How to Give Your Nursery a Stylish Design Upgrade

Waiting to hold your baby and welcome them into their and your lives is a nerve-wracking and exhilarating time for parents. It’s only natural to want to make sure everything is spot-on for their arrival. As parents, you always want to feel you’re giving your kids the best life possible by giving them all that you possibly can, starting from day one. Whilst waiting for the baby can be excruciating, it should be seen as a valuable time to sort out what you need to do for the baby’s nursery and day-to-day life.

Whilst you don’t know yet what kind of character you’ve got on your hands, speculating can sure be very exciting, and regardless of who the baby is you know that there are some staples you can already put in your nursery. Whilst you may feel the pressure to get everything done and dusted before the baby’s arrival, this isn’t exactly healthy, and it’s okay to have some bits of your nursery left to do whilst the baby is already here – it probably won’t notice! So take the time before the baby to have fun and hang loose, decorating the walls and furniture to your heart’s desire and putting your own spin on a classic nursery. You may also find that the time, until the baby is here, passes quicker when you have a big task to be getting on with!

There are plenty of ways for you to dress up your nursery regardless of your budget. Of course, it’s advisable not to go overboard with your spending when it comes to nurseries, after all, your baby is only a baby for a short while, and soon they’ll grow out of it and be ready for something more to their size. Be prepared to give the room a revamp in a couple of years to bring it up to date with your child, so that when the time comes you aren’t left lamenting all the expensive cots, cribs and baby blankets that you no longer have a use for! However, this doesn’t mean you need to stick with something dry and drab because it’s only there for a couple of years, feel free to spruce the space up however you wish, and to ensure it complements the décor and atmosphere of the rest of the house. In fact, make the nursery the first instance where your child encounters a pleasing décor with complementing and contrasting colours and furnishings, and it may rub off on them in the future!

If you are REALLY savvy, you may be able to find the kind of pieces that adapt well to a nursery, but that your child may want to hold on to even as an adult because they like it so much! There’s no reason why a nursery can’t be a space that you enjoy too, instead of just the baby. In fact, it’s preferable to have a space that pleasing for you AND the baby, as you will find yourself spending a lot of time in there too.

When you consider all the ways and styles in which you can approach decorating a nursery, it will become clear that there are a million ways to do things! You have total control and freedom when it comes to what you want for you and the baby, so it’s a fantastic time let your creative side loose – don’t be afraid to design a more unusual nursery the likes of which you haven’t really seen anywhere – if it works for you, then it’s good to go! Consider all textures and tools – paints, crayons, wood, metal and on and on the list goes – the only rules you need to follow are the ones you WANT to! Think back to when you were a child, and find inspiration in the kind of things that used to delight and inspire you at that age – go ahead and incorporate these into your baby’s nursery! Often, nurseries force us to be particularly ingenious and resourceful, because they tend to be smaller spaces, so rather than lament this you should see it as a challenge that you are up for meeting! A mood board is a great way to start forming ideas for themes and styles – look for inspiration from others, from your own home, and especially online, where you’ll find countless nursery ideas that are sure to catch your attention.

No-nonsense Neutral

Neutral Colours

If you want to get the majority of the decorating done before the baby is here, it would be wisest to stick with a more neutral and classic nursery. Once the baby has arrived, you can adapt and modify the space however you wish, with quaint furnishings to add some more colour and character to the room. Using a colour like yellow as your theme is a brilliant way to achieve a chic and interesting look in your nursery.

If you are preoccupied with other things before the baby has arrived, and are unable to find the time to make too much progress with the nursery, you can always just go for some staples like cribs and cots in some basic and neutral colours. You can then use a later date to update the room with some quirky and colourful stickers and prints, which help to make a room more personal when you have started out with something generic. You can even experiment with your curtains, opting for ones with interesting and eye-catching designs and patterns to add an extra dimension to the room. The advantage of using furnishings and decorations to bring life to a room is that these are cheaper and quicker to swap out as the baby grows older, and their one-size-fits-all nature means they are fantastic for storing away and bringing out either for someone else’s baby or for yours.

