Decorating The Eco Friendly Nursery
Products and methods we can use to make a child's first bedroom sustainable
If you have been reading the Sultan blog before you will know that if you want to be sustainable and eco friendly as a homeowner, it is to not decorate at all. This way you aren’t using any resources, not creating any waste and don’t have to worry about toxin levels in substrates which you are bringing into your home. Of course, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes your interiors just need the TLC and sometimes, sometimes you might be having a baby!
When you are nesting, safety is on your mind.
Never is decorating more on our mind than when we are expecting an addition to our home.
The overwhelming urge that drives many pregnant women to clean, organise and decorate - otherwise known as nesting - is said to be an adaptive behaviour stemming from humans' evolutionary past. But it’s also something which is expected of us culturally.
I remember feeling really guilty when I had my son, that we didn’t have a spare room at the time to decorate and put the crib in. You know. Like on instagram or in a Hollywood movie.
I know now that we don’t have to do any of this. our child will be happy that it is born into a family who loves them and has a roof over their heads. So before you launch yourself into imagining a perfect family and a perfect nursery - please remember - it does not exist.
It is also a time when many mothers worry about “toxins”. Toxins is a buzzword with no scientific meaning. You will be happy to hear that most modern paint emulsions and wallpapers cannot harm your baby. The main thing to avoid is oil based paints. Read more about eco-friendly paints in our blog here.
But it’s fun to create your nursery and it can be a wonderful ritual where we prepare for the new family member. Plus, if we do want our children to have a future - we need to look after the natural world we are living in. Here at the Sultans, we believe that this is only possible with science.
What products can I use to make my baby’s nursery eco friendly, then?
1. Graphenstone is a sustainable air purifying paint
When Graphenstone contacted us a few months ago and claimed that their paint actually purifies the air I thought it must be a marketing trick. When I researched it I found that not only do they have the relevant certifications (such as Cradle to Cradle Institute , Green Tag and Eurofins Air Comfort). - they are a product that’s a marriage between natural lime substrates and some pretty mind blowing science. Now, I’m a sceptical lady - so my main worry was that it wouldn’t be a good paint from a trade perspective. Maybe it wouldn’t have any longevity, like Farrow & Ball (Read what we think about them here)? My worries were disproven, as you will see a bit further down.
Although Graphenstone has many different products, we decided to go for “Grafclean”. This emulsion is 100% natural paint and it incorporates a unique natural resin binder they’ve coined ‘Component B.’ This innovation allows a natural paint to behave like an acrylic. It’s also wipeable and scrubbable, which as the baby grows into a busy toddler - can be life saving. Because you want your nursery to last, otherwise it is not eco friendly as we established in the beginning of this article. That’s why it’s worth not making your nursery too specific, because as soon as those little humans learn how to speak - they start having opinions about stuff - like how their room is decorated.
2. Wallpaper can be eco friendly too! Use local sustainably made products.
Another product we love and has all the certifications necessary is the beautifully designed and highly sustainable wallpapers from The Den Decor. Read more about their eco-friendly products in our blog post here. It is very important to support small local sustainable businesses but that doesn’t mean that everything has to come with the most advanced certifications. Upcycling and buying vintage items can be an effective and cheap way to be eco conscious.
3. Buy pre-loved items when you can
The baby business does suffer from a quick turn around, and even if you have certain ideas about how you’re going to raise your kids - many first time parents over buy stuff which they end up never using. One of the best pieces of advice my one of my mummy friends gave me (which I didn’t follow) was to wait until the baby was born to buy the stuff I thought I needed. Because the baby might not agree with my choices. My friend was right, for example my baby really didn’t want to drink pumped milk - so the expensive pump I painstakingly researched went pretty much unused. Until I gave it away to a friend. In fact some of the best things I got for my kid were things that had been used by my best friends before me - fancy slings, clothes and toys. Pre-loved is such a wonderful word. If you don’t have much family or friends to give you stuff, surfing the local facebook pages can be a God send.
4. Be inspired by nature: Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is all the rage nowadays. Living in London we don’t have access to the sea, the forest or the natural world. Nicla D Interiors, an interior designer who specialises in biophilic design describes it as “a way to bring elements of the natural world into our home for improved well-being. ”. Research shows that babies have a strong connection with Nature. It calms them down and increases their curiosity. She recommends parents to incorporate nature into the nursery with plants to purify the air, nature inspired wall decorations like birds and baby animals to amuse and delight. Use natural materials,textures, shapes. Babies love the sounds of nature too!This will inspire your child to feel closer to nature and grow in a healthier environment.
Look at this lovely eco-friendly nursery above!
We are very proud to have completed the collaboration with Graphenstone and The Den for one of our littlest clients (unborn in fact!). It’s not designed by an interior designer and it is also a home office for mummy and daddy, but it’s absolutely beautiful. AND the paint purifies the air! Isn’t that an amazing legacy for this future tiny human.
Please note that some of the products above were gifted to our clients.