nursery decor for little girl's room

Nursery Decor Ideas for Apartment Dwellers

Welcoming a new addition to the family is an exciting and joyous occasion, and preparing a nursery is often one of the most anticipated tasks for expectant parents. The nursery is not just a room; it’s a sanctuary where your little one will spend countless hours sleeping, playing, and growing during their formative years. Curating the perfect nursery involves thoughtful consideration of both functionality and aesthetics. Check out these nursery decor ideas from experts to see curated recommendations.

Whether you’re building your nursery in the historic apartments of Boston, the stunning rentable houses in Richmond, or the modern houses in Seattle, this we’ll show you how to create the most restful place for you and the baby to bond by using nursery decor that reflects your style and their unique personality. 

Nursery decor: Tips and tricks to test out

“A nursery should spark calm,” Taylor Clarke, mom and founder of Amborella Organics seed-bearing lollipops. “We do this with earth-toned colors, living plants, and objects like a star-shaped plush that remind us how magical this time of life is.” As we dive into other expert opinions on curating the perfect nursery, Clarke reminds us to not forget the magic of this stage of life.

Establish your vision

Before diving into decorating, take some time to envision the atmosphere you want to create. Consider themes, color schemes, and overall ambiance. When it comes to a theme or color palette, Bowy Lou recommends choosing something that resonates with you. “Whether it’s a nature-inspired theme, a classic color scheme, or a whimsical motif, this will guide your choices in furniture, decorations, and textiles,” the Bowy Lou team recommends. “Additionally, if you’re looking to save money, you might be able to keep an eye out on online reselling platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or thrift shops to begin gathering or collecting items that meet your aesthetic.”

nursery decor

Choose a calming color palette and utilize natural materials

Selecting the right color palette sets the tone for the entire room. “Opt for soft, neutral hues like pastel blues, greens, creams, light grays, or gentle yellows to create a calming atmosphere conducive to relaxation, sleep, and independent play,” Karri Bowen-Poole, founder and CEO of Smart Playrooms and Project Playroom recommends.

Ashley Morrisey with Western Sky Photography recommends considering your preferences when selecting a color palette. “You may have heard there are colors that make a room bright or enhance specific feelings, so it would make sense to choose those that add to the calm, soothing environment you want,” Morrisey begins, “but, it’s equally as true that choosing colors you love will help make the room a space you’ll enjoy spending lots of time in with your baby, and let’s be honest, you’ve got a lot of future diaper changes, feedings, play times, and bedtimes in this room.”

Embrace nature-inspired elements as well, to bring an element of texture to the room. “Incorporating furniture and decor made from natural materials like wood and cotton will evoke a sense of warmth and comfort while also minimizing exposure to harsh chemicals,” Bowen-Poole suggests. Consider adding potted plants or a small indoor garden to purify the air and further create a calming, nature-inspired environment.

Frankie Wallace, owner of LoveFrankieArt.com, echoes the importance of a balance between colors and natural elements. “Opt for soft, neutral colors such as taupe or soft grey, and choose patterns that are subtle and gentle, like small polka dots, stripes, or delicate floral prints. These create a serene atmosphere without overwhelming your baby’s delicate senses, and are also calming for parents too,” Wallace notes. “Nature-inspired accents like potted plants, botanical prints, or nature-themed wall decals are also great to incorporate. Nature has a calming effect and can help create a peaceful atmosphere in the nursery.”

Invest in quality

Key furniture pieces like a crib, changing table, and storage units are essential for a functional nursery. “Incorporating vintage or heirloom pieces such as a solid wood dresser passed down from a relative, or one with a marble top discovered at an antique shop will have lasting design power over many store-bought dressers,” Darcy Oliver, founder of Darcy Oliver Design recommends. “The dresser can also act as a changing station for your baby, so be mindful of a size that could accommodate a changing pad.”

Convertible furniture, such as cribs that transform into toddler beds, offers long-term value and versatility. “Searching for the perfect crib may seem like a daunting task, but I recommend buying this item new or fairly new for safety reasons,” Oliver recommends.

Investing in high-quality materials matters when it comes to nursery bedding too. Yenny Sanders, CEO and founder of Cuddle Sprouts recommends selecting carefully when designing this space. “Choose soft, breathable, and non-toxic bedding, for a soothing sleep surface,” Yenny shares. In terms of the changing area, Yenny notes the functionality of a nursery comes down to having the right materials on hand. “Create a dedicated changing area stocked with diapering essentials, complete with a changing pad and soft, hypoallergenic changing pad cover.”

Prioritize safety

Interior designer and lifestyle blogger, Kristen McGowan, notes that safety needs to be top of mind. “Designing the perfect nursery for your little one is all about creating a cozy and joy-filled room that gives you peace of mind,” McGowan states. “Because safety is a top priority, make sure to always adhere large furniture directly to the wall to ensure your pieces stay in place.” It’s important to ensure that furniture meets safety standards, heavy items are anchored to the wall to prevent tipping, and any potential hazards, such as loose cords or small objects that could pose a choking risk, are eliminated.

A comfortable crib mattress and soft, breathable bedding are essential for promoting safe and restful sleep. Choose bedding made from organic materials and avoid heavy blankets or pillows, as they can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Add personal touches

Infuse the nursery with personal touches that reflect your style and values, like name-centric decor. Name decor is also an easy way to make the room feel personalized. “Monogramming the space above your baby’s bed is a popular design concept. The monogram makes their room even more personalized and their own,” Sara from Lizz and Roo notes. “Similar to a monogram, framing their name above their bed is a great personalization to have for them to make their room their own.”

