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21 nursery ideas to welcome your bundle of joy in style

Ideal Home logo Ideal Home 8/5/2022 Rachel Homer
Nursery with green paint effects on wall behind crib © Provided by Ideal Home Nursery with green paint effects on wall behind crib

There is so much to organise when you're getting ready to meet a new addition to your family. One area where you have a chance to get creative and enjoy yourself is with nursery ideas.

Unlike working out how many nappies you need to get stocked up with, kids room ideas are an opportunity to have a bit of fun. At the end of the day, decorating a nursery is one of the chances you have to imagine this exciting new step of your life.

Your baby room ideas will be a space both you and your child spend a lot of time in. First of all for night feeds and naps, and then for play and tummy time as they start to explore the world.

'My number one advice is you don't have to spend a lot of money,' says Catherine Dal, Founder, CatDal Interiors. 'but just some time and thought to create a dreamy atmospheric environment for your treasured little ones.'


Nursery ideas

'Decorating a nursery is a magical journey, and one that we particularly love to work on,' says Catherine from CatDal Interiors. 'The options for nursery ideas are limitless, if you allow yourself to change your perspective from the usual approach to a room design.'

'Of course, as with any design, it's important you work out your boundaries, in terms of budget and timeline. Then, work out a list or requirements. Once you have this list worked out, write it down alongside your desired budget and timeline, and refer to this regularly.'

1. Get creative with paint

Nursery ideas are the perfect place to have a little extra fun with your painting choices, just don't go overboard with an overly bright pigment.

'Paler colours work for children's bedroom paint ideas as they tend to be more relaxing and soothing – both for the child and parents,' says Justyna Korczynska, Senior Designer, Crown

'When decorating a nursery almost anything goes – bright colours, patterns, murals. And you don't need to be an artist to be able to create great mural feature walls for your kids. There are many easy ways to do it. Work out a design on paper then scale up for the walls, using good masking tape to create crisp lines. Kids’ rooms have a license to be fun.'

2. Choose a wooden floor for easy cleaning

A plush carpet is often the choice for baby boy and girl nursery ideas, but take a beat before you get one fitted.

The first few months can be especially messy, so choosing a hard floor will make cleaning up those inevitable messes that bit easier. Instead, look for a rug to add that softness underfoot.

'A soft rug can add texture, colour and interest,' notes Staffan Tollgard, Creative Director, Tollgard Studio. 'But make sure you look at everything through child-safe goggles.  Can a crawling baby easily pull handfuls of rug out? 

3. Include book storage

'We try to use our baby room ideas to encourage reading moments together,' says Catherine from CatDal Interiors. 'I have also seen from my own home, that books displayed openly and facing outwards helps children to select the books at night, whilst working as beautiful and happy 'artwork' to decorate the shelves.'

'This type of book and toy storage ideas isndone best with narrow depth 'art' shelves. We also recommend keeping these shelves within reach to inspire self reading.'

4. Add shutters to the windows

'Shutters are an important consideration for nursery ideas as they help parents control light, temperature, volume and privacy,' says Sally Denyer, Digital Marketing Manager, Shutterly Fabulous.

'Café style shutters, are a nice option as they allow the light come in through the top half of the window, whilst giving control over the lower half. Alternatively, solid wood shutters can be closed to create complete darkness, which is perfect for putting children down for daytime naps.'

'As well as offering light and temperature control, shutters are also the safest window treatment for nurseries, as they also have no cords or pullies, which present a hazard for children.

5. Add sweet accessories

'Don't forget to have fun with accessories,' says Catherine from CatDal Interiors. 'There are no rules with these spaces, so don't limit yourself to bog standard choices when it comes to wardrobe handles, mirrors, curtain ties, coat hooks or door stops for example.'

'Think about adding on pom pom garlands and bunting, or choose sheepskin and fairy lights for a cosy den,' adds Alex Tolofson, Co-Founder, Noa and Nani.

