Nursery Flooring Ideas
Choices for Your Baby’s Room
by Sherri Blum
Today I am thrilled to welcome our HomeWorkshop.com Nursery and Kids Room Design Expert and Contributor, Sherri Blum. A pioneer specialist for children’s-room interior design, Sherri’s designs for celebrities, and for the baby next door.
Expectant parents are very enthusiastic about decorating their baby’s nursery. They’re busily preparing a warm, beautiful, and safe little haven for this new addition to the family.
They painstakingly select the crib, bedding, wall colors, rocking chair and more. The closet quickly fills with precious little layettes all lined in a row, and stuffed animals sit sweetly on shelves. One vital piece in the functionality and safety of the baby’s room, however is often an afterthought — the floor.
Now I realize that young parents might not have the funds in their budget to change the existing floor in the nursery. If this is the case for you, then give your floor a good steam cleaning and make the most of it. Your baby will still be happy, safe and loved!
But if you are fortunate enough to have the funds available to change the flooring, then you should definitely check out your options. Yes, the baby will be spending much of his time in the crib, being held in the rocker or changed on the table. However, before you know it, your baby will be rolling over and crawling all over that floor.
Many parents still opt for carpeting. They want the softer, cushioned and warmer surface for their baby to lie on and crawl across. However, some studies state that carpeting can pose problems for children. Synthetic carpets contain chemicals that have been linked to a rise in childhood asthma. It’s also commonly known that carpeting can trap airborne allergens as well as dust mites, exacerbating allergies in children.
However, the carpeting manufacturers have begun fighting back with their own studies stating that hardwood flooring allows the common house dust, mites and allergens to be too easily kicked back up into the air with normal traffic, therefore shooting them right back into our breathing passages and lungs, creating more allergic reactions.
Given the ongoing studies and controversy, I’m going to try to give you what I feel are the best and most stylish alternatives for each type of flooring. Select what you feel best suits your baby and your lifestyle.
If you love the warmth and softness of carpeting, opt for natural materials. Some synthetic carpets made of nylon or polyester fibers, contain toxic chemicals derived from petroleum. These ‘volatile organic compounds,’ or VOC’s, can evaporate from carpets into the air we breathe.
Natural materials such as wool, sisal or jute, are healthier carpet options, eliminating most–if not all–chemicals from the manufacturing process. Some carpeting manufacturers are now offering lower-VOC synthetic carpets that are less expensive than natural carpeting options. Do your research before purchasing your carpet.
If hard-surface flooring is your choice, you have many good options. However carpet lovers will argue that you’ll deal with increased noise level, as well as a cold, hard and possibly slippery surface which can be difficult on little ones just learning to walk.
If you love the look of traditional hardwood floors, try to make the greener choice by selecting wood from a company that recycles old wood from barns, etc… such as Yesteryear Floorworks, or choose hardwoods from companies that use only ‘FSC certified’ wood which comes from responsibly-managed forests. Find a list of companies here.
For a beautiful option quickly gaining popularity, bamboo is a renewable resource, easy to install over a variety of surfaces, resilient and stylish to boot.
Another hard surface choice, which I personally think is perfect for nurseries, is cork. Cork is naturally anti-allergenic, is durable and provides excellent insulation — making it a warmer option over traditional hardwood flooring. You can choose from a wide range of colors and styles to best suit your design needs.
Not only is cork comfortable to walk on, but also offers high noise absorption as well. This could come in handy when you’re sneaking in to check on a sleeping baby at night, as well as in later years when your little angel brings home his first musical instrument for evening practices!
Regardless of which flooring surface you select, you should definitely consider an area rug or two. These smaller rugs are easy to clean or replace and will add necessary warmth and style next to a crib, and will give the baby a play spot in the room that is softer on the knees and behind.
There are many beautiful and stylish options available in various sizes and materials. Again, I opt for the natural materials and wool is my personal favorite. In fact I have produced my own line of hand-hooked wool nursery rugs. (Here’s where the shameless self-promotion comes in!) Check out the line on my Sherri Blum Designs site, that includes my Storybook Rug (above).
Another great source for nursery rugs is Rosenberry Rooms. They have a wonderful selection of rugs of various sizes, materials and themes for children of all ages. Here are a few of my favorite trendy nursery rugs from Rosenberry.
So when designing your nursery, keep in mind the importance of the floor. You and your little one will be spending many afternoons playing, reading, giggling, napping and snuggling on this surface. Choose one that is safest, most comfortable, and yet stylish for your family. It’s worth your time and thought!
Sherri Blum loves putting her talents to use designing beautiful rooms for her tiny clients. Sherri’s designs are popular among celebrities and have been featured in numerous TV shows and publications.
Sherri shares with us trends, designer projects and advice for creating beautiful, yet functional kids rooms and baby nurseries.
Sherri operates her design firm Jack and Jill Interiors and she creates her signature line of children’s wall art, clocks and hand-hooked, wool rugs — Sherri Blum Designs. Sherri writes the Jack and Jill blog, and resides with her family in rural Pennsylvania.
What flooring do (or did) you use in your baby’s nursery, or kids rooms? How did that work for you?