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HOW TO DESIGN A NURSERY: NURSERY DESIGN 101

Designing a nursery for the baby? We are sharing our expert tips on how to design a nursery that's beautiful and practical.

One of the top questions that many first time parents ponder, is the whole aspect of decorating baby's nursery and what it takes to keep the space functional while making the baby's room look beautiful and warm.

The truth is, there's no right or wrong way to design a nursery. However, it's important to bear in mind that you are designing a nursery for a baby so design choices need to be deliberate and sensible. For example, you really wouldn't want to bring in an heirloom vase into the space, right?

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We've gathered our favorite nursery decorating ideas to help inspire your next nursery design project. Whether you are dreaming of a serene nursery, a moody baby's room or a vibrant space for the little one, there are ideas for every nursery.


THE BEST TIPS FOR DESIGNING A NURSERY: nursery design 101


1.GET YOUR NURSERY DECORATING PROJECT STARTED EARLY


Deciding when to start putting together a nursery is no doubt a question that comes to mind for most expecting parents. The task of creating a welcoming environment for your little one can be both exciting and somewhat daunting. To alleviate the latter, it's wise to start the process early. Kickstarting the project sooner rather than later can significantly reduce stress as your due date draws nearer.

Typically, the sweet spot for beginning your nursery design adventure is around the 18 to 20-week mark of your pregnancy. This timing usually coincides with key milestones such as finding out your baby's gender (if you choose to), which can influence your design choices. Planning early also allows ample time to address any unexpected delays or changes, ensuring a smoother journey to creating the perfect nursery.


how to design a nursery

2. ESTABLISH A BUDGET

The primary step in initiating your design project is establishing a budget. Understanding your financial parameters will guide your design and purchasing decisions, helping you prioritize the essential items like a crib or a changing table and manage expenses efficiently.


3. SOURCING NURSERY INSPIRATION

Next comes the fun part – sourcing nursery inspiration! The goal here is to gather ideas for styles, colors, themes, and layouts that resonate with you. Look for inspiration through Nursery Design Studio's Nursery Lookbook, or even art and nature. At this stage, there's no such thing as too much inspiration. Gathering a wide variety of ideas will assist you in refining your preferences later.



4. DETERMINE THE NURSERY STYLE

The next step is to determine your stylistic inclination for the nursery. You might favor a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic, an elegant vintage design, or perhaps a combination of various styles. The key is to create a warm, functional, and stimulating environment that aligns with your personal aesthetics.

Our specially designed Nursery Style Quiz is meticulously curated to help you discern the aesthetic that will define your little one's first haven. Whether you're inclined towards a modern, minimalist design or love the appeal of a classic, vintage touch, our Nursery Style Quiz can help crystallize your ideas. The quiz takes all this into account, presenting a finely-tuned style match at the end.


5. INVEST IN NURSERY FURNITURE THAT CAN GROW WITH BABY

Investing in convertible nursery furniture that can effortlessly adapt to a kid's room is not only cost-effective but also adds an element of continuity to the developing phases of your child's life.

A prime example of this concept is a convertible crib. In its initial state, it serves as a secure sanctuary for your little one during infancy. As your baby grows to become an active toddler, the crib can be transformed into a toddler bed — removing the front panel grants them independence but still maintains a familiar sleeping environment.  

A versatile dresser is another key piece of nursery furniture that can grow with your child. Initially, it can be topped with a changing tray to efficiently handle diaper duties. The dresser’s spacious drawers can house diapers, wipes, and other necessities within arm’s reach, making those frequent changes much easier. Once your child outgrows the need for diaper changes, the tray can be removed, allowing the dresser to reclaim its original purpose. 

HOW TO DESIGN A NURSERY


6. GO WITH NURSERY FURNITURE THAT'S WELL MADE AND CHILD FRIENDLY

Selecting nursery furniture is an integral part of preparing for your baby's arrival. However, the appeal of character-filled, childlike designs has a rather limited timeline. As your child matures, these pieces might become mismatched with their evolving tastes and needs. Instead, choosing child-friendly but timeless items can provide a long-lasting foundation for your child's space, supporting their growth and development over the years.

The secret lies in selecting pieces that, while perfectly suitable for a baby's room, also have a more enduring appeal. These are items characterized by durable construction, neutral aesthetics, and versatile functionality. They blend seamlessly with your child's changing needs, preferences, and the room's overall decor - from infancy through adolescence and beyond.


7. FOCUS ON FUNCTIONALITY

A well-planned nursery design successfully combines functionality with your personal aesthetic, striking a balance to create a space that is both practical and pleasing to the eye. As the special space where your little one grows, it should comfortably cater to all their basic needs while also reflecting warmth, care, and love.

To ensure this, your nursery design strategy should include four essential zones or stations dedicated to the core activities that fill up your baby’s day - sleeping, feeding, diapering, and playtime or tummy time.

