Nursery ideas – inspiration for decorating a nursery for your new arrival

Baby room ideas to create a decorating scheme your kids will love as they grow
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  • Whether you’ve got months or weeks until your new bundle of joy comes home for the first time you’ll be keen to get your nursery ideas completed in time for their arrival.

    As will all children’s room ideas, a baby’s bedroom is a space in the house where you can cut loose and indulge your sense of fun when decorating a nursery. Although at first, all newborns tend to do it sleep, it won’t be long until they see it as a play space that will spark children’s imaginations, too.

    Nursery ideas

    From brightly patterned wallpaper to soothing neutral colour palettes, there are plenty of nursery decorating ideas for every budget. And, when your little one gets a bit older we’ve got plenty of inspiration for transforming a baby’s room into toddler territory with our inspiring gallery of nursery ideas.

    1. Go for an alternative colour scheme

    Warm chocolate coloured nursery with wall stickers

    Image credit: Stickers4Walls

    Pink, blue, grey or yellow is probably the most popular nursery colour choices so these warming shades of chocolate and creme makes a delicious nursery idea. On closer inspection, you’ll find the backdrop is the neutral tone (even the woodland wallpaper is black and white) and warm colour is introduced with cute polka dot removable wall stickers and soft-furnishings. It makes a colour change super easy at a later date as your child develops.

    2. Welcome warmth with wooden furniture

    White nursery with wooden cot and bookshelf with yellow rug

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jamie Mason

    Timeless, natural wood furniture instantly warms the space in a nursery to make it inviting. The complementary natural tones also mean you don’t necessarily need a full nursery range from the place. This cot, bookshelf and feeding chair are obviously not a set yet fuse well together with a touch of individual character. Colourful felt pompom decorations and a zingy yellow rug add a fun rainbow theme to the mix.

    3. Opt for a feature cot bed

    Grey nursery with navy blue cot

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    Classic nursery furniture is a safe choice by why not make a statement but choosing a coloured cot or toddler bed instead? A block colour will make a refreshing change and become the focal point of the nursery scheme.

    The injection of colour may help with children’s bedroom ideas when the nursery becomes a toddler room later.

    4. Feature a blackout blind

    Grey nursery with cloud motif blind

    Image credit: Blinds2go

    Installing a blackout blind in the baby’s room is a nursery idea you will thank us for. Controlling day-light to darkness will encourage a sleep schedule parents dreams are made of. And don’t be put off by the name ‘blackout’ as the front fabric of the blind can be as pretty or bright as you like. This adorable cloud print window dressing makes a soothing addition to this cool grey nursery, complete with matching mobile.

    5. Personalise with accessories

    dusky pink nursery with toys on alcove shelves and mantelpiece

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Nook

    Add interest to a bland nursery scheme with toys and personalised accessories. Style up monotone alcove shelves with colourful vintage books and tactile storage baskets and have fun on a mantelpiece with an array of ‘named’ toys and artwork.

    A soft toy animal head is a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ friendly face to complete the mix and match the vintage vibe.

    6. Stimulate senses with mobiles

    Pale grey nursery with book shelves

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Katie Lee

    Soothing or stimulating cot mobiles are a, heartwarmingly, staple nursery idea. Benefits include visual stimulation, sleep routine familiarity and motor skill development. Their decorative uses are also super valuable by adding colour, texture and style to a nursery room theme.

    Don’t restrict them to above the cot either; hang various mobiles that complement each other to ceilings, bookshelves and down curtain lengths for a whimsical and attractive look.

    7. Add in a peg rail to organise clothes

    Nursery with peg rail and cloud shaped shelving

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Any new mum will tell you that getting your little one ready for a day out can be a nightmare. You’ve managed to wrestle them into their closest clean t-shirt, only to discover that it is a PJ top. Install a peg rail on the nursery wall at your height, away from little fingers, where you can coordinate their outfits in advance and have them close to hand when it’s time to get ready.

    8. Include a comfy chair and blanket

    White and grey nursery with grey armchair

    Image credit: Future PLC

    It’s likely that in your child’s first year you’ll be spending as much time sleeping in their nursery as they do. A comfy chair is an absolute must for perching on as you read your little one a bed time story, or for bouncing them up and down in when they cry through the night. Choose a comfy large armchair that you would be happy to sleep in and breast feed in, trust us you won’t regret this nursery addition.

    9. Create a colourful feature wall

    Blue nursery with animal print wallpaper

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    It’s tempting to want to create a paradise of cream and sheepskin rugs when you have a little one on the way. However, don’t shy away from the brighter colours which your baby will be drawn too. Stimulate your babies senses with walls painted in primary colours – red, yellow and blue. Create a feature wall with brightly coloured wallpaper idea like this animal one which can double as a learning aid.