The classic grey theme is pretty much perfect for any nursery and any baby. It manages to be elegant but still comfortable and relaxing and complements a lot of accent hues that you may implement for something bold and striking. Traditional accessories like cuddly toys and rocking chairs work well with a classical theme too, not to mention they can be reused for further babies down the line. In a similar vein, you can go for the popular pastel theme, for a soothing and calm vibe in a nursery for the baby and for you! However, as you’ll learn later on, pastel themes may soon have to make way for a new, scientifically-approved trend.

Before all else, you must decide on a theme when it comes to decorating your nursery. Otherwise, you will find yourself trawling page after page of web results and aisle after aisle of baby products, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer variety and choice presented to you. It helps to narrow down your options and lets you know what you are looking for when you are online or wandering around a store, making the job of renovation cost and time efficient. Don’t shy away from your theme – follow it down to the nail, for the most emphatic and cohesive effect on your interior. Use the theme as the inspiration and guidelines for accessories to create something aesthetically pleasing. As always, don’t forget to plan something special and personal for the nursery rather than something that is simply aesthetically pleasing, though if you can kill two birds with one stone then you’ve truly mastered the interior design game!

Timeless Tradition

Classic Nursery

Of course, we have to begin by talking about the traditional nursery – usually white, blue or pink, but always pale. A pale nursery is handy if you are prone to chopping and changing your décor and themes often, as it is very versatile. To achieve this look your furniture and other essentials would need to be a white or equally pale and neutral tone. With your furnishings, however, you have some more liberty and can add colours however you see fit for some extra warmth and comfort in the nursery, as all white can be a little stark and intimidating. If you find you have a lot of furniture or little toys and trinkets that take up a significant amount of space, it may begin to feel very cramped in the nursery. To alleviate this use the easy hack of installing large mirrors that reflect light and give the impression of a room looking bigger than it actually is, whilst still remaining homely and warm.

Blue, in particular, is a very popular shade when it comes to nurseries because it is seen as being very soothing and relaxing – perfect for babies! If you yourself also favour blue, add in some greens and light purples into the décor – these are complementary colours that will help to add a little touch of vibrancy to the room. Be sure to read up on the colour wheel to have a better understanding of which colours complement or contrast each other well and which colour combinations aren’t as attractive. These cool colours all have a similar calming effect on us, helping us to wind down, and so are perfect for your nursery, and may put you to sleep as well as your baby! If you don’t want to be dominated by pastel in your nursery, add in some light and refreshing greys for something a little different but still not too “lively” as that isn’t always the best option, or at the very least, it’s not the traditional one!

A traditional theme is timeless – it can be used for all of your children without really needing to be chopped or changed unless you are wanting something new, otherwise, you can keep things as they are guilt-free because the nursery is as snazzy as it was five years ago! What more could you ask for? If you aren’t really sure what kind of nursery you want to achieve, it may be wise to stick with traditional and make little alterations whenever you see fit. In order to create a nursery atmosphere that is sufficiently relaxing, go for the likes of pastels and pale colours, and even neutral in some cases. If you go for plain white, it gives you a lot of scopes to add some vibrant colours in other ways, in the form of shelving or curtains. If you aren’t too hot on colour then sticking with neutral colours rather than implementing contrasting ones will be the way to go for you. Neutrals are great at making a place feel crisp, clean and sophisticated. Light tones also help a room feel airy and spacious.

Out With the Old…

modern nursery

However, if you are wanting to break away from tradition completely and experiment with something new, then you’ve got to start with the colour scheme – out with the blue’s, pink’s and yellow’s. More chic colours like grey that have come to the forefront are amongst the trendiest colours right now, meaning you will be able to find accessories and essentials in these sultry hues with minimal fuss. Grey does not date and will grace your nursery for as long as you want it to. Another refreshing idea for your nursery can be a floral theme. It focuses heavily on using bright, contrasting colours to create a truly vibrant environment, so it’s perfect for those of who always like to splash on the colour rather than use it more moderately. You can still achieve interest in a nursery without going fully overboard with some commanding colours – just try using lighter hues of a few primary colours for a complementary effect that isn’t at risk of becoming an eyesore.

And why stick to just walls? Your curtains or drapes could also pull off themes like these immensely well, and work perfectly as accessories for pretty much any theme you choose. The notable benefit with the likes of curtains is of course that they swapped and changed whenever you are bored of them or if you feel they aren’t complementing the décor to their maximum potential. Pick out colours from your prints, be they floral, nautical, etc. and keeps these colours in mind when picking accessories for the nursery, to bring a complete and cohesive feel to the room. You may be one for geometric – shapes, lines, crisp clean patterns – if so, don’t be afraid to express this side of you in the nursery too! Just be sure to not go too heavy on this theme unless you can manage to not make it look too formal. No matter the theme, try and make sure it looks as cute as your baby!