NURSERY DESIGN 101


8. HONE IN ON AN EFFICIENT NURSERY LAYOUT

Designing a nursery space that works for you and your baby requires careful thought and planning. To determine the best nursery layout and configuration, time and effort should be invested in understanding how the room's organization can promote efficiency and comfort while attending to your baby's needs. This way, you can create a sanctuary for your growing family that is both functional and stylish.


9. INCORPORATE A MIX OF STYLES

Keep the nursery from feeling one-note by incorporating a mix of styles. For example, mix sleek nursery furniture with vintages pieces to bring warmth and character to the baby's room.


10. PLAY WITH COLORS, SHAPES AND PATTERNS

Don't be afraid to infuse the nursery with colors, shapes and patterns to give the space a more lively and interesting appeal. A bold wallpaper design, an intriguing mural or colorful paintings can add just the right amount of oomph factor to the nursery.

how to design a nursery


11. LAYER NURSERY LIGHTING SOLUTIONS

Having a properly lit nursery allows the nursery to shine well and makes taking care of baby's needs much easy. Be sure to avoid harsh lighting, install a dimmer, bring in lamps to brighten the nursery as needed and add a night light for late night feedings and diaper changes.


12. DRESS UP THE NURSERY WINDOWS

Window treatments in a nursery not only contribute to the room's aesthetic but also play a crucial role in creating an optimal sleep environment for your little one and subsequently providing much-needed respite for parents. One key feature to look for in nursery window treatments is the inclusion of a blackout liner that effectively darkens the room.


13. CREATE A LAYERED LOOK

Give the baby's room a bit of coziness, warmth and richness by adding layers. Bring in throw pillows, plush rugs, sisal baskets to give the nursery a layered look.

HOW TO DESIGN A NURSERY


14. ADD A NURSERY CHAIR THAT'S SCREAMS COMFORT 

The most important thing to consider when picking a nursery chair is comfort, of course. This is where you'll spend most of the time in the nursery- feeding the baby, rocking the baby to sleep and making the most precious memories.


TIPS TO DESIGNING A NURSERY

15. LET THE NURSERY BE AN EXTENSION OF THE REST OF THE HOUSE DESIGN & STYLE

When it comes to designing a nursery, the style you choose is really a personal decision. If you want to create a more harmonious look within the whole house, continue the design style into the nursery. For example, if the rest of the house has a boho chic vibe, then do bring those elements into the nursery design and make it a bit more fun.


16. Splurge vs. saving in nursery design

Designing a nursery involves a delicate balance between creating a beautiful and functional space while also sticking to a budget. An essential principle in managing your nursery expenses is understanding where to invest more and where you can afford to cut back. Sensible budgeting doesn't mean compromising on style or comfort; instead, it leads to a space that grows with your child while reflecting your taste.


17. PICK A COLOR PAlETTE FOR THE BABY'S ROOM EARLY ON

Pin down a color palette for the nursery design early on. Having a defined color palette for the nursery will help you create a cohesive look and make decorating choices much easier.

DESIGNING A NURSERY 101


18. PRIORITIZE SAFETY IN THE NURSERY

The most important thing to consider is child safety when designing the nursery. The crib should meet safety standards, the crib mattress should be firm and there should not be loose bedding, pillows, bumper pads or stuffed toys in the crib. The crib should be placed away from windows, cords and blinds. Furniture should be secured to the walls and more. Check out this baby proofing checklist to keep baby safe at all times.


19. GO WITH A MORE TIMELESS AND SOPHISTICATED VIBE

Choose timeless and sophisticated pieces over trendy, disposable pieces that won't stand the test of time. It will be a worthwhile expense since you get to enjoy and use the pieces over a long time.


HOW TO DESIGN A NURSERY: NURSERY DESIGN 101


20. BRING IN A FEW SHOW STOPPING decor items

Spend money on a few show stopping nursery décor items when decorating the nursery such as wallpaper, window treatments and art.

Selecting an impactful wallpaper design can turn an ordinary nursery into a sanctuary filled with whimsy and personality. A stylish, high-quality wallpaper can instantly uplift the room’s aesthetic and transform its ambiance. Look for playful but sophisticated designs that will charm both children and adults alike.

Art can bring life and personality to any space, and a nursery is no exception. Spending a bit more on a standout piece of wall art — be it a painting, print, or three-dimensional installation — can establish a stimulating environment for your growing baby.

NURSERY DESIGN TIPS


21.USE FABRICS, RUGS and CAPETS THAT'S EASY TO CLEAN

In the process of designing and choosing materials for your nursery, it's important to remember that babies tend to be prone to spills, accidents, and unexpected messes. Consequently, selecting fabrics and textiles that are easy to clean and maintain becomes crucial. By choosing materials that are durable, washable, and resilient, you can ensure that the nursery maintains its neat appearance and remains a hygienic, safe environment for your baby.


22. INCORPORATE NURSERY STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Transform even the tiniest baby room into a tidy and organized nursery by bringing in lots nursery storage solutions. Install wall shelves for storing books, get baskets for storing blanket, bring in bins for toy storage or bring in rolling cart for storing diapering essentials.


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