Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nursery ideas for a baby boy

My "baby" turns 15 next week, but today I'm rounding up some ideas for nurseries for my friend Natalie, who is pregnant with her first little one.  Congrats, Nat!  She will be the sweetest mom ever, I'm quite sure.

Natalie asked for help with paint colors after being overwhelmed with "typical boy nurseries."  Her house is a super-cute bungalow with big windows and thick moldings.  Right now she has an espresso-toned crib, and is looking for inspiration for the rest of the room.

I think it's important to keep in mind that nurseries don't have to be pastel, and everything doesn't need to be purchased from a baby store.  Instead, I agree with Sarah Richardson that nurseries can be sophisticated rooms that will work for years to come, when the crib is swapped out for a real bed.

Here are some lovely nurseries to be inspired by:

Stripe it up!

A fun way to do stripes without striping the whole room

This room is gender-neutral but could skew boy or girl based on styling

A boy would be happy here through his teen years
This room is fairly neutral, but has a lot of life

Even just one wall of stripes gives this room some oomph

Here, the stripes are on the ceiling and the walls alternate between crisp white and deep navy

Sophisticated neutrals are nice, with pops of color

I'm in love with these curtains.  I've been looking at wallpaper in the same pattern.

The walls are dark, but the colors bring life into this cozy room.

Who says the art has to be baby oriented?  And how about that chaise?

This is the most sophisticated nursery I've ever seen.  I think I want it for my own room!

This nursery could easily be converted into an adult room

Gray walls are fun with pops of color and pattern

Or just go bold on the walls!

The white curtains and rug help tone down this very green room.
The chair is a fun pop of an alternate color, too.
A mix of alphabet letters is cute against the turquoise wall

Graphic patterns are lively

Nurseries are a good excuse for fun graphics fabrics.

The dark walls, the sophisticated wall stencil, the painted vintage dresser ... oh my.

Nurseries don't have to have soft colors.  Why not go bold with color and patterns?

 How about some whimsy?

The chair is so tailored, yet the barn door and lamp are so country.
How fun is a chalkboard wall?

The wall graphic and light fixture give this nursery a futuristic feel

White birch trees pop off the dark gray wall

My #1 recommendation for a nursery

Do NOT buy a changing table!  Instead, use a dresser or chest for that purpose, with a changing pad on top.  They provide great hidden storage, and you aren't left with a piece of furniture you can't use once the child is potty-trained.  Here are some examples:

Everything in a nursery doesn't have to be new. This vintage dresser is perfect.

Turn an ugly dresser into a fun piece with bold yellow

IKEA's ubiquitous Hemnes Dresser doubles as the changing table

Even a vintage sideboard can serve the purpose!

I'm sure there are a bazillion sources out on the interwebs for nursery design, but these I came across in a short amount of time:  Project Nursery, Stella and Henry, Oh De Doh, Decor Pad, and, of course, Pinterest.

I hope I have given Natalie a bit of inspiration here.  I haven't thought about nursery design in a decade and a half, so it was as fun challenge!  Which room would you choose?


Click on the photos for links back to my sources.


  1. I love gender neutral grey striped nursery. I want it for my bump.

  2. All gorgeous rooms, but the one with the green walls is my favorite.

  3. So many gorgeous examples! My sister-in-law (well, partner's sister - we're not married but ya know, close enough lol) is preggers with her first so going to send these to her. Love the dark walled ones, so unexpected with bright pops of colour!

  4. Thank you, Hollie!! I appreciate your thoughtful post and for sharing my joy. I love your ideas and think that all of the nurseries above would be something a baby could "grow into."

    I especially love the photo with the antique dresser as a dresser/changing table. I also like the "gray walls with pattern" photo... do you think those are postcards or cards hanging above the crib? So cute!

    I had not heard of Stella and Henry... thanks for sharing another procrastination destination! :)

    Although I could not talk my husband into painting stripes, we did agree on a paint color this weekend. I like grey and he likes brown, so we found a happy medium... RH Cappuccino, which we then color matched at Home Depot. It is a great choice with the bungalow moldings and brown crib.

    I will definitely keep you updated as we begin to decorate!


  5. @Natalie Love the paint color you picked! It's actually just like what I have in all the main rooms of my house. It's a great neutral and goes with all kinds of colors. You can easily change out accessories, pillows, curtains, bedding, etc. to give the room a change whenever you feel like it!


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