If you are going to have a co-bedroom/nursery then you can still incorporate nursery vibes without making the room a bit too sickly sweet and childish for your older one. Try and match colours when it comes to walls and beddings so that each side of the room isn’t clashing together but instead working with each other. Try and go for a look that is youthful and comforting, and be sure to incorporate some of your older one’s interests into the décor so that they also feel a sense of ownership of the room. Try and go for a look that can be constantly updated to accommodate the evolving taste and outlook of your growing kids to save yourself some bother in the coming years – they aren’t as far as you think! Co-bedrooms are a fantastic space saving alternative if you think it is feasible for you, and may even lead to some quality and awfully cute sibling bonding time!

If you’ve got double the trouble on your hands in terms of twins, then you might think: “Well, that’s two of everything right?”. Well, not quite. Having two of everything you need is not only quite expensive but incredibly impractical, and most things apart from cots and cribs can be used for both babies

Interchangeably. You may have to opt for larger and/ more heavy duty furniture for both of them, but having two dressers, two changing tables etc. will in most circumstance look very clunky and take up more space than you actually have, so don’t bother. What you will need more of more than anything else are pairs of hands!

Now, more than ever, you have an unlimited variety of options when it comes to themes and colour schemes for your baby’s nursery. You aren’t forced to just stick with traditional pastels and neutral for what can sometimes be a very bland and uninteresting nursery – you have the resources to craft your nursery in whichever way you wish. Try and strike the balance between a space that is best for the baby and also stylish and soothing enough for others who also spend a lot of time in the room. Be sure to seek the advice of those around you too, as they can help you add a personal touch to a nursery. Of course, you’ll most probably have a few guests in the nursery from time to time too, and a personal touch is always very endearing and comforting.

Colourful Contrasts

Recent research seems to suggest that our traditional soft colours are maybe not the ideal colours to implement in a nursery, so whilst pastels traditionally have been the first choice, it may be time to knock them off the top spot and replace them with something more daring! Contrasting colours like black and white are great at stimulating babies even when they are very young. Sure, pastels are pretty, but it seems there’s a new sheriff in town that can not only look snazzy but also aid your baby’s development – what more could one ask for?! Black and white is a strong contrast having the greatest impact on your baby’s eyes and stimulating them the most, leading to quicker developmental growth in the brain and eyes.

Take your pick from any combination of sharp contrasts for your nursery, by taking a look at the colour wheel and seeing which colours are directly opposite each other. You can find variations of the colour wheels online, for free.

A feature wall is a great way to bring some of the prized contrast and boldness into the nursery for your baby. Not to mention, they are incredibly versatile and you can overhaul the entire look and atmosphere of your room by simply starting from scratch if you grow tired of it. Equally, bold wallpaper will also be great at creating a contrast with the rest of the room. Painting or wallpapering other walls in softer, complementary hues is a great way to nicely balance out the colourful with the calm. You may instead opt for fairly neutral walls with bold stickers and decals that will command attention from all ages and hold the attention of your baby as they explore the walls and ceiling.

Clean geometric designs are fantastic if you want sharp contrasts in your room, as their crisp and clear nature make them very eye-catching indeed, and they also help to keep a room flowing rather than stuck and stilted. If you don’t want to go too heavy on the contrast, something smaller like painting ledges and doors in a bold colour may be a great way to introduce some variety into the room. Stripes are also a brilliant alternative if you don’t want to slather an entire wall in hot pink but still want to be dazzled!

Perfect Patterning

Patterned Nursery

A great way to incorporate some pattern is using art or wallpaper, but it can also be found on carpets and rugs which will offer soothing and pleasing textures for your baby. Patterning can have a greater effect if used sparingly rather than anywhere and everywhere, so as to not to overwhelm a room or make it feel cramped and suffocating. Perhaps try patterning out on an accent wall, and pick out colours from the patterns to implement in the rest of the décor for a cohesive look. If you want something truly ambitious, try and see if you can get some patterning on the ceiling, to offer your baby something to gaze at and peak their interest as they lie on their back. The ceiling is oft ignored when it comes to the renovation of any room, but it should be taken into consideration especially in a nursery, as babies tend to spend more time than most on their staring up the ceiling, so it’s worth giving them something to look at. At the same time, make sure the ceiling isn’t too busy so that they aren’t distracted and stimulated when you are trying to get them to wind down and go to sleep.

