A Helpful Guide: How to Choose a Baby Nursery Theme

Graphic image of crib with text: A Helpful Guide: How to Choose a Baby Nursery Theme

There are so many fun and exciting phases you’ll experience when expecting a newborn. Decorating your baby's nursery is one of them! With all of the options and decisions ahead of you as a new parent, it is helpful to know how to narrow down a style and color palette. This guide tells you everything you need to know about choosing a baby nursery theme. Discover how to find the best décor and baby bedding for the space. Explore these considerations, tips and factors to keep in mind so you can spend less time brainstorming and more time decorating. Soon, you will be relaxing, nesting and organizing in your child’s beautiful new room. 

Graphic image of crib and baby with text: Main Elements of Your Baby Nursery

Consider the Main Elements of Your Baby Nursery

As you dream up your ideal nursery, it may help to make a list of the main furniture and your must-have items. You can also draw the room on a piece of paper. Consider where you will place your furniture and décor, as well as what it looks like:

  • Larger furniture: This includes the bassinet, as well as the nursing chair and the diaper changing table. Other popular items that take up space include bookshelves, nightstands and dressers. Once you have an idea of where you plan to place these, envision these items in detail. Will they be made of a certain type of wood, like mahogany, birch or maple? Will the crib and changing table be dark brown, cherry red or white? 
  • Heirloom pieces: Are there any special elements of décor, furniture or artwork you are bringing into the nursery? These may include art pieces or focal pieces donated by friends or family. If there is an important chair, painting or photograph you want to be showcased in the room, consider its style and colors. 
  • Interior features: Look around at the nursery’s windows, doors and floors. Are they modern or traditional? Are they dark or light in color? If you are looking to create a seamless look in your baby’s room, considering the interior elements can help you to choose your design and color palette. 

Graphic image of nursery set up with crib, chair, teddy bear and other decor with text: Most Popular Nursery Themes

Review Some of the Most Popular Nursery Themes 

Now that you know which main colors and styles will already be present in your baby’s nursery, you can begin to develop your theme. Begin brainstorming your unique look by reviewing some of the most timeless and popular baby nursery ideas. These include: 

  • Nature themes: Nature can be relaxing, imaginative and playful, which makes it a wonderful backdrop for a newborn’s room. Some of the most popular and inviting themes for baby girls and boys include the forest, mountains and the beach. Incorporate flowers, animals or trees into the details of your décor. 
  • Animal motifs: If you have a favorite animal, you can use it as a springboard for your room theme. Some of the cutest animals for a baby nursery include jungle animals like tigers and lions, as well as sea animals like sharks and dolphins. Zoo animals are adorable for a baby boy’s room, while swans and unicorns can create a dreamlike setting for a baby girl’s nursery. 
  • Boho and eclectic: These styles will add a light and airy feel to any baby’s room. It is also a great theme for working with neutral colors. Earth tones like wheat, taupe and sage will make your child’s room look clean and cozy. Start with furniture in white or a light wood color and then add accents in shades like brown, dusty rose and forest green. Shag carpets, faux plants and beaded artwork will add an instant style and appeal to any eclectic theme. Incorporate unique texture with the help of woven accents and wooden mirrors.  
  • Nautical: The nautical theme is perfect for baby boys and unisex rooms. Adorn the space with anchors and thick stripes like you are on a boat at sea. Play up a day at the lake with wooden paddles or rustic wood paneling. Cotton baby boy bedding and blankets are best for this theme. Watercolor artwork showcasing fish, watercraft or birds can help to tie the nursery together. 
  • Vibrant and colorful: Choose rainbow colors or a neon theme to make for a vibrant room with plenty of personality. One way to pull this off with style is to find a piece that acts as the focal point for the nursery. This may be a rainbow-themed rug, a colorful flower painting or a bookshelf with books in every hue and shade. Another idea is to choose brightly colored accents, like blankets, curtains and rugs and then contrast them with neutral tones like white or gray.  

Shop for Cute and Cozy Baby Bedding

pink color nursery with crib, baby chair, and blankets and text reading: Pick Out a Color Palette

Pick Out a Color Palette 

Now that you know the direction you are going with your baby nursery theme, it is time to narrow down the color palette to two or three colors. Here is how you can make your choice: 

  • Consider the most popular theme colors: If you have your heart set on a theme like mountains or the beach, think about which colors are usually found in that setting. Gray, blue and green are all excellent choices for a mountain setting. Add pops of color, like orange, red or white. Beach colors may include teal, seafoam green or light blue. White, gray and coral can help to make the nursery feel more bright and playful. 
  • Brainstorm trendy color combinations: Instead of basing your nursery on a setting or creature, you can choose two contrasting or interesting color combinations to create a dramatic, gorgeous theme. Work with black and white, dark blue and mint or gold with pink. Brown and beige are excellent choices for neutral and unisex baby rooms, while pale green and purple make for a unique color combination for a baby girl’s space. An orange and blue design is the perfect selection for a baby boy, especially since its colors can both relax your mood and energize your spirit. Additional, trendy combos include orange and white, royal blue and red or cherry and white. 
  • Get inspired with a three-color palette: When it comes to a little girl’s room, décor and baby girl bedding are available in a variety of fun color palettes. Today’s parents are trying yellow, coral and purple for their baby girl. Gray, raspberry and crimson is another beautiful, classic option. Coral, apple and peach add warmth to both modern and traditional nurseries. Some of the most interesting and adorable three-color palettes for baby boys include orange, forest green and brown, as well as turquoise, teal and green. Create a rustic vibe with sage green, gray and burgundy. A unisex-friendly palette with orange, yellow and buff will create an instant air of happiness and positivity. 