“I remember when my son was about to be born – all of a sudden I wanted to clean and organize my house and create the perfect nursery. I posted this random information on Facebook, and immediately a consensus was formed: I was “nesting,” Crystal Waddell, president of Collage and Wood shares.

“Over the years, as my company has grown, we serve mothers all over the world who want to personalize the walls for their new baby. And when I say I get it, you now know, I totally get it. Think custom lettering, themed wooden cutouts, or your baby’s name in a giant script font, these items create that perfect personalized space for your baby and help you meet your nesting needs.”

Consider sensory stimulation

Stimulate your baby’s senses with visually engaging elements like mobiles, wall decals, and textured rugs. Soft lighting, such as dimmable lamps or string lights, creates a cozy atmosphere conducive to relaxation.

Leave room to grow

Remember that your baby will grow quickly, and their needs will evolve over time. “If the nursery will eventually morph into your child’s room, having the flexibility to change the room into the next stage is key,” Sandra Gordon, owner of Baby Products Mom, notes. “That next stage could be in a year or so when your baby-turned-toddler-turned-preschooler starts to have an opinion. Ideally, for a convertible nursery, you should be able to lift anything babyish, such as artwork, out of the room.
In other words, keep babyish items off permanent surfaces, such as pink or blue walls or carpets. But if the room will be a dedicated nursery for years to come (for your next babies), go ahead and baby-ify all you want.”

Fariha Nasir, with Pennies for a Fortune, echoes the sentiment of keeping the future in mind. “Focus on sourcing high-quality pieces that will grow with the child. Same with seating – furniture that’s marketed as nursery furniture like rockers and gliders isn’t always great quality. Getting a stylish yet comfortable armchair with a separate ottoman will provide the same comfort and functionality,” Nasir shares. “That nursing chair can later be part of a reading corner for the room in the future.”

Kids room decor, wooden floating shelf interior child bedroom, empty wooden picture frame, books, poster blank canvas, knitted flamingo, stuffed animals, mock up, template. Home accents, angle view

Incorporate functionality into your nursery decor

Babies come with a lot of stuff, from diapers and clothes to toys and books. Maximize storage space with bins, baskets, shelves, and closets to keep essentials organized and easily accessible. “In small spaces, floor space is a precious commodity so get things off the floor wherever you can,” Lisa Janvrin, with Janvrin and Co, suggests. “This means installing storage and lighting on the walls. There are tons of options for floating bookshelves, side tables, and plug-in wall sconces that are adorable and functional.”

In terms of nap and nighttime routines, nightlights or dimmers can also help create a soothing atmosphere when darkness is important, Kristeen Waddell notes. “Lack of lighting is everything. Invest in blackout curtains to regulate light and promote better sleep, especially during daytime naps. However, you will want a nice overhead light for play, too,” Waddell shares.

Choose soft flooring options

Opt for soft flooring materials like carpet or area rugs to provide a comfortable and safe surface for your baby to crawl and play. “A soft rug is a must-have for tummy time and a cozy place for baby to explore the world,” Caitlin De Lay notes. “Functional pieces will grow with your child and create a calming space to bring the baby home; plus, they can all double as design accents.” Choose rugs with low pile or natural fibers that are easy to clean and hypoallergenic to minimize the risk of allergies.

Design a nursing nook

“There needs to be comfortable seating for nursing a baby, with a footstool,” Medina King, creative director of MK Kids Interiors says. “This could be in the form of a stylish rocker or a comfortable armchair with a pouffe. Parents will spend a lot of time nursing and comforting babies in the early days of their lives, so it’s important to design it around the needs and comfort of the family and parents taking care of the baby.”

Lucy Bowman, with LucyJoHome.com, agrees, noting the importance of paying the nursery proper attention. “Nurseries are a place of rest and sweet memories and deserve attention,” Bowman shares. “The perfect nursery will have a comfortable and beautiful chair for parent and child to bond.”

nursery decor

Don’t be afraid to get creative with nursery decor ideas

Photographer, Kristal Bean, recommends adding an accent wall for a creative touch. “You’re not limited to just a different color for an accent wall — there are endless gorgeous wallpaper and large wall decal options, too,” Bean shares. “This is a simple way to customize the nursery, and you can probably get it done over a weekend. If you’ve already fallen in love with the wall color in your baby’s room, but you’re dying to add a little something extra to the space, wallpaper on the ceiling is an unforgettable touch.”

Savanna Nave, owner of SavannaBrooke.com, reminds to not forget flair and interest. “Add interest and character by either using wallpaper, a wall treatment (board & batten), patterned curtains, or a statement rug. All of these areas are a great way to incorporate color and a fun pattern,” Nave suggests. “When adding flair, stick to your style while also making the room baby-friendly and functional. If your style is boho, incorporate some of those features into the room.”

Consider soundproofing as part of your nursery decor

Minimize disruptions and create a peaceful environment for both you and your baby by soundproofing the nursery. Install heavy curtains or sound-absorbing panels to dampen outside noise, and consider using a white noise machine to mask any sudden sounds that could disturb your baby’s sleep.

Crafting a sanctuary for you and your little one

“As the parent, you will be spending a lot of time in that room with your baby”, Nina Spears, co-founder and editor-in-chief of baby chick, explains. “In the nursery, there needs to be a designated space for the baby to sleep, to feed, and to be changed. But, make a space in the room where you can rest with the baby and enjoy, too. This room should be a space that you love, it brings you joy and makes you feel calm. Your baby won’t care what it looks like, so make it functional and comfortable for you too.”

Curating and creating the perfect nursery is a labor of love that involves careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. By following these guidelines and infusing your unique style and personality into the design, you can create a serene sanctuary where your little one can thrive and flourish. After all, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your baby surrounded by a space that is as beautiful and nurturing as they are.

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