Instant Wall Decor
No paste, no water, no backing paper, no mess. If this appeals to you, it’s possible to get self-adhesive wallpaper borders that go straight from the roll onto the wall. You’ll find decorative motifs from childlike nursery designs to sophisticated florals and geometries. For older children there are dolphins, brightly colored stylized animals, realistic safari animals, tropical fish, carousels, planes and trains and autos. Just measure the strips to go along a wall and press into place. You can decorate the room in less than an hour.

Windows
Aside from looking good, a window treatment should allow for light and air circulation and provide a way to darken the room. Long curtains are impractical. A crawling baby will head straight for them. Cafe curtains, shades or blinds are best. Keep the treatment simple and carefree. Shades are the most practical and come in a wide range of colors and designs. If you use a shade you can add a fabric valance or a cafe curtain and valance to match the colors in the room or the fabric on the crib or bed. You can customize plain shades with a painted or stenciled design, or apply press-on designs from a room decorating kit to match the wall decor.

Floors
From the time they start to sit up and crawl, children spend a lot of time on the floor. The floor should be warm, uncluttered, safe and easy to clean. If it’s nonslip and not hard this is a plus, especially in the early years when kids haven’t quite gotten their balance. Resilience and soundproofing are other considerations. Remember, too, that the floor is the surface for a young child’s play and should be smooth enough to run cars and toys over easily. In the end, the choice boils down to a carpeted surface or a bare one.

Vinyl flooring is practical because it’s durable and easy to clean, and it’s softer than a wood floor. A small area carpet could be placed in front of the crib or under your feet in front of the rocker for warmth. If you opt for carpeting it should be made of a low-pile fiber for high-traffic areas, and be stain and static resistant.

Lighting
You’ll want two types of lighting in a nursery. In general, you’ll want the lighting to be soft and diffused, but you’ll also need task lighting over the changing table. For an older child’s room, you’ll still need the soft lighting since young children often want a light left on at night, but you’ll need bright lights for their play and work areas.

If you have overhead lighting, a dimmer switch is a good thing to install. It’s inexpensive and will give you the lighting control you need for different situations. You’ll also need a night light. There are many novelty lamps that are actually decorative night lights and that sit on a table or dresser, not the kind you insert directly into the electrical outlet. You can use a low-wattage bulb in any type of table lamp.