Welcome your baby by building a one-of-a-kind bedroom.
To all expecting parents preparing for their new baby’s arrival, getting your dream nursery put together can be daunting. After all, the nursery is your baby’s first impression of their new home, and planning the design demands detailed answers to difficult questions. What style of crib do I like? Which products offer the best functionality? What colors will soothe my baby?
Most importantly — where do I start?
Before my baby was born, I imagined I’d have months to perfect every last detail of her nursery. In reality, between juggling work, family and friends, my pregnancy passed by fast. Before I knew it, I was only two months away from delivery and had to decide what our “masterpiece” baby room would look — and bring it to life — before my kiddo arrived.
But when I went to explore my neighborhood stores and favorite online sites for ideas, I was immediately turned off by the overwhelming suggestions of “themed” decor available. The idea of having a central theme at all — whether of a particular character, animal, or pattern — everywhere throughout the nursery, seemed so uninspired. And while many designs were cute and on trend, they did not give me a feeling I craved — originality.
My baby was one-of-a-kind. Her nursery should be as well.
I could not afford to hire an interior designer, so I set out to design a room myself, on my budget — one that would be as original and meaningful as my baby.
For expecting families that want to create a personalized, unique and thoughtful nursery, here are the best baby nursery ideas to consider in 2024.
Take a page from designer playbooks
If you have not checked out Houzz.com for interior design ideas yet, you’re missing out. The site offers tremendous amounts of outstanding home design concepts from professional home designers for hire — all of which you can access for free. Do a search for “Nursery” photos and you can spend hours poring over different options. Get to know what is, or is not, aligned to your personal taste — whether modern, traditional, contemporary, or other types of design trends. You may just find a look and color combination to help inspire your little one’s new nest.
Choose unique artwork that speaks to you
Show your nursery walls some love by handpicking one-of-a-kind artwork for your baby to gaze upon. One of the best websites available to support independent artists and purchase unique works to fill your nursery (and the rest of your home) is Society6.com. This site has a trove of amazing and adorable artwork to stimulate baby’s imagination and creativity. Do a search for “baby art” to return a wealth of colorful (or black and white) visuals like animals, maps and patterns. These will be among the first visuals to help facilitate your baby’s learning. Also consider colorful, non-toxic, natural wood toys that can add a stylish look to baby's shelves.
Put baby’s name in the room
Deciding your baby’s name is the first step toward building their individual identity, and so it should also be the first word they learn to spell correctly. Help them along by putting their name in some form, big or small, within the nursery, and then you can practice spelling it together. I searched around Etsy until I found some personalized wooden blocks in the colors we liked best. Now, when baby girl is not playing with her name letters, the blocks sit on her dresser as decorative accents.
Books, books, and more books
If you’re a book lover, curating your baby’s first library can be an exciting endeavor. However, the effort can also get out of hand quickly when you want to buy all the books. The good news is that our paper friends can make versatile elements of interior design. Cherry pick a selection to read baby (you can refer to a pretty solid list of our recommendations) and start stacking a bookcase that makes a statement. Your child will grow into his or her library while bonding with you at storytime.
Give nods to your family in small details
I chose my mother’s favorite color for the walls of our baby’s nursery and my grandmother’s favorite animals among toys and nightlights. My husband added a fresh coat of paint and new knobs to my late aunt’s used, vintage dresser — it now looks brand new and is made of lasting quality (versus the cheap, manufactured wood that is sold in most stores). These are nuanced details that a baby won’t appreciate until he or she is old enough to understand them, but adding a nod to your favorite family members makes a nice reminder that their influence is always close.
Handmade is always a winner
Certain things in this world are timeless, and handmade items are one of them. We were lucky to have talented loved ones contribute beautiful, unique, hand crafted items to our nursery. A homemade mobile of the sun, moon, stars and clouds sat above our baby’s crib. A hand knitted throw, hand sewn baby quilt and homemade burp cloths add special touches to the room. You can purchase sustainable handmade goods at specialty boutiques or browse a wide variety of shops that sell online at Etsy.
Organic baby blankets and swaddles all the way
Your baby has delicate skin that is prone to irritation and rashes. That makes it super important to buy GOTS certified organic cotton based products to touch their skin. Organic cotton is the gold standard being that it is not only sustainable and better for our planet than synthetic materials, it is also hypoallergenic, eczema friendly and sensory friendly. Make sure to buy organic baby blankets and organic baby swaddles to keep baby warm in their nursery.
A rug ties it all together
If you think of your nursery like your dining room table, then the rug would be the centerpiece. A rug can bring the diverse elements in a room together while accentuating your style, depending on the color, texture, and fabric you choose. There are a number of choices available online when shopping for a rug, but Sustainable Jungle has a good roundup to start your search. The site suggests an array of sustainable and environmentally friendly rugs to filter through and browse until you have a strong sense of what might work with any other details you might be considering.
All new parents must determine their own style to build a nursery that inspires them. We hope one of these ideas will work for you!