Along with all of the fun color choices available to you, consider how long you will have the paint scheme as a part of the baby’s room. If you do not want to change the colors for years at a time, consider which shades will grow along with your baby. Bright, whimsical colors may not be appropriate for an older child. Some parents like to avoid jewel-toned or neon shades if they plan on selling their home in the future. If you plan on having your kids share a room, consider if the palette is appropriate for everyone. You may also want to think about which colors and shades are easiest to shop for when it comes to décor and furniture. 

smiling baby in pajamas laying on blanket

Think About Materials and Texture 

In addition to color, the materials and texture in your nursery can make it unique. Different fabrics can also set the mood and tone in the room to make it feel more plush and cozy. The rich textures of your baby's furniture are an excellent place to start. Play up these rich elements of your décor with the dimension and pop of thick area rugs, woven blinds or soft pillows. Plush chairs and colorful wallpaper can help you to incorporate more texture into your child’s nursery, while cozy blankets made to look like fur or velvet are both adorable and functional. 

If your baby nursery has a natural texture, such as a brick accent wall or real wood log furniture, you can use this detail as inspiration. Consider tailoring your baby nursery theme around this focal point that you will not find in any other child’s space. Search for a color palette that complements the feature or work with a theme that lends itself to the item’s personality. 

Imagine the Room’s Focal Point 

A piece of artwork or a gorgeous antique rocking chair can easily become the focal point of your newborn’s room. You can also create your focal point by finding the perfect spot for snuggling, resting and feeding. Think about the best space to place your nursing chair and ottoman. This could be close to a window with natural light or directly across from the door where you naturally keep your gaze. 

Imagine the look and color of the furniture around the focal point, including the shades and textures of the artwork, area rug or window. Envision the colors that would feel most relaxing to you and your baby in this space. Some of the most peaceful and inviting shades of paint for your nursery focal point include lilac, light blue and light gray. Pink, blue-green and yellow will make you feel cozy and complete as you nap or play. 

Envision Your Family’s Style and Personality 

As you make your final choices for your baby room theme, think about your family’s personality and your home’s style. Do you prefer a more eclectic look, or do you embrace traditional fashion? Would you consider your style trendy or modern? If you have been buying baby clothes, consider their colors and themes. Play up the looks that you like when you dress your child. If you love neutral hues in baby pajamas and bodysuits, perhaps you would like to see the same shades in your child’s room. Parents who like vibrant, bold colors can easily incorporate these shades into their modern nursery décor. 

multi-image graphic of space theme and pink/white theme nursery with text: Trendy and Unique Theme Ideas

Use Trendy and Unique Theme Ideas for Inspiration 

While we reviewed some of the most classic and popular nursery themes for girls and boys, it is also a good idea to take a look at what is trending. Some parents want a unique and interesting style for their baby’s room, while others do not mind switching up the look of the room in a few years. Whatever your reason for staying on-trend, we will help you find some of the most offbeat theme ideas for today’s newborns. These include: 

  • Eclectic desert: Many of today’s parents like the traditional nature themes for their baby rooms. In contrast to the popular forest or mountain theme, the eclectic desert theme is far less common. Start with western-inspired artwork like a painting, mural or wallpaper. It may feature cacti, a beautiful desert scene or a dreamcatcher. Neutral color schemes and color palettes featuring earth tones are best for space. Add décor featuring animals like buffalo, bison and coyote. Woven materials and textures are perfect for this room. You will also complement the space with golden tones, jute area rugs and wooden baskets. 
  • Cowboy theme: Just like the eclectic desert theme, the cowboy nursery borrows from western-inspired décor to get its unique look. It is also far less common to see than many other baby boy nursery ideas. Dark wood furniture and colors like brown, gray and white can help tie this unique look together. Use pops of brick red, burnt orange or turquoise to really make the décor stand out. Saddles, bulls and Aztec patterns are excellent choices for adding vibrancy and authenticity to the room. 
  • Space Room: Inspire the explorer in your baby with a space-themed room. Paint a rocket on the wall or find furniture made to look like a spaceship. Astronaut-themed toys and bedding are sure to add joy and personality to the space. Use colors like silver, gray and white. Gold, blue and red are additional, amazing options for this discovery-themed color palette. A planet mobile or Milky Way mural will make this a newborn’s room that is out of this world. Include lights shaped like moons or stars for bedtime and nap time. 

Additional ideas for your décor list or inspiration board include an expansive night sky theme, as well as an entire room devoted to an animal pattern such as leopard print or zebra stripes. A global theme complete with telescopes and maps will add timeless style and wonder to your baby nursery, while a coastal Mediterranean-inspired theme will add freshness and vibrancy to a baby girl’s room or a unisex space. 

Creating a Beautiful, Unique Space for Your Baby 

The tips and inspiring ideas in this guide are sure to get you started toward a cozy, cute and unforgettable baby’s room. Whether you start your design journey with a certain theme or color palette, you are sure to find the furniture, paint and artwork to make your nursery look and feel complete. For best results, start brainstorming, designing and shopping as early as possible. When you plan and organize ahead of time, you will know if you need any items or supplies ahead of your baby’s birth. You can also add some of your nursery must-haves to your baby shower registry. Every newborn deserves a comfortable and unique space they can call home. With your love and effort, you will soon have the perfect nursery ready for your precious baby. 

Image Credits

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