    10. Incorporate plenty of storage

    Nursery storage unit with spotted fabric baskets

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Olly Gordon

    Babies usually come with lots of things, from nappies to baby wipes. Keep everything in its designated place with plenty of built in storage in your new nursery. Drawers are perfect for storing your supply of nappies and cotton wool pads. However, be careful about using drawers anywhere little fingers can get caught, instead consider a fabric box slotted into a shelf.

    11. Think tactile and textures

    nursery with cactus print wallpaper ceiling and mustard fabric canopy over cot

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    From the silky mustard hanging bed canopy to the potato sack effect toy storage unit and seagrass-style runner, playing with texture in this room really helps to lift this space. A tasseled wall hanging and a rattan style lampshade add to the effect.

    12. Paint the walls a neutral grey

    Grey nursery decorating idea with two tone walls

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    Yellows, blues or pink bedroom ideas are usually the go-to colours for a nursery, but why not consider a grey-and-white colour scheme instead? This combination is not only timeless, but can be customised by adding extras, such as painted stars, which can be changed as your child gets older.

    13. Choose coordination

    Grey nursery with star print wallpaper and yellow armchair

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Ensure that the furniture in your children’s room lasts a long time by picking neutral-coloured matching items, including a bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers. A wooden set in painted cream can be adapted to any colour scheme, from bright colours for toddlers to cooler hues for pre-teens.

    14. Welcome privacy

    Nursery with wire toy storage unit and retro grey locker

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Try something a bit different and go for window shutter ideas instead of curtains in your child’s bedroom. They can be cleaned easily, ensuring a germ-free environment, as well as being available in a range of colours and styles that will suit all schemes – why not let them pick their own colour once they grow up?

    15. Wow with a wonder wall

    Nursery with fabric wall hanging map of the world

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Wall stickers are a cheap and easy way to update a kid’s room. There are hundreds of designs available, from Disney characters to aeroplanes and farmyard animals, all of which can be easily applied to the wall without any fuss. Why not create an interactive wall map? Perfect as your child grows and learns.

    16. Line toys up on a shelf

    Nursery with wall of shelves for toys

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Paul Raeside

    Make a display of books, teddies or dolls on a set of shelves lined up horizontally on one wall with this imaginative toy storage idea. This is a great way of keeping toys off the floor, yet still to hand when your child wants to get one down.

    17. Play with pattern

    Blue nursery with bird print wallpaper and white wooden crib

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars

    If you’re eager to add interest to your child’s room but want to avoid a strong theme, choose a toning colour palette in subtle shades of the same colour. In this nursery, a seagull-patterned wallpaper and painted tongue-and-groove wall panelling ideas create a timeless nautical look that is so on-trend.

    18. Paint walls pink and yellow

    Nursery with yellow and pink painted walls

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb

    If you’re torn between pink and the more traditionally neutral shade of yellow, why not choose them both? Use two shades of paint to create a bold geometric design on the wall, rather than investing in wallpaper. Simply use masking tape to achieve a clean sharp line when creating the diagonal line. This is a great idea if you want to add a splash of colour to the nursery, but are waiting until the birth for the gender reveal.

    How do you make a good nursery?

    A nursery needs to be a safe, calm and inviting environment for your baby. Include a cot with bars, a changing table with ‘easy reach’ toiletries and supplies, suitable storage and, if there is a room, a comfortable feeding chair. Create a gentle night-time glow with soothing night lights.

    When should I start decorating my nursery?

    Although your baby will most probably sleep in your bedroom for the first six months to a year, it’s a good idea to have the nursery decorated before they arrive as newborns keep parents very busy.

    Look for nursery ideas and inspiration first. Paint and paper the room with non-toxic materials with a view for it to dry and air with plenty of time to spare. Install bulky furniture before you get to the tired and uncomfortable stage. Don’t forget to factor in delivery times..

    How do I choose a nursery theme?

    Take advantage of the fact that nursery ideas can be chosen, at this stage, by only you. It won’t be long before your little one develops interests and will soon be begging for the latest superhero or Disney character decor. So, think about what makes you smile; destinations, animals, artwork or even a favourite character you had as a child.

    Blend your chosen nursery theme into a neutral backdrop that can be updated and adapted later. Go for baby-friendly colours that either calm or stimulate. Then, introduce the theme via soft furnishings, toys, storage baskets and accessories.

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