“I’m planning a nursery for my new baby and could do with some expert advice – especially on how to use colour. Can you help?”

When Dulux colour expert Marieke discovered she was expecting a daughter, she knew she had a decorating challenge before her. The only spare room in her home was tiny and didn’t have a huge amount of natural light.

As a colour expert, she knows how important colour and pattern are to a baby’s development, so incorporating bright hues without overwhelming the space was her first priority.

She also wanted to use clever accessories and smart storage solutions to open up the room and create the illusion of space.

Marieke explains how she designed the perfect nursery for her little baby girl:

Yellow ochre will give a warm and sunny glow when it captures the light.

A sunny scheme

The nursery’s colour scheme is white, ochre yellow and pinky-red. To create this scheme, I first chose a warm muted yellow to be the nursery’s focal point. The room may be small but the yellow ochre captures the sunlight every morning, giving the space a wonderful warm glow and a sunny feel.

I then paired it with a muted pink that has just a touch of red in it – this helps the room feel modern, while still evoking a sweetness. The yellow and pink are both warm colours and look fabulous together.

Which paints?

50YY 42/490
70RR 67/092
90RR 83/009

Plants add a friendly, fresh and human feel to almost any room.

Plant power

I like to have a lot of plants in the house. For me, it gives the room more of a friendly, fresh and human feel.

Our nursery is quite small so I decided to buy one large plant and use it to create a statement. I placed it on a chair next to the ochre wall because green and yellow go so well together - they’re both nature colours and offset each other beautifully.

A white cabinet and a set of floating shelves are a great place to stash nappies and other baby care items.

Savvy storage

Limited storage space meant we had to really make the space work hard. That meant filling the room with only the essentials. We decided to go with a white cabinet and a set of floating shelves to stash all the nappies and other baby care items, plus some of her favourite books.

We painted the cabinet and shelves white and placed them against one of the white walls. The white of the cabinet and the white of the walls blend together to trick the eye into thinking the room is more spacious than it is.

By leaning a large mirror against a wall you’ll give the impression that the room is expanding and opening up at head height.

Mirror magic

Against the other white wall, we placed a large mirrored wardrobe, which covers almost the entire wall. A mirror is a clever way of creating the illusion of space, as it helps to reflect and bounce light around the room, making your space seem double the size.

By leaning a large mirror against a wall, for example, you’ll give the impression that the room is expanding and opening up at head height. Plus, babies tend to be fascinated by mirrors!

A few well-chosen accessories will add interest to any scheme.

Finishing touches

The furniture we bought is basic, simple and white, because we wanted the ochre yellow wall to be the hero of the space. We chose muted grey-turquoise fabric for both the cot and the chair to help offset the warm tones in the pink and yellow walls. The green and grey really pop against the ochre wall.

We placed the cot in the middle of the room to make the nursery feel more spacious. We can walk around and Mina also can look around the room. To make it super cosy we hung a mosquito net around the cot – this creates a little cocoon for her to sleep in.

Top tip

When using two warm colours, such as yellow and pinky-red, add plenty of white to balance the space and give your accent hues room to shine.

Featured colours