design the perfect nursery

How to Design the Perfect Nursery!

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If you’ve recently found out you’re expecting, you have a lot of planning and prepping to do! One of the most exciting preparations you’ll get to do is creating your baby’s nursery.  This will be a special place for the two of you to bond in a calm and beautiful environment.  

You’ll definitely want to have a nursery that you enjoy spending time in.  Now is the time to design and create that perfect nursery!  Follow this step-by-step guide to make your dream nursery a reality.

nursery ideas

Don’t forget these other 12 important things you need to get ready before your baby arrives!

Step #1: Choose Your Nursery Theme


Before you get started on your nursery, you’ll need to think of a theme. What is something you find cute and calming, that shows some of your personality (and hopefully baby’s)?

You shouldn’t paint the walls or get any furniture before you’re set on a theme.  After all, this is what will tie all the aspects of the nursery together!  It’s the best place to start.

Start off by choosing three nursery themes, and imagine what your ideal nursery would be for each theme.  Then, pick which one you like best! You may even find that a combination of themes works for you, or that an unlisted theme jumps into your head.

Whatever the case may be, make sure you are in love with your nursery theme! This will be the backbone of your nursery design.

Nursery Theme Ideas

  • Jungle Safari
  • Shining Moon & Stars
  • Under the Sea
  • Woodland Wonderland
  • Rainbow Room
  • Down on the Farm
  • Floral Fantasy
  • Outer Space Adventure
  • Beach Paradise
  • Vintage 
  • Palace for the Princess/Prince
  • World Travels
  • Let’s Go Camping
  • Boho Baby
  • Minimalistic 
  • Alphabet Letters
  • Favorite Animal (Bears, Sheep, Giraffes)
  • Favorite Dr. Seuss Book (The Lorax, Cat in the Hat)
  • Favorite Sport (Basketball, Football, Baseball)
  • Favorite Fruit (Lemons, Strawberries, Watermelons)

As you can see, a nursery theme can be rather broad, or it can be narrow and specific.  It may be harder to find items and decor when you choose a more narrow theme, but you may end up liking a more specific, cohesive look even better than an all-inclusive one.

In my case, I started out wanting to have a woodland themed nursery for my baby girl.  As I went along in my designing, I discovered that I really loved the more specific theme of bears.  

If you choose a theme and then later decide to narrow it down or expand it, that is totally okay.  The important thing about having a theme is that it gives you a starting point, which acts as a springboard for your ideas.

Step #2: Choose Your Color Scheme

nursery theme color

Keeping your overall theme in mind, think about which two to four colors you want to incorporate into your nursery.  Keep it simple – you don’t want to make the nursery look too busy.  After all, you want to create a calming, soothing environment for your baby (and yourself).

If you don’t like the thought of repainting again in just a few years, think about choosing a color scheme that can grow with your baby into their childhood years.  Will they want to have a bright pink and yellow striped wall when they’re a few years older? Probably not, so bear that in mind when choosing your color scheme.

Also think about your future plans for your nursery.  Is there a possibility of it being home to another child one day, if you have another baby? If so, you’ll probably want to go with a gender-neutral color scheme so that it works for future babies, too, regardless of gender.

Once you have some idea of what you may want, get some paint swatches and group them together to find a combination you love.  Choose one color as your main color, and the others as accent colors.

I choose sky blue for my main color, with navy blue, white, and grey accents.

Step #3: Plan Your Personalized Touches

nursery design

Now that you have your theme and color scheme chosen, it’s time to plan how you’ll make your nursery unique.  Are there any family heirloom pieces you want to include? Personalized decorations with your baby’s name on them? DIY pieces made by mommy?

Think about what will make your nursery special.  In my case, including a rocking chair from my husband’s family and crocheting a cute bear tapestry for the wall gave my nursery those personal touches. 

