baby in nurseryWant to create the perfect baby nursery but not sure where to start? Are you dreaming of the heavenly themed, magnificently appointed baby’s paradise but are limited by a budget? From the gorgeous wall art that spells out baby’s name, to the fuzzy rug under the crib, read on for simple tips on how to create a baby nursery that it is a haven for both the parents and baby.

Decorating your baby’s nursery is one of the most enjoyable parts of planning for baby’s arrival. If you or someone close to you has had a baby recently, you know that there is no end to the adorable baby gear available today. Making sense of all of the “must haves” versus the “would be nice to haves” can be a challenge, especially when the “would be nice to haves” are just so dang cute!

Pick Your Color Palette

Back in the (not too distant) past, if you knew the gender of the baby, choosing the nursery colors was an easy task. It was blue for boys, pink for girls, no further thought necessary. When making any decision on designing your perfect nursery, commit this mantra to memory: “what went before no longer applies.” Your baby is as individual as you are, and there are so many wonderful colors in the rainbow – why limit the poor child to just one color?

paint color swatches

It’s a good idea to take stock of what you already have for the nursery. Is your baby furniture antique white or dark espresso brown? If you are using dark colored furniture, but want to lighten the room, you can go with a neutral palette of cream, beige and tan. This combination will give the nursery a soft, natural and calming effect with a modern edge. If you are using antique whites for your furniture, more of the same will create a vintage shabby chic look, or you can add pastels in every color to create a nursery with a more traditional feel. Both light and dark furniture will go well with a bright color palette of red, green, blue, yellow, orange, purple, etc.

Neutral colors like yellow and green are popular in baby décor at the moment because more and more people are either choosing not to find out the gender of the baby until birth, or are conscious not to stereotype their little one.

It’s All About Theming

As you began your journey down baby shopping lane, you may have noticed that nursery décor often follows a theme. There’s the perennially popular princess theme, the boyish jungle theme, the gender-neutral hot air balloon theme … It’s nice to go with a theme but don’t be limited by it. If you chose a vintage French theme for your little girl’s room and your mother in law bought you an adorable plush monkey for the baby shower, don’t stuff the monkey in a drawer just because he doesn’t go with your Chantilly lace curtains or cream and pink striped wallpaper. Instead, tie a satin ribbon around Mr Monkey’s neck and call him Jean-Pierre.

Some of the popular nursery themes of late are jungle, princess, racecars, pirate, Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. Themes that focus on just one type of animal or object can work well too, like bumblebees, rubber duckies, hot air balloons, clouds, stars, etc. There is no end to the décor available if you choose the princess, racecar or jungle themes, but the other themes are simple to create too. For example, the bumblebee or rubber ducky theme requires lots of yellow, jazzed up with bumble bee or ducky wall appliqués and toys. A couple of key accents, like a beehive shaped diaper pale or crib mobile completes the look.

baby nursery

Decorating on a Budget

After the crib, co-sleeper, change table, stroller, baby carrier, dehumidifier, playpen, swing and everything else you have had to buy to prepare for your bubba’s arrival, chances are, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel to decorate the nursery. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to make a big impact in the nursery.

One of the quickest ways to add big impact to your nursery without breaking the bank, is the application of wall décor. Big bold letters that spell out your baby’s name can become the focal point in your nursery and can be purchased for less than a baby’s blanky. Before mounting your block letters or wall decal, space the letters out on the floor so you can get a sense of how much room they will take up on the wall. Make sure they are not directly over the baby’s crib, so that if a letter falls off it doesn’t land inside the crib. Keep them far enough away that when your little one is a little bigger, he or she can’t reach the letters and pull them down.

Another great way to save money on decorating is to DIY some baby projects. A crib mobile can put you back a hefty sum, but if you make your own, it can be just as effective and will add a personal touch to the nursery. Suspend a wire wreath frame from the ceiling with sturdy string, and attach felt stuffed animals or baubles as the toys. If you or someone you know is artistic, paint a big colorful mural on a wall in the nursery. Outline with a craft pencil then fill in the design using non-toxic paints.