6. Make it personal

Make your child really feel as though it's their own room right from the beginning. One type of cool gender neutral nursery ideas for this is to use the child's initials as wall art above the crib.

As well as being personal to the child, it's easy to switch up when tastes change - or if a new child moves in to the same space. 

7. Choose mutli-use furniture

One important thing to include in nursery ideas is a changing table. 'Leave enough space for this table, plus storage underneath for easy reach to clothes, nappies, creams and so on,' advises Ann Marie Cousins, Founder, AMC Design.

If you're working with small kids room ideas, or simply want to be savvy with your space, then don't buy a separate table. Instead choose a chest of drawers at a comfortable height for you to use as a changing table. You'll have all the storage you need right there, too.

8. Go for an alternative colour scheme

Pink, blue, grey or yellow are probably the most popular nursery colour choices so  warming shades of chocolate and creme makes a delicious nursery idea. 

'Don't be afraid to use adult colours and wallpapers,' advises Cherie Lee, Founder, Cherie Lee Interiors. 'And don't just feel like you have to use children specific bedroom wallpaper ideas.'

9. Welcome warmth with wooden furniture

Timeless, natural wood furniture instantly warms the space in a nursery to make it inviting for both girl and boy nursery ideas. The complementary natural tones also mean you don't necessarily need a full nursery range from the place. 

'We suggest decorating a nursery with large pieces of furniture in neutral shades such as pine, grey and white so that these pieces, which are often the most expensive, remain timeless,' agrees Alex from Noa and Nani.

10. Opt for a feature cot bed

Classic nursery furniture is a safe choice by why not make a statement but choosing a coloured cot or toddler bed instead? A block colour will make a refreshing change and become the focal point of the nursery scheme.

'A cot is one of the most important additions to nursery ideas,' says Ann Marie from AMC Design. 'Ideally try and incorporate one which will grow with your baby rather than having to keep changing it. 

'Try and position this away from a radiator and window to ensure maximum sleeping.'

11. Feature a blackout blind

Installing a blackout blind in the baby's room is a nursery idea you will thank us for. Controlling day-light to darkness will encourage a sleep schedule parents dreams are made of. 

'When it comes to blinds, we advise a double layer approach if possible,' says Catherine from CatDal Interiors. 'A linen sheer for privacy of you are overlooked, but still keeps the light in, and then a black out lined curtain to block the light for sleeping.'

'If you believe your child needs total black out, maybe consider a pelmet or returning curtain pole.'

12. Stimulate senses with mobiles

Soothing or stimulating cot mobiles are a, heartwarmingly, staple nursery idea. Benefits include visual stimulation, sleep routine familiarity and motor skill development. Their decorative uses are also super valuable by adding colour, texture and style to a nursery room theme.

Don't restrict them to above the cot either; hang various mobiles that complement each other to ceilings, bookshelves and down curtain lengths for a whimsical and attractive look.

13. Add in a peg rail to organise clothes

Any new mum will tell you that getting your little one ready for a day out can be a nightmare. You've managed to wrestle them into their closest clean t-shirt, only to discover that it is a PJ top. 

Install a peg rail on the nursery wall at your height, away from little fingers, where you can coordinate their outfits in advance and have them close to hand when it's time to get ready.

14. Include a comfy chair and blanket

It's likely that in your child's first year you'll be spending as much time sleeping in their nursery as they do. 

A comfy chair is an absolute must for perching on as you read your little one a bed time story, or for bouncing them up and down in when they cry through the night. Choose a comfy large armchair that you would be happy to sleep in and breast feed in, trust us you won't regret this nursery addition.

15. Create a colourful feature wall

It's tempting to want to create a paradise of cream and sheepskin rugs when you have a little one on the way. However, don't shy away from the brighter colours which your baby will be drawn too. Use bedroom accent walls ideas so you can stimulate your babies senses.

