6 tips to design your functional, stylish nursery

I’m currently working in a New York City apartment where I’ve designed two nurseries; one for a boy and one for a girl. Today I’ll spend some time adding a few details, such as styling the bookcase and hanging artwork on the walls.

Now that I’m nearing the end and putting the finishing touches on these designs, I wanted to share with you six tips on styling your own functional yet chic nursery:

#1. Create a Focal Wall

I’ve designed a ton of different nurseries and love using accent walls as a statement in the room. Key pieces in the nursery, such as the crib or dresser, are usually placed on these focal walls to draw attention to them. The placement of these key pieces are usually dictated by the existing, architectural details, such as windows and doors,  When creating your own nursery furniture layout, keep these details in mind as well as functionality of the room.  

There are many so many creative ways to create your own focal wall, such as wallpaper, paint, or even a mural. Don’t be afraid to try something out of the box and come up with your own design!

#2. Incorporate Multipurpose Furniture



When I’m designing a nursery, I like to incorporate pieces that have dual purposes. An example of dual-purpose furniture is a crib that can transition into a toddler bed.

In this nursery, I selected a chair that folds out into a bed, something a new parent is sure to appreciate. Look for a furniture piece that is compact, yet functional when you need it to be.

#3. Lighting Is Key



There are going to be dark nights when you stumble into the nursery. That’s why proper lighting is essential. There are three types of lighting a room would benefit from having – overhead, task, and natural. In the nursery I’m designing, the task lighting is by the glider.

If you want to read to your baby or just relax in the chair and need extra lighting, it’s perfect. This nursery has a beautiful window that lets in a lot of natural light, which adds to the design. I installed new recessed lights on the ceiling, placed just over the changing table. They’re on a dimmer so the brightness can be adjusted for those midnight diaper changes.

#4. Use Kid-Friendly, Durable Materials



For furniture fabrics, I like to use materials such as polyester, acrylic, or rayon because they are much more durable than natural fibers like cotton or linen. This indestructible fabric can hold up to almost anything and takes the worry out of getting them dirty. 

Kids are messy and choosing durable materials that are easy to clean and can stand up to the test of time are necessary for prolonging the life of your furniture pieces. 

#5. Go Against What’s Expected



There are endless possibilities when it comes to designing your nursery. You don’t have to be confined to only pink for a girl or blue for a boy. Play with the color palette, and use whatever colors give you inspiration!

Draw inspiration from whatever makes you happy. Your baby’s nursery is meant to be a retreat ad an oasis for you to bond and connect. Design an environment that brings you joy.


#6. Design for Accessibility



In this particular design, I’ve placed a bookcase from Room and Board in the room. For now, it will be styled for the mother’s needs. Baskets placed along the bottom will add more storage for extra clothes, diapers, or whatever she might need. In the future, it can be restyled to suit the child’s needs. The baskets can be replaced with books or toys in the future, so the child can reach for them without assistance. 

A quick little side note – you can use blue painter’s tape to outline where you want to hang your wall art to get an idea of how the layout will look! Plus, it won’t damage the paint on your wall. I hope you drew inspiration from these design tips, and now feel confident in styling your own beautiful nursery.