Designing Your Dream Nursery

Your nursery should be a space that reflects style and functionality. Here are a few things that will help with designing your dream nursery.

Nurseries are one of our favorite rooms to design, but I know as a new mom it quickly became just one more thing to add to the list of things I wanted to be perfect for my new baby.  You will spend a lot of time  in your nursery with your baby, and it should be a space that reflects style and functionality.  Let’s dive into a few things that will help you with designing your dream nursery.

Think about how you want the room to feel.

Is there a certain color palette, or a special memento like a piece of art or furniture you want to design around?  If you feel stuck at step one, start perusing Pinterest and social media for inspiration.  Clip photos you like and then see what they all have in common.  Are they mostly neutral?  Do they have lots of texture?  Are they more traditional?  This will help you as you start to pick out the rest of the design elements for your dream nursery.

baby nursery moodboard

Elements every nursery should have

Don’t overthink what goes into the room too much. Nurseries also need to be equally stylish and functional.  Here is a list of the design elements every nursery should have…

  • Crib
    • There are a wide variety of styles and price ranges for cribs.  We love a basic, budget-friendly Jenny Lind crib.  
    • Make sure to keep baby safe by skipping the pillows and blankets. 
    • To promote healthy sleep, do not place mobile above the crib.
    • A small side table or ceramic stool next to the crib is a great place to put your sound machine.
  • Dresser 
    • Forgo the traditional changing table, and find a dresser or sideboard you love that you can also repurpose into a changing table and then use later on in their big boy/girl room or another spot in your house.  
    • For function, add a changing pad that fits the style of your nursery.
    • A basket nearby will keep all of the necessities that you need (diapers, wipes, etc.) right at your fingertips.  
    • We love a mirror over a changing table, just make sure it is anchored well to the wall.  
  • Chair/Glider
    • You will also spend endless hours in this seat, feeding and snuggling your baby, so your comfort and practicality are key here.
    • IF at all possible, give the seat a test drive.  Are the arms the right height and style for you to  feel comfortable in the feeding position?  
    • Let’s talk fabric!  Remember babies spit up, milk is spilt, and sometimes there is the inevitable leaky diaper, so if available pick a stain resistant fabric like a Crypton or Revolution.  Your fabric also should match your overall nursery style, but also be something more neutral that can be used in future nurseries or other rooms. 
    • Lastly, an ottoman or a poof to prop your feet on, a small side table and floor lamp are all wonderful companions to your new chair.
  • Curtains 
    • Don’t overlook curtains.  They will pull your room together and make it feel complete.
    • One of our favorite nursery design secrets is our Ikea Curtain hack. 
      • Purchase the basic white twill or linen curtain from Ikea (we love the Ritva!)
      • Have a local seamstress hem them to fit your window (make sure they are functional, meaning they fully cover the window when closed!)
      • Add a pinch pleat at the top to make them look custom and a fun trim!
      • And whatever you do, do not forget to have them add blackout material to the back!  Blackout is one of your best friends when it comes to curtains, babies and sleep!
  • Lighting 
    • To elevate the space, add an overhead light to compliment your design scheme. 
    • If your ceilings are low, you cannot go wrong with a simple linen or cane drum shade.
    • If possible, add a dimmer to this light for those transitions from sleep to wake, and wake to sleep.  

If you are like most people, pulling it all together is the most daunting part.  We create a room board for each of our clients, and it is an easy way to visualize how all the elements you are selecting go together.  You can easily do this in Google slides, PowerPoint or a design software like Canva. In this case, trust your eye, if something does not look right, swap it out and keep trying until you find something that feels right and cohesive.  

You got this mama!  And if you don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for help – enlist the help of a local designer or a friend with an eye for design.  

Written by Shannon Reynolds, Founder of Shannon Reynolds Interiors. Shannon Reynolds Interiors is a full service design firm based in Atlanta, Georgia known for creating elevated livable spaces.  Our firm is rooted in the principle that good design extends beyond simply creating beautiful spaces, it is the stage where life happens, people come together and real beauty takes root.

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