16. Incorporate plenty of storage

Babies usually come with lots of things, from nappies to baby wipes. Keep everything in its designated place with plenty of built in storage in your new nursery. 

Drawers are perfect for how to organise baby clothes and keeping your supply of nappies and cotton wool pads. However, be careful about using drawers anywhere little fingers can get caught, instead consider a fabric box slotted into a shelf.

17. Think tactile and textures

'Colours and patterns are important in nursery ideas and play a large factor in a child’s development,' says Rebecca Drury, Co-Founder, MissPrint. 'Textures, especially, encourage children to be more inquisitive and adventurous. Introduce natural materials to a nursery like wood and stone as they can add a sense of calm by bringing nature into your child’s space.'

'Think about introducing some key features such as a washed wooden floor, wicker storage baskets or plants. These can create a relaxing influence for a naturally calm and homely nursery space.'

18. Opt for easy access storage

'When it comes to creating storage for a children's playroom or a children's bedroom, we think the key would be to have items put away but still allowing them to be accessible for children,' advises Cherie from Cherie Lee Interiors.

'Level storage and baskets help provide children access to their own toys and stop the space from feeling too formal whilst still feeling organised and de-cluttered. We recommend keeping the design fun and interesting with shapes and cubby holes wherever possible.'

19. Wow with a wonder wall

Wall stickers are a cheap and easy way to update a kid’s room. There are hundreds of designs available, from Disney characters to aeroplanes and farmyard animals, all of which can be easily applied to the wall without any fuss. 

Why not create an interactive wall map? Perfect as your child grows and learns.

20. Line toys up on a shelf

Make a display of books, teddies or dolls on a set of shelves lined up horizontally on one wall.

This is a great way of keeping toys off the floor, yet still to hand when your child wants to get one down.

21. Play with pattern

If you’re eager to add interest to your child’s room but want to avoid a strong theme, choose a toning colour palette in subtle shades of the same colour. 

'We try to avoid themes, for example like a ‘Starwars’ theme, especially as fads rarely last into teenage bedroom ideas,' says Cherie from Cherie Lee Interiors. 'But the kid’s room is the space to be more adventurous and fun than other parts of the home.'

'You can go to town with patterns, colour and geometric patterns.  You can go a little crazy and have fun compared to other rooms to create an exciting and interesting space.'

How do you decorate a nursery?

'Paint your nursery ideas in a colour you like, rather than a colour you feel you should paint it (blue and pink are not the only options!), but aim for neutral such as soft whites, yellows or even a sage.' says Ann Marie from AMC Design. 'These colours will enable a calming and welcoming space.'

'Ensure it is a clutter-free space,' advises  Juliette Thomas, Founder, Juliettes Interiors. 'When walking in and out during the night time, you don’t want to be falling over things so opt for a clear pathway from your room to the nursery.' 

When should I start decorating my nursery?

Although your baby will most probably sleep in your bedroom at the beginning, it's a good idea to have the nursery decorated before they arrive as newborns keep parents very busy.

'It really depends when the nesting instinct kicks in,' advises Staffan from Tollgard Studio. 'The sooner the better, so that any paint fumes have time to dry out and you don’t get stressed with finishing a scheme days up to the due date.'

'Smaller items like clothes, nappies and blankets don’t need to be stockpiled.  Babies comes in all different sizes, and gifts are often incredibly generously given.  You need less than you think, and you will wash more than you ever thought possible.'

What is a must have in a nursery?

'The nursery is an every sense a dream room,' says Staffan from Tollgard Studio. 'It represents the culmination of the dreams and hopes of would-be parents, acts as inspiration for sponge-like minds, and, much more prosaically, needs to be a place of sleep!'

'The must haves therefore are boringly practical – utter darkness, layers of soft, dimmable lighting, a bed that will grow from crib to toddler, a changing station with lots of storage and working space, a soft rug, a very comfortable chair and footstool, shelves for books that can’t be reached from the bed.'


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