Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most thrilling experiences of your life. It can also be one of the most overwhelming. You have a thousand choices to make right now. Compared to whether to name your little bundle of joy Alice or Aloysius and the always-feisty cosleeping debate, nursery window treatments may not seem like a high priority. But if you value being well-rested, heed our advice. Make this decision very, very carefully.
Having the right window coverings in the baby’s room can be the difference between a few hours of sleep and a few minutes. And as a once-sleep-deprived mother, I can assure you that every second of shuteye matters. (Hint: You won’t be getting much once baby is here.)
The good news is that, unlike babies, nursery window treatments actually do come with an instruction manual of sorts. Below, you’ll find tips on how to choose your nursery window coverings, what it means to have blackout curtains, plus window treatment inspiration to help you make the best selection.
Keeping Baby Safe
Safety first! It goes without saying that your top concern is keeping your new baby happy and healthy. While preparing their room is super exciting, there are some serious safety considerations that need to be addressed in the nursery design. So, before diving into the details of each option, familiarize yourself with these dos and don’ts of nursery window treatments.
The Dos and Don’ts of Nursery Window Treatments:
- DON’T use tension rods – If your little one gets a hold of the drapes, a tension rod could succumb to the pressure and come tumbling down. This is an easily avoidable accident, though. Learn how to choose drapery hardware. The best pieces can be screwed into a stud in the wall and properly secured with brackets and anchors.
- DON’T embellish – Drapery with tassels, beading or other embellishment quickly can become a choking hazard. Keep the fabric flat and simple to help reduce any risk.
- DO tie up the cords – Dangling cords are dangerous in a nursery or kid’s room. If you choose Roman shades or woven woods, make sure to install the cord cleat high out of reach and be diligent about wrapping up the cord every time you open the shade, so little hands cannot get to it.
- DO keep it cool – Overheating is a lesser known risk factor, but it is a serious one. The National Institutes of Health has warned that heavy blankets and warm room temperatures can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). By choosing blackout nursery window treatments and closing them during peak sun hours, you can help keep the room cool.
- DO make time to clean – You’ll probably be tidying up the nursery every day, maybe even multiple times a day to keep it neat. But when it’s time for a deep clean, don’t forget about your window treatments. Between grimy hands and dust bunnies, you’ll need to know how to clean drapery to keep it looking its best. Believe me, the time and effort is worth it in the long run.
Planning Your Nursery Window Treatments
As soon as you start looking at paint chips and throw pillows, it’s time to think about your nursery window treatments. They play an important role in the overall nursery design. In fact, your window treatments can be the focal point of the room – next to your beaming bundle of joy, that is.
When planning the layout and décor, there are two important factors to consider with your nursery window treatments:
How much light do you want?
The main function of all window treatments is lighting control. They block natural light from flooding inside and heating up your space. This is especially critical in a nursery, where you need the room to feel comfortably cool but still sunny and cheerful.
A fully lit room, for instance, might feature drapery crafted from lightweight sheers. For a slight light reduction, you would hang something more dense, like 100% linen drapery or a linen blend. For even more light diffusion, consider adding privacy lining. If you want minimal sunlight (and maximum rest), blackout lining is ideal. Finally, if you want to achieve absolute darkness during daylight hours you might consider doubling up on blackout lined window treatments. By placing both blackout lined shades and drapery over the same window, you effectively eliminate all gaps and crevices that light can find its way around.
What mood are you trying to set?
With window treatments consuming so much of the wall space, they can largely influence the mood of the room. Depending on the fabric and color you choose, you can either create a bright, bold design or something soft and tranquil.
While it might be tempting to look for prints, like a lively animal motif, on your window treatments, a rich solid color, like a carbon gray or indigo blue, can set a cheerful tone without the risk of being outgrown once your baby transforms into an older child who doesn’t like the animal motif. For a softer tone in the nursery, you’ll want to stick with a neutral color palette – shades of white or beige. As for fabric, the airiness of either 100% linen or linen blend drapery is instantly soothing. These are perfect for creating a Zen den. Meanwhile, woven wood shades or Roman shades offer added texture and heftiness.
Take your time sifting through fabrics and colors, as these decisions will set the tone for your nursery.
3 Nursery Window Treatment Ideas
Once you’ve determined the mood and amount of natural light that you want, it’s time to go shopping. These are four of the safest and most stunning nursery window treatments you can buy:
1. Curtains and Drapes
Curtains and drapes are timeless window treatments, so you can never go wrong with these. But in a nursery, they are particularly helpful in blocking out light. Drapes cover the full width and length of your windows when the panels are drawn together. Plus, they come in several different fabric weights and linings, so you can decide how much light gets filtered through. From a style standpoint, drapes are exceptionally dramatic. So if you’re trying to make a statement, the delicate elegance of drapery will do.
2. Roman Shades
Roman shades also come in a variety of fabrics and colors, making it easy to add these window coverings to any style nursery. But, perhaps, the best part about Roman shades is the fact that they provide the most light blocking of any window treatment. They leave little room for sunlight to slip through. Of course, how you mount your Roman shades does make a different. In a nursery, you’ll probably want to choose outside mount window shades to prevent light leakage from the sides of your windows. Even a sliver of light can keep baby awake or heat up their crib.
3. Woven Woods
It may seem like a no-brainer to add woven shades to a neutral color palette, but these window treatments can do much more than blend in. Woven woods add much-needed texture, which can be a smart design choice against matte walls. Not to mention the natural materials they’re comprised of, such as bamboo, grasses and reeds, are the perfect complement to other wood elements in the room, including grainy floors or a wood heirloom crib.
When it comes to light blocking, woven woods are easily adjustable. When closed, they will cover the entire window pane; but they can also be pulled up to any level for more or less light. If you’re looking for total blockage, you can always add a custom-fit blackout lining to your woven woods.
Choosing Blackout Window Treatments for a Nursery
Blackout fabric is a lining for your window treatments that creates total privacy and eliminates natural light almost entirely. One window treatment with blackout lining likely won’t create total darkness. Light can find its way around the sides of Roman shades and woven woods or above the top of drapery panels. To eliminate these coverage gaps and create a completely dark room in the middle of the day, you can always double up on the window treatments. Drapes and shades is a popular combination – especially in nurseries with large windows.
At Everhem, we can add a blackout lining to all nursery window treatments, except linen sheer drapery. We highly recommend using blackout lining for your nursery! Trust me; I’ve been through the nursery phase and blackout window coverings were a lifesaver. If you don’t invest in them, you just may find yourself investing in extra double shots of espresso instead! As an interior design professional, my top priority is always my clients’ comfort. In nursery design, that also means paying close attention to how a newborn will feel in the space. Luckily, Everhem has a wide selection of fabrics and window treatment options that can accommodate any mood you want. With the customization we offer, you can create a nursery that leads to sweet dreams and happy babies and, hopefully, quasi-well rested parents.