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Baby Nursery Decorating Ideas

Nursery decor has come a long way since pink and princesses for girls and blue stripes for boys. Decorate a baby’s room with basic, functional pieces that can make the transition from one decor scheme to the next, and then add textiles, art, accessories and finishes that give the space individual style. Thrift-store finds, vintage pieces and homemade projects give the nursery an eclectic look; however, follow the most up-to-date safety guidelines for key pieces such as the crib and changing table.

Modern Nursery Decor

For a fresh, streamlined look in the nursery, consider modern nursery decor. Begin with soothing neutral hues on walls, ceilings and furniture frames such as white, cream, pale yellow, faded earth tones or gray. Integrate brighter hues and patterns on window treatments, modular carpet tiles, storage containers, artwork, light fixtures and linens. Low, modular pieces in natural materials and finishes keep the focus on open spaces and natural light. Coordinate artwork by using matching black lacquer or stainless steel frames. Keep the space orderly by lining shelves and filling cabinets with baskets and boxes for sorting and hiding toys and books. Prints of abstract shapes or geometric forms, rather than concrete objects, keep the look modern.

Fairy-Tale Nursery Decor

For a nursery theme with personality, decorate with images inspired by fairy tales. This look has a more fanciful and traditional aesthetic than using Disney or popular cartoon characters. Establish the theme with an accent wall covered with a hand-painted or wallpaper mural of an enchanted forest, a grassy meadow, a cloudy sky or a castle on a hilltop. Populate the mural, storage containers and furniture frames with stenciled images or wall decals of creatures such as gnomes, fairies, unicorns, elves or friendly-looking trolls. Remember to keep images friendly so that toddlers and young children will not get frightened. A bouquet of paper and silk lanterns in bright colors add magical charm to the nursery. Paint a toy box to look like a treasure chest.

Eclectic Nursery Decor

Mix and match vintage treasures with contemporary pieces or different patterns and colors to create a bright, eclectic nursery. Many people favor this look for its rule-free decorating approach and its relative affordability. Scour second-hand shops, flea markets, the attic and your closet for pieces that work in the nursery. A 3-foot-high dresser with a deep and wide top only requires a coat of cheerful periwinkle or sunny yellow and a changing pad on top to serve as a changing table. Switch out furniture hardware for funky, chunky knobs and drawer pulls in various styles. Give walls color by stacking lightweight artwork on them, well out of baby’s reach, or attach a narrow ledge to the length of a wall and prop artwork, retro toys and cool picture books on it for a bright display. Cover storage boxes with patterned gift wrap, line drawers with wallpaper and cover a cork board with funky fabric to give the nursery intriguing details.


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