Every day all kinds of people, mostly of the female variety, have babies. But when a royal family member picks up a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting suddenly all thoughts focus on one thing; the royal baby's room.
OK, so maybe that particular obsession is more prevalent among people interested in home design than, say, cricket. But who wouldn't drool like a teething baby at the chance to decorate that kid's room? The space is undoubtedly, and literally, fit for a king or queen. The design budget is probably as close as is mathematically possible to infinite. And even the hand-me-downs are pretty darn good, although those Medieval period pieces can be a tad garish, and when the royal baby monitor needs its batteries recharged things get complicated because it's not an audio system so much as 24-hour uniformed staff.
For we commoners, the biggest concern once was whether to paint the nursery pastel pink or pale blue. It's almost difficult to believe things were so black-or-white, so to speak, but they were. Then there was the trend when babies rooms had "themes" like Beatrix Potter or Classic Pooh or fairies! Crib sheets, bumpers and curtains would all echo the chosen fantasy as if the kids were just really authentic -looking autonomen on Disneyland's It's a Small World ride.
I knew one dad who surprised his young son with a big boy bed and an awesome pirate motif makeover. A skilled artist, he painted the walls with an almost life-size captain and crew complete with eye-patches, peg legs and parrots perched on shoulders. The kid was terrified to go in the room, let alone sleep there. The parents thought he would get over it. He didn't. They ended up covering the father's masterpiece with several coats of blue paint.
Not to be too theme-y, but I like the crazy baby furniture that looks like it stepped out of a scary fairy tale available through PoshTots.com. They have an armoire that looks like it could really mess with your kid's mind. I mean, this thing has angry arms!
Now we're seeing more baby rooms that are aesthetically in sync with the rest of the house. If the parents like modern, the kids' bedrooms are modern. If the parents like retro, the kids rooms are retro looking too, but with all the latest safety upgrades. And if the parents are inked and pierced, the kids room might have ironic skull pattern curtains or maybe old vinyl records decorating the walls and wearing a onesie with pretend tattoos, (see above) from The Tattod Tyke and the grandparents will feel something between amused, bemused and horrified.
Until, of course, the baby hits kindergarden and insists on painting the room a pretty Pepto Bismol pink or baby blue with teddy bears and hoppy bunnies.
And wouldn't that just be a royal pain.
Vivian McInerny is managing editor of Oregon Home.