“I don’t know.”
“They both look good.”
“Whatever you think.”
There are guys that articulate strong opinions about interior design. Then there are most guys. Include me with “most guys”. It’s hard for me to visualize the color from a little paint chip covering a room, with a shelf installed right there, and those curtains…or maybe these, which do you think? My answer usually starts with “um”, and gets less confident from there.
When it comes to planning the nursery, though, force yourself to have some opinions. Getting involved in planning (and then, obviously, with implementing those plans) gives you a chance to have input, shows you’re engaged in the process of preparing for a new baby, and helps build your baby-related confidence.
You might wonder why having input is a good thing. “Seriously, I don’t care, and I’m not good at this anyway, and I’m sure she’ll do better than I will, and…” That’s fine. Do you care about cost? About organization? About quality? Find something you care about, and use that to start having some input. (I enjoy actually painting rooms, but not all the work of emptying, prepping, and cleaning up–so overall I’m not a fan of having to paint. So I came out strongly in favor of painting the nursery a nice gender-neutral green.)
Helping to plan also shows that you’re engaged in the process of preparing for the new baby. Baby is coming, and will spend a lot of his/her first few months in the nursery. Your wife (or girlfriend, or whatever the appropriate term is…) will be glad to see evidence that you’re not checked out on getting ready for baby’s arrival. This will be helpful now (she won’t get grouchy with you for being checked out), during the birth (she’ll have seen you’re involved and be ready to trust you), and after the birth (again, she’ll trust your involvement and be more open to your input).
For you, there is also the benefit of building your confidence about things baby-related. If you make a suggestion, implement it, and it works out, you’ll know it (that color looks great, good job!). Even if your suggestion isn’t implemented, or it doesn’t work out (awww, that shelf isn’t quite big enough to display Baby’s full collection of Star Wars action figures), you’ll still have practiced making baby-related decisions, and discovered that you can recover from mistakes (usually–if you’ve made decorating-related mistakes that you can’t recover from, please explain in the comments!).So help plan the nursery. She’ll probably do most of the planning, so help her out by offering your opinion when asked–even if you don’t have one! And, more seriously, you might notice something she hasn’t thought of. (“I know it’s cuter this way, but the dresser drawers won’t open all the way unless the glider is blocking the closet. Let’s try putting the dresser over there.”) If it helps, don’t think of it as a nursery. Think of it as a maximally-efficient baby-care workflow environment. Maybe that will help!