Trying out Themes

Themed Nursery

An interesting nursery idea could be the simple but scintillating Scandinavian theme. This style of décor calls upon crisp neutrals and clean and sharp lines for a minimalist effect. Simplicity is truly the keyword here: don’t keep what you don’t need, to keep the room as airy and free as possible. A classic trope of Scandinavian design would be the stark white walls, which are then balanced by softer neutral via furniture and accessories. If your room has light filtering in in abundance then you can go for colder hues of white but if your room lacks light then you’ll have to pick shades that are warmer for a more comfortable room. Your furniture should also reflect this minimalist approach, and wood, in particular, will help to give that bare but warm and homely look to your nursery.

Wooden toys and accessories are a great way to balance out a living room, should you need to do so. However wood also complements an already neutral design like a Scandinavian one perfectly well, considering it is so versatile. Use a variety of shapes in your décor to achieve that modern look, where a fresh design can also double as an educational tool for your child. You can even DIY shapes on cots and cribs if you’ve got a steady hand! The use of more refined, abstract artwork also complements a Scandinavian theme very well, offering more sharp contrasts and a clean look. Not to mention, abstract art is something anyone can enjoy throughout all ages.

Another snazzy theme idea for a nursery is luxury. This doesn’t always require the kind of budget you may be expecting, though you may have to splash out on a couple of things. General colours associated with luxury would be your golds and silvers, but even the likes of purple fit the role well. Gold painted cribs, cots, ledges and shelves all contribute to this lavish theme. Even frames and art can give off a luxurious vibe if you opt for the right piece, framed and hung in certain ways. To prevent a metallic overload, balance out the chrome with some neutrals like creams and whites, perhaps in the form of bedding or wallpaper. Gorgeous rugs and upholstery will help to complete this stunning look!

Amazing Accessories

If you want some refreshing greenery in your nursery don’t hesitate to put some plant pots (maybe in high places!) as well as other nature-based scenery. Not everything has to be alive and often time fake plants can have much the same effect, depending on what you’re going for. And of course, it’s difficult to imagine a time when nature isn’t beautiful to the eye anymore, so your plants won’t be going out of fashion anytime soon!

Try opting for prints that aren’t quite fully sophisticated and adult, but aren’t too childish either. This means you can reuse the same prints over the years and minimise costs, rather than finding that your kids keep outgrowing your décor! Whilst cartoon honeybees and animated cars are very appealing to your toddler, in a matter of years, they will suddenly be insufferable!

You could even try your hand at some cute and sentimental DIY accessories. Take, for example, origami. Not only is origami incredibly cheap but incredibly fun too (if you stick at it)! Origami figurines are very charming and of course, you can keep trying your hand at new shapes to keep the nursery fresh and exciting. You could even get your little ones involved and help them to make some figures to be proud of and display in their rooms!

If one or two large prints will prove to be simply too costly, a neat little hack to cover the same amount of space for less money is to buy a few, smaller prints. Small prints generally tend to be significantly cheaper and so you can invest in a few at a time. These would look at home on a gallery or accent wall because they bring their own unique brand of charm and charisma.

Another useful tip is to use Velcro hangings when displaying frames, because it is easier to switch out frames once it is time to move on and update your artwork/ Gallery walls offer a lot of versatility and room for expression – so go wild, and adorn the walls with whatever makes you and your baby happy, be that in terms of colours, characters or coats of paint! You could even try 3D prints if you want something that catches the eye and stands out rather than blends in.

Another idea that is sure to be a hit with kids is chalkboard paint. This kind of paint will ensure that your walls can be drawn on by creative kids without being ruined. They are easy to wipe down and will look good as new. Chalkboard paint on your walls is a great way to give your kids some artistic freedom and a way to cause controlled chaos, letting off some steam in the process.

