To many there is nothing more joyful or special than the arrival of a first baby. Prospective parents will want everything of the best for their little one, and lots of fun can be had in planning a baby’s nursery.

There is much you can do in the months leading up to the birth, even if you do not know the sex of your baby.

Baby Rooms & Nurseries., the latest book by South African designer, stylist and author Sam Scarborough, which is sponsored by Plascon, is a feast of more than 200 pictures and ideas.

Scarborough proves that there is no end to creative ideas for the novice, or even the expert, in creating a nursery completely from scratch or redesigning an existing bedroom.

Sometimes the simplest ideas work best. You don’t have to blow the budget to create a loving environment. As her book shows, it is often accessories or a simple paint technique that transform any ordinary room into a delightful nursery.

Add handmade items such as stitched blankets, appliquéd cushions and pictures or specially made toys and you will bring an unsurpassed charm to the room.

Choose wall decorations, murals and stickers for a metamorphic transformation of plain space into an enchanting world.

All of her projects and ideas in the book are relatively easy, even for those of you who last lifted scissors or glue stick in primary school. Somehow, a new baby nurtures the creative side in us – call it your playroom instinct.

Remember though, keeping the overall scheme of the room fairly basic or subtly decorated allows you to anticipate the next major stage in baby’s development. Be flexible in the overall design as babies become toddlers very soon, moving from cot to bed, accumulating all sorts of toys and trappings of early childhood.

Personalities are in an on-going process of development too. Definite preferences also become quite evident.

You may think your child should have a “sexless room” – your little girl may, however, decide quite unequivocally at the age of three that she is a pink princess.

Or, your little man in his cowboy-themed room may be passionate about birds. It is therefore best to choose adaptable themes that will stand the test of time.

The nursery phase only lasts a few short years so take pleasure in it and indulge – it is a time to treasure and to reminisce upon. - The Mercury