Step #4: Be Practical & Decide What You Need

It may seem obvious, but don’t overlook this very important step! Once you’ve got your theme, color scheme, and personal touches planned, you’ll need to decide which nursery furniture and essentials to include.  A cute nursery isn’t much good if it isn’t practical.

Here are some basics to remember to include in your nursery:

  • Crib
  • Storage (Dresser, Clothes Rack, Bins)
  • Changing Table (or Changing Pad Mounted on Dresser)
  • Feeding Area with Chair/Rocker/Glider
  • Bouncer/Swing

Consider the size of the room or space you have to work with, and plan out where you will put each item.  This may help you make decisions such as, should I have a changing table, or should I get a changing pad and mount to put on top of the dresser? Should I include a bed for mom or dad to sleep in baby’s room when needed? Room size will be a factor in making decisions like these, as will your personal preferences and plans for how you will take care of your baby.  

Don’t forget to be practical and realistic about how to set up your nursery.  You’ll want to arrange things in a way that makes sense to you and works for your day-to-day life.  Think it all through.

Step #5: Make It Happen!

Once you have your nursery all planned out, it will be time to get to work! Paint those walls, adding wall designs or wall paper if you choose. Purchase your nursery furniture, bedding, and decor (or put it on your registry).

And there you have it! Your perfect nursery can become a reality, just like that.  I hope these five simple steps help guide you towards making your sweet nursery dream come true. (Here’s a peak at mine!)

About the Author

Hi! I’m Staci Suennen, and I love writing blog posts that help expectant moms through the joys and struggles of pregnancy. When I’m not writing blog posts, I love to play the piano, cook, take walks in the woods, and spend time with loved ones.  My first baby is due this October! I’m learning a lot and sharing my experiences as I go. Come along with me on this exciting journey of motherhood on my blog called Faith, Hope, & Motherhood. I believe that we moms and moms-to-be need to lean on each other, sharing our tips and thoughts to make the most of mommy-hood.  


  • These are great ideas! I love the Shining Moon & Stars and the Under the Sea ones the best. I also love pale muted colors and animals or really bright and sunny looking!

    • Such cute ideas and pictures! I couldn’t design a nursery for my little one as we shifted to a different place. If I would, I would have chosen the under water theme.

  • Love these design ideas and themes! I would love to have a floral fantasy for a baby girl and outer space adventure for a baby boy. Thank you for sharing about the basics. I haven’t thought about a bouncer or swing. Will check one out. 🙂

  • Hi it’s Brenda from I love designing new spaces. This is actually a great article that many new parents are bound to find helpful. You even have me thinking of some new ideas for my own home. Thanks!

  • I really like your idea of narrowing it down to three themes and thinking each one through before settling on one. I think that would really make a difference!

    • Yes, narrowing down from three theme options can make a difference! Then you’ll make sure you pick the one you really love and have no regrets. Thanks for reading

  • So many great ideas! Designing a nursery is so much fun. Finding a theme can be a little bit overwhelming but what a great idea to narrow it down first and then let it marinate before making a final choice.

  • I LOVE the list of theme ideas and the different steps. We are decorating my sons room and I still dont have a theme yet.

    • Have fun decorating your son’s room! I hope you found some ideas in this article that you can tweak to your own liking. Thanks for reading 😉

  • Our nursery fail every time was that we did not pick a theme. We only had an “idea”. We know better now, lol. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is a really good article. Think I am done with babies for now😅 but definitely an inspiration here for my toddlers room. Thank you.

  • This is a great comprehensive step-by-step for first-timers! I envy you the process a bit – when i was pregnant with my first, we were desperately trying to sell our two (too-small pre-wedding- houses and find a single, larger one we could afford, so we really weren’t able to plan around theme etc at all because we were only able to close on our new home 6 wks pre-due date/move 4 wks before due date, by which point I was on modified bedrest!

    • Wow, that sounds like a whirlwind! You must be glad to be settled in your home now with baby. Moving is so stressful but worth it in the end! Thanks for reading

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