarters of a budding Carl Sagan is a mobile.
This particular solar system mobile is gorgeous, hand-painted and well-crafted. Better yet, there is no Pluto. (Poor Pluto.)
There’s also this hand-stitched mobile, complete with rocket. It’s more cutesy than realistic, and when the baby destroys it, the pieces can be used as little play toys.
The ceiling, of course, is of utmost importance. Stars are a must. You could go with cheap glow-in-the-dark star decals to decorate the ceiling, and that would certainly do the trick. (A few glowy decals on ceiling fan blades makes for a neat circular pattern when the lights are out and the fan is on.)
But this fiber-optic star ceiling is so much cooler. Baby will be quietly star gazing into the night with real, twinkling lights splayed above those little wandering eyes.
Add to that the Moon in My Room, a super cool … toy?
We bought one of these for my daughter’s room several years ago and it’s still on the wall. The textured, translucent moon lights up and changes phases with a click on the remote. It also comes with an audio CD that explains each phase. Seriously, it’s awesome.
Wanna ease your newborn into a blissful, spacey sleep? Here is a CD of ambient space sounds. (Pick up two, and use one in your own bedroom.)
THE SPACE CRAFT
Once baby’s immediate needs are met, or more accurately your need to get the little bastard to sleep, it’s time to decorate the interior of the space craft: walls, windows, doors. Purchasing a bedset with matching draperies and wall paper is not an option if you want a really cool room for your kid, one he or she might consider keeping through early childhood. Hand-painted and personalized is the way to go. It’s a lot more work, but a lot more fun, too.
This is a fantastic idea, with a wide racing stripe spanning part or all of the room. Add rocket ships, stars, swirling black holes. Border the stripe with strips of chair-rail painted grey and detailed with “bolts” for a space-shippy look. This bolted-border treatment can also be employed around the windows, so your tyke can look out into the vast backyard universe that will soon be explored.
Paint your kid’s name somewhere on the walls or on the door, maybe with the title Space Commander in cursive just above it. Use your imagination, and you will spark your child’s imagination, too.
THE OUTER REALMS
Now it’s time to travel to the edges of this tiny universe, where baby can engage in some serious research. Vintage tin space toys are an awesome addition to a baby’s room, just make sure to keep them on shelves too high to reach.
Many of these toys are painted with lead-based paints, which is a no go for teething toddlers. But damn they are cool, and kids appreciate this kind of stuff when they get older.
For safer fun, a space ship plush toy is in order. This one is pretty cool. With a design reminiscent of Flash Gordon. Etsy crafter Ollie Toys says there is a “girl version” available, but one wonders what that might be. (Probably ugly pink. Yuck.) I think this one is cool for both sexes.
For the really adventurous, there is this nearly creepy baby space traveler, made from found and recycled pieces.
This is probably not for playtime, more for show, but it’s totally retro-looking and the prefect emblem for baby space traveler.
The key to making baby’s room fun is originality, creativity and personalization. Baby won’t be baby for long, so dolling the place up with a load of cookie-cutter baby crap has a short lifespan and won’t appeal to the kid as he or she gets older. Making the place interesting and fun from lift-off will save you a lot of grief and will appeal to a child throughout their childhood.
And you get to keep all those cool toys when the little one grows out of them.