Thursday, December 08, 2011

Bedside Reading: Decorating for a Nursery

One book that's a permanent fixture on my bedside nightstand is The American Woman's Encyclopedia of Home Decorating by Helen Koues, originally published in 1945, printed in 1952 by The Garden City Publishing Company. Everything you ever wanted to know about home decor is covered. For example, do you want to bleach or stain when you refinish furniture? Can you recognize the difference between English Tudor and English Jacobean?

Decorating a Nursery

When I began thinking about Gates' nursery I wondered if any of my books had advice; of course this encyclopedia did - an entire chapter! (Larger photos of a few of the pages can be viewed on Flickr.)

Some of the advice I found:
  • As they begin to notice what is about them, their education should begin. Animals, flowers, trees, the alphabet, boats, trains, and objects with which they will live the rest of their lives, may gradually be introduced (by pictures) into the surroundings. (p.266)
  • A sense of beauty can be cultivated by the care you take in planning their bedrooms for color, type and furniture. It is not a question of money but of ingenuity in using paint and inexpensive fabrics. (p.276)
  • Many a colorless room can be turned into a very gay one by the use of attractive chintz. (p.281)
  • Whatever the size of the room you have, and whether you spend little or much on it, there is ample opportunity to make it pretty and practical, through the use of color. (p.290)
  • Arrange for built-in features where worth-while toys and games can be kept. (p.287)
  • Let shelves and cupboards be low enough for little children to reach easily. (p.308)

Where do you go for decorating inspiration or advice?

Ciao Bella!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life. Bedside Reading is a monthly series, published the first week of each month (Monday for family-related picks, Tuesday for fashion, Wednesday for home, Thursday for food, and Friday for design), featuring books, magazines, or blogs that I enjoy.