Deciding on a nursery theme

by Leah Eagle

So you’re having a baby? Congratulations! 

Now the planning process begins. Preparing for the arrival can be a daunting task, but it can also be fun and exciting!  

Nine months seems like a really long time to prepare, but it goes by faster than you may expect! 

Along with sharing the news with friends and family, maybe finding out the gender, and starting a registry, one of the other fun things you get to do is plan your baby’s nursery.  

With all of the options out there, it’s helpful to first figure out your colors and style. And also… a theme. In year’s past, many parents leaned toward more of a baby theme, but now many plan for their nursery to grow along with their child.  

Choosing a nursery theme can be challenging. With so many options to consider it may be hard to know where to start. Here are some things to do about when choosing a theme for your baby’s nursery  

1. Pick a color

For years, it’s been pink for girls and blue for boys. But now, many parents are thinking outside the box and going with neutral options.  

The traditional baby aesthetic can limit your design possibilities. While there may be no wrong color for the nursery, choose the environment you want the room to provide.  

A white or neutral colored room leaves space to incorporate any colors or themes you’d like.  

The color you pick for the nursery defines the mood and the feel of the space.  

Check out our previous blog that discusses color psychology and how to select a color palette that you love and one that will keep your baby calm and happy.  

Decide if one or two paint colors will suffice, or if wallpaper, wall decals or board and batten is something you’re interested in. An accent wall can also break up the space and bring in a pop of color.  

There is also a thing called the 60-30-10 color rule. This involves choosing one main (neutral) color that covers 60% of the room, usually used for walls and furniture. Then, 30% of the surfaces such as curtains, furniture, or an accent wall, are used for the secondary color (which could also be a different shade of the main color). The final 10% of the room should feature an accent color. This can be a brighter, bolder color (or colors) featured in wall art, décor or other accessories. 

2. Pick a theme 

Unless you want to redecorate every few years, it’s a good idea to decorate the room to grow with your child. What works in the early stages, from newborn to toddler, may not be what the theme you want for your child when they begin preschool or kindergarten.  

By keeping the theme simple, you can change out sheets, artwork and other items without having to redo the entire room.  

Some of the more popular themes include contemporary, vintage, boho, minimalist, modern, rustic, or eclectic. However, settling on a theme isn’t always easy. With hundreds of choices out there, it seems impossible to pick just one. 

Many parents start with a kid-friendly theme like space or animals and end up with an oversaturated space. An overstimulating room isn't inviting and ends up feeling cluttered. Instead, begin with a design concept and incorporate kid-friendly elements later.   

If you do want to make it a gender specific space, choose a white crib or chandelier for the centerpiece in a girls room. For boys, go with contrasting colors and incorporate subtle items of your chosen theme. Find some wall art or a crib mobile that streamline well with the theme and colors.  

Before you decide on a final nursery theme, make sure it’s something that you like as well. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the room with your baby rocking and feeding. Make sure it’s a space where both you and your baby both be comfortable.   

3. Find inspiration 

Nursery theme inspiration can come from a certain color, pattern or piece of furniture. If you find an item you really love, it doesn't matter if it’s baby specific or not. If you like it, grab it and build the nursery around it.  

Shopping, whether online or in person, can also provide a plethora of ideas. You may find ideas on Pinterest or inside a baby store.  

During your search, you may fall in love with a lighting fixture or piece of art. Let that serve as your inspiration for your nursery's design, color story, and aesthetic.  

The perfect nursery will be a reflection of your family’s unique style. Your baby's room needs to be a comfortable, friendly, and functional space where both you and your baby feel at home. The decor you choose can turn an empty room into a place where your baby will be happy to sleep, learn, and play. 

4. Measure and pick out furniture 

A successful nursery design of any size has specific areas for sleeping, changing, nursing, and playing. Before you begin buying items for the space, it’s a good idea to measure the room so you’ll know what size crib, changing table, rocker or other items will be a good fit for the space.  

Once the big items are accounted for, you can move on to extras including bookshelves, art work, rugs and more. 

Also, use what you have! You don’t have to buy new or baby-specific furniture that will have to be replaced in a few years. A dresser can double as a changing table or your favorite rocking chair can be moved into the nursery instead of buying a new glider chair.  

5. Organize everything 

One of the words that comes up in modern design is "clean."  

Babies require a lot of stuff, which can quickly lead to a cluttered space. Use bins or baskets to create a home for all of the products so the baby’s room doesn’t become overwhelmed with all the things.  

Geometric shelving units are also a great option to hold baskets or bins. Since they come in so many color options and fabrics, it should be no problem at all finding something that works in your nursery space.  

Implementing your nursery theme can be a fun project that will bring you closer to your baby before they even arrive. It goes by fast though. It won’t be long until they are growing up and enjoying the space you’ve created for them.