One of the most enjoyable parts of planning for your little one’s arrival is decorating their nursery. This serene sanctuary is centered on all things baby, from where they sleep to where they giggle and coo to where all their toys and clothes are stored. A central decor theme can help streamline your vision for a nursery, so you can create the dreamy, calming space you want for baby’s first months of life. These 20 nursery decor ideas can kick-start your inspiration.
1. Go monochromatic
Design your baby’s nursery using different shades, tints, and tones of the same color. Using both light and dark shades in your baby’s nursery creates harmony and makes the space more relaxing. Whether you design the nursery with various shades of pastels like pink and blue or opt for a gender-neutral hue, layer this look with throw pillows (for the floor or glider, since pillows aren’t safe for baby) and area rugs that add depth and ambience.
2. Add pops of color
If having only one hue isn’t your thing, decorate your little one’s room with every color of the rainbow. To make this streamlined and visually appealing, make sure that you incorporate white and neutral hues, such as a wooden crib or white rug, against all the colors you’re bringing into the nursery. Then, bring the space to life with a multicolored wall of dots or shapes.
3. Incorporate nature themes
Transform your spare room into a flora and fauna-filled nursery with neutral woodsy tones and green accents. You can even create an accent wall with leafy wallpaper. Then, add some floating shelves filled with colorful plants and friendly baby animals to bring the room to life (just be sure they’re high enough to be out of reach for curious fingers—that baby isn’t a baby forever!).
4. Use geometric wall stickers or decals
If you don’t want to paint the nursery walls just to switch it back as your child grows, opt for some peel-and-stick geometric wall decals to brighten up the space. This way, you can create a playful, unique baby room without all that investment (and can remove/rearrange them easily without damaging the wall).
5. Opt for black and white
Not all nurseries need to be filled with color to create a stimulating design. Instead, create a modern, sophisticated nursery with black and white colors. Use black furniture, white walls, and accent prints like zebra stripes or polka dots to tie the room together.
6. Use bold prints
Make a statement with your child’s nursery by mixing and matching bold prints throughout the bedroom. From thick stripes to floral prints to polka dots, these bright motifs use the walls, carpet, and crib bedsheets to liven up the room. This unique combination of patterns makes a nursery vibrant, but focus on one or two core colors to ensure it looks organized.
7. Buy furniture that grows with your baby
Instead of furnishing the nursery with pieces that only work for a year or two, invest in a few pieces that can change as your child grows. Cribs that convert into toddler beds are one such way to make an investment now that your child will benefit from as they grow older. Ditto a dresser with a removable changing table or pad.
8. Make it dreamy
Soft pastel colors and furniture in warm colors contribute to a whimsical and dreamy environment. Start by painting the nursery’s walls a light shade such as gray or blue, or keeping them a chic white. Next, decorate the space with a cozy neutral-toned crib and add dream-like motifs to the wall, whether that’s fluffy clouds, a bright moon, or a beloved children’s character that symbolizes all things dreamy.
9. Use cozy textures
A nursery should be comforting and comfortable for both baby and mama. Since your baby isn’t old enough for blankets and pillows, look to other ways to include cozy textures in the room. From a fur rug to a pillowy accent chair, these details help contribute to a peaceful environment for play, sleep, and feedings.
10. Incorporate contrasting colors
Create an energizing, playful space when you decorate your child’s nursery with contrasting colors. Start by choosing any two colors that are opposite of one another, like blue and orange. (Consult a color wheel online to visualize which colors are quite literally opposite of one another on the wheel.) Use one color as the main, such as blue for the bedsheets and accent wall. Use the complementary color for accents like pillows on the rocking chair or a cheery piece of art.
11. Create a reading nook
There will be plenty of nights when you sit in the rocking chair or glider reading your baby a book to help them fall asleep. But instead of having books scattered on the floor or sitting partially forgotten on a bottom shelf, create a little reading nook. Find a cozy rug to set underneath your rocker, then dedicate a bookshelf or two to create your own library filled with titles your baby will love to hear at bedtime. It’s a space you’ll use for years to come.
12. Keep it light and airy
If you want to create a soothing, airy feel in your baby’s nursery, consider decorating the space with light colors. You can do this by keeping their room a white, neutral aesthetic with small pops of color, or brighten up the space with your furniture and decor. From lightweight, transparent curtains to a white crib and rug, you’ll immediately feel at peace as soon as you enter the nursery.
13. Make an accent wall
If you’re torn between keeping a clean aesthetic or going bright and bold, settle somewhere in the middle with a fun accent wall. This way, you can add a little sparkle to your child’s nursery without going overboard on the color. For your accent wall, choose a bright color, or opt for a printed or textured wallpaper (peel-and-stick varieties are easy to remove when you wish).
14. Incorporate fun furniture
Streamline the room with a modern, unique piece of furniture. Opt for a bold pattern or bright accent chair, bringing a modern vibe that can flow with the rest of your grown-up space while remaining baby-centric.
15. Add wall art
Unique wall art helps nail down a theme for your nursery while introducing your baby to art at a young age. Once you set your nursery theme, the art will follow. This could be florals if you have a plant theme, dancers if you’re opting for a ballet theme, or cute baby animals if going for a jungle theme. Let your imagination run wild.
16. Use multifunctional furniture pieces
If your baby’s nursery is a little tight on space, invest in some furniture that can be used in multiple ways. Look for a changing table with a dresser underneath, and a nightstand or ottoman with storage for baby books or toys.
17. DIY the walls
Instead of settling on a ready-made wallpaper for your nursery, create a personalized DIY wall for your baby. Grab some stencils and paint and begin drawing out your ideal design. This way, you can ensure that your child’s nursery looks exactly the way you want it, and can have some fun and create special memories building it yourself.
18. Choose an artistic mobile
Whichever theme you choose for your child’s nursery, an artistic mobile can keep baby’s interest for long stretches of time. These pieces can also be used to elevate the room’s decor. A black-and-white themed nursery could benefit from a pop of green from the mobile, or a mobile with felt birds could be right at home in a nature-themed nursery.
19. Pick out a statement light
Each little detail works together to tie the overall theme of your baby’s room together—the lighting included. You can easily upgrade for something that enhances the whole nursery decor theme. A unique cloud light or ethereal white lamp is perfect for a dreamy room motif, for example.
20. Invest in freestanding storage
A traditional closet may not be the best way to store tiny pajamas and little pants. Freestanding storage can help stay organized while you reserve the closet for an extra stock of supplies. A dresser or additional shelving ensures everything you need for baby is accessible without digging through a closet each time to change them.
When should you start decorating the nursery?
There is no set time for you to begin decorating your nursery. While some expectant parents begin working on their nursery in the early stages of pregnancy, others choose to wait until the second or third trimester. Others yet may adhere to cultural norms that discourage preparing the nursery before the baby is born. On average, though, most expectant parents start designing their little one’s nursery before they arrive (and it’s a good idea, since many babies arrive a bit sooner than expected!).
Can you hire a professional nursery designer?
Yes! Busy parents-to-be can work with a designer to bring their dream nursery to life. A professional nursery designer helps you select a theme, shop for furniture, and find the little details that make the nursery truly yours. There are a few ways to work with these experts, including interior designers, nursery design companies, and retailers who offer this service alongside a discount for any furniture you may buy.
The bottom line
Decorating your baby’s nursery is one of the most important steps in preparing for your little one’s arrival. From planning out your space to choosing the perfect colors and theme for the room, designing the nursery takes a bit of imagination and planning. A head start well before baby’s due date can help organize your ideas and plan what you need to get to create the nursery of your dreams.