How to Design a Nursery You’ll Love: 9 Expert Tips
May 17, 20235 min read
Planning your baby’s nursery can be one of the most exciting milestones when you’re expecting. From selecting the perfect colour palette to finding just the right cot, deciding how to design a nursery is a labour of love that requires attention to detail and a whole lot of creativity.
But don't worry, we have teamed up with Redfin to bring you 9 expert tips for creating a nursery that you and your baby will absolutely adore. Whether you live in an apartment and are strapped for space, or you’re redecorating a room in your home, read on and learn how you can properly prepare for your baby-to-be.
1. Keep the room peaceful
As a Pediatrician, Neonatologist, and Lactation Consultant, Jessica Madden knows how important your baby’s first room is.
“A baby nursery is so much more than just a bedroom - it's an extension of the womb where your baby will continue to grow and develop for their first few years of life. It's also the place where you will spend a lot of time feeding and nurturing your baby. The design and decoration of a nursery should be peaceful and soothing for both you and your baby using pastel colours, soft rugs/carpets, and making sure there is plenty of natural light.” - Jessica Madden, MD, Primrose Newborn Care
2. Create a focal point
Are you having trouble knowing where to start when decorating your nursery? Kristen Forest, Founder of Chaylor and Mads, recommends using the cot as a jumping-off point.
“When designing the nursery, a great place to start is with the wall behind the cot. You can choose a fun wallpaper, create an accent wall with paint or wood, or choose art that you love,” she says. “This will create a focal point for the room. Then choose decor, furniture, and accessories that complement the wall and build from there.”
3. Focus on neutral colours
“My go-to mantra for creating new rooms or spaces in my home is to make everything a neutral colour and use accent colours throughout the room,” says Marissa LaBuz, CEO of Just Simply Mom.
She continues, “It's a great idea to paint the nursery a light grey or taupe as a neutral base. I choose white, ivory, or light grey furniture, frames, lighting, etc. Then I use the brighter colour for accent pieces like bedding, pillows, knick-knacks, and wall decor. It’s always easier to change out accent pieces than furniture and wall paint.”
The team from The Champa Tree echoes LaBuz’s suggestion to focus on neutral tones for your baby’s room. “Designing a cozy and comfortable nursery is a great way to provide a warm and welcoming environment for your baby. Consider using soft, neutral colours for the walls that will create a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere for your baby. Light colours such as yellow, soft green, blue, grey, or warm pastels have a soothing effect on the child. Avoid dark and bold colours, which can look intimidating.”
4. Decorate with “Mummy and Me” in mind
Malina Malkani, a Paediatric Registered Dietitian and Infant Feeding Expert, emphasises the importance of creating a space that’s functional for both you and your baby. “Keep in mind that nursing and/or bottle feeding will be one of the most important and time-consuming ways you care for your baby. Newborns typically need milk feedings every 2-3 hours, so having a cozy, quiet spot to feed is key.”
She adds, “Consider outfitting your space with a cushioned glider and small side table so you have somewhere to place your phone, a beverage (essential if you’re nursing) and anything else you might need to have on hand while feeding your baby.” - Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN Malina Malkani Nutrition
The team from Ernie & Irene agree. “When designing your nursery and choosing artwork and accessories, consider yourself as well as the baby. For the first year or so, you’ll be in this space for long periods of time feeding, rocking, and changing your baby. Choose pieces that delight and comfort you that also provide a pleasant place to rest your eyes.”
5. Create a room that grows with your baby
“Newborns grow so fast; in just months, they go from sleeping 17 hours a day to exploring constantly. In no time, they’ll be climbing over the cot wall and trying to play instead of sleep,” says Suzzie Vehrs, CEO of She Births Bravely. “Pick pieces that grow with your little one, like a cot that converts to a toddler bed. Also, keep practical things like wipes and nappy cream that could be smeared everywhere up high, and cover those outlets and cords from the beginning.”
6. Keep safety a main priority
Wondering how to design a nursery with safety in mind? Remember, the most important things when deciding where to place the cot, are safety, comfort, and looking toward the future.
Sharon Silver, Founder of Proactive Parenting shares some simple ways to keep your baby out of harm’s way. “Keep the cot away from the window. When you’re sleep-deprived and need your infant to sleep, sunlight is the enemy, so consider blockout blinds. Keep cots away from the cords attached to blinds or curtains, they can be a risk of strangulation, so it’s best to keep tiny hands away from them. Consider placing the cot where you can see the baby easily when you peek into the room. That will give you peace of mind without disturbing the baby.”
7. Be intentional about lighting and colour scheme
Neela Asaadi Ghomeshi, an advisor at Nest by Revel, gives her recommendation for a nursery’s lighting and decor. “For lighting, consider installing a dimmer switch, so you can adjust the lighting level to suit the mood, such as during night feedings. Also, consider adding a soft night light to create a calming ambiance.”
She adds, “As for paint and decor, choose a calming colour scheme that complements your furniture and bedding. Soft pastels like blue, green, or pink can create a soothing atmosphere. Add some personality to the nursery with decorative items such as a colourful rug, artwork, or wall decals.”
8. Create a gallery wall
The founder of Lulu Babe, Karen, shares the special way she decorated her nursery.
“When designing our nursery, we included a gallery wall. We collected a mix of family photos, our baby's ultrasound images, and cherished artwork that held deep sentimental value for us. We also incorporated a custom wooden name plaque with our baby’s name. Arranging these pieces in a gallery wall format added a personal and unique touch to the nursery and showcased our family’s story.”
9. Consider a Montessori nursery
As a new mum herself, Claudia Sandino knows the positive impact a Montessori nursery can have on your baby. “A Montessori nursery emphasises independence, simplicity and sensory play. Make sure to simplify the space, focus on natural materials, and avoid bright colours and patterns.”
She continues, “Promote independence with low shelves and a floor bed. A floor bed encourages your child to get in and out of bed on their own. Also, easy access to their clothes and shoes is also important so that they can learn to dress themselves and enjoy taking charge in their daily routine.” - Claudia Sandino, Marketing Manager at Villie