When it comes to accessories to for your baby’s cot and/or crib, you most definitely are spoilt for choice. There are endless lines of gorgeous blankets and clothes in any scheme and theme you could possibly conjure up in your head, so before you begin shopping it is advisable to have of an idea of what you are looking for beforehand! Shopping for accessories is a great way to bring a variety of textures into your nursery for your baby to explore – like soft blankets or feathers.

Who doesn’t love something soothing and velvety after all? Soft textures also play a hand in making a room less “hard” or cold, giving instead a homely and warm vibe that is sure to be a comfort to both you and your baby. Of course, be careful that blankets and other clothes you might use to keep your baby warm throughout the night are thin so that they don’t start to feel too suffocated.

Vintage and traditional décor pieces also work fantastically well in nurseries, often vintage items will retain their use once your baby is all grown up. Take, for example, a rocking chair or horse. Both are traditionally associated with nurseries because they complement them so well, and they can be found for not too much at local thrift stores. Accessories like fairy lights also help to achieve more ambient and whimsical lighting whilst helping your baby to begin to settle down to sleep.

In order to achieve a truly comforting place, be sure to invest in some good quality cuddly toys! Not only are they MADE for the nursery theme, but your baby can play with them and often become attached to them. Sometimes childhood toys never quite lose the sentimental value they have held in the past. Think back to your own childhood toys that you may have, and if you have managed to hold on to them now may be a good time to dust them off and pass them down so your baby can get as much enjoyment out of them as you did! If you’ve seen an abundance of cute trinkets and cushions and so forth don’t hesitate to go for it and buy some! There is no better time than when you are putting together a gorgeous and youthful nursery. The likes of beanbags also make great comfy seating as well as adding some quirk and colour.

Top Tips

Whilst going about putting your nursery together, it’s worth keeping one conscientious eye on the environmental effects of the options you go for. You’ll often find that greener products are not only better for our planet, but for your baby too! They tend to have fewer of the harmful chemicals and preservatives that you that to tend in regular products. Some products can even be toxic, so make sure to do your research on what materials and chemicals the item is made out of, as you do not want your baby to get poorly. While you’re at it, make sure as much of what you purchase is easy to wash should it ever be stained, because as the baby grows it will find a way to tamper with everything and you don’t want a full washing machine every day!

When the nursery is in the process of being renovated, remember to keep in mind that it needs to be baby-proofed thoroughly. Make sure plugs, sockets and wires are safely contained and taken care of, so as to ensure your baby doesn’t zap themselves! Make sure all shelving and bedding is secure so that it won’t fall over or fall apart. Tightening the screws and checking and double-checking will help give you the peace of mind that there are no safety hazards in the nursery, and help you sleep at night! What’s more, at a certain age they will put anything and everything into their mouth as they explore the world around them, so make sure all small and/or toxic items are kept well out of reach, with the same going for medicine. It would be advisable to put high them up in a cabinet or on the top shelf.

Before beginning, you must also make sure you know what your budget is, how much money you can reasonably and comfortably put towards renovating the nursery. Remember, the baby isn’t going to notice whether you’ve spent a lot or a little on the nursery, so this is more about you than them! It’s better to splash out more on things the baby will remember, like family holidays or meals out when they’re older. Have a clear plan for what you make to make a bigger investment in and what is fine if bought second-hand.

Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to get the nursery to be sick and span and fully stocked before the baby’s arrival, as long as you have what you need to look after the baby, you can still go on chopping and changing the nursery as times goes on. Certainly, restocking baby supplies will seem like an endless endeavour! Your nursery doesn’t need to be in any fixed state, whenever you see fit, switch up the theme, the colour scheme or even the layout of the entire room! You know best whether anything needs to be supplemented or changed because you likely spend as much time in the room at the baby does!

So there you have it, these were some tips and tricks and ideas for your baby’s nursery. There are many more ideas on the web, but also seek the influence and advice of those near and dear to you as well as some professionals in order to achieve the perfect nursery for not only this baby but potentially more down the line! If you can lay the foundation for a fantastic nursery now it leaves you with minimal work to do should you any other babies that need a nursery in the future. It may be some blood, sweat and tears now, but when you look back you will be oh so glad that you did it then and not later! Remember, don’t get too stressed about the project, see this time as the precious moments where you prepare to welcome your baby into this world. This is an opportunity for you to truly get immersed in some design and let your creative side run free, after all, you may not get as much time to do so once the baby is here!


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