Nursery Room Decor

Expertly Coordinated
Whether you're starting from scratch or sprucing up a space for a new sibling, browse this slideshow for darling bits of inspiration for nursery room decor.

Artful Inspiration

To decorate a creatively enriching space that inspires baby and caregivers alike, look for opportunities to incorporate artwork. You can make your own, or, thanks to online marketplaces, seek out affordable original art. This nursery has a gallerylike feel with white sections of walls framed by painted borders in grass-green. An orderly display of several framed and unframed canvases offer visual stimulation: There are bright-color paintings as well as simple black-and-white photographs to attract baby's attention.

Reminder: Practice safe sleeping habits with little ones. Click here to read recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Grow and Change

As exciting as it is to decorate for baby’s arrival, you’ll get more for your investment if you make the nursery look good and function well as the child ages. The immobile infant stage lasts only a few months before your child will start to scoot, crawl, and walk. Make sure the room is child-proofed, and that decorative touches, like mobiles and window blinds, are far out of reach. This nursery addresses an older child’s needs with an inviting area for reading and playing. Precious mementoes are put away on high shelves, but safe books and toys are accessible in the low cubbies of a bookshelf-turned-bench. A soft area rug pads and warms the floor. And cushions, poufs, and pillows are friendly resting spots that also buffer any sharp corners.

Teaching Baby

The nursery is a comforting, nurturing space, and you might be eager to sneak a little intellectual stimulation in there, too. It can be done in a decorative way. For the walls, feature alphabet art in the form of primer cards, large signage fonts, and posters of letters and numbers. Hang a modern mobile or large orb lanterns, which are simple shapes the infant can learn to focus on. Finally, stash some books nearby so you can enjoy reading time together from the earliest days and nights.

Clever Nursery Storage

You’ll never feel you have enough places to stash all the gear that comes with a baby. Wherever possible, add storage. Fill the closet with an organizer system, tuck a bookcase under the window, and stash baskets of diapers and swaddling blankets under the crib. This nursery takes it a step further, accessing space between studs next to the closet to build in extra storage. The shelves corral toys, lotions, and books, while the cupboard below holds changes of sheets and pads, as well as more diapers and wipes.

Diapering Station

As endless and frequent as the diapering chore seems, it really doesn't last forever. To start, make a diapering spot that's easy on your back and stocked with everything you'll need. Later on, it's nice to convert it to a useful piece of furniture. This changing table is actually a dresser with a wood tray made to fit the top. A cloth-covered pad, toys to keep baby busy, lotions, and hand sanitizer fit into the tray. The dresser's colorful knobs and vinyl bird applique keep it from looking too utilitarian, but later, all that can be updated. A bright light and some cheerful wall art, at eye level for mom or dad, completes the tableau.

Fun Motifs

For a nursery that’s playful and unique, skip the prescribed bedding and decorating kits at the baby center and pick your own motif to emphasize. This family chose a modern-style crib and dresser that features jolly circles. The shapes are repeated in the sunburst mirror on the wall. Large floor cushions, a shapely table lamp, and a custom crib skirt reinforce the mod feel of the space. The back of the bookcase is painted a complementary color to draw attention as a bright focal point.

Vivid Color

There are so many more choices than pink or blue for a baby's nursery. And even in those realms, fuschia, coral, navy, and teal make more interesting statements than their pale, tepid versions. A vivid shade of any hue -- from orange to gray -- will infuse the space with energy and vitality. Babies can sleep in all surroundings, so don’t fear that they'll suffer from bold walls. If the color makes you happy, it'll make your baby happy, too. This nursery space takes aquamarine to a new level with an intense shade on the walls and furniture and an even deeper tone for the ceiling. Simple black and white furniture, molding, bedding, and accessories are easy, neutral accents.

Crash Pad

Oh, elusive sleep! How to get more of it? It's a worthwhile investment to put a comfortable, grown-up-size sleeping spot in the nursery. It's handy for erratic newborn sleep cycles, as well as for the restless nights of "toddlerhood". This nursery puts an emphasis on parental comfort with a sofa long enough to stretch out on. Washable slipcovers and a removable blanket make cleanup easy. Down-filled cushions are inviting for cuddle time, and the tall, padded arms support your elbow when you cradle baby. Once you sit down for a lengthy feeding session, assess what you'll need close at hand. A small stool or table will let you keep a glass of water or extra burp cloths within reach.

Pattern Panache

Whether you play with bold stripes or dainty flowers, pattern is a decorative asset on nursery walls. It creates an active envelope of color and motif. And it can transition well as the child grows: Furniture and linens will change from crib to bed, but the investment in the wall treatment stays the same. Options include painted murals, stenciled borders, shapely vinyl decals, or colorful wall coverings. In this nursery, bold wallpaper is used to create a feature wall. It's a vivid backdrop that draws attention to the star of the show -- the crib. Later, the allover floral pattern won't look too juvenile as a bed, bookshelf, and desk are introduced.

Secondhand Charm

If reduce, reuse, recycle is your mantra, or you just prefer a timeworn look, a nursery filled with vintage items can be comforting and unique. You can incorporate family heirlooms or simply ease the budget by shopping thrift stores. Be sure to do your research to make older items meet today's safety requirements. For example, toy chests should have easy-close hinges so little fingers don't get pinched. You can find the hinges at hardware stores and install them yourself. This nursery blends secondhand items in a delightful new look. Rich, navy walls are a backdrop for a dresser-turned-changing table and a tweed-covered armchair paired with a short stool. The only item that shouldn't be secondhand is the crib, which must meet up-to-the-moment standards for safety. To fit the feel of the room, this new crib is a vintage Jenny Lind style.

Space Jam

It's tempting to envision a spacious nursery in a bright, airy room all its own, but few households really allow for that. If you're carving out room for baby from spare space, you can still embellish it with decoration that makes it special. This second floor nook, which is part of a larger bedroom, has room for the crib in front of the windows. Cheery-pattern curtains create a lively and safe backdrop (no dangerous cords or fragile blind slats). Lined with blackout fabric, they also block light at naptime. A small changing table/cabinet is tucked into the corner, where a sparkling chandelier adds twinkle and light to catch baby's eye.

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