Designing Your First Nursery in Your New Home

There are so many “to-do’s” with a newborn on the way that designing a nursery can feel like the last thing on your mind. Choosing color palettes and arranging furniture? Bleh! But designing a new room should be revitalizing and fun! By keeping some basic concepts in mind, the process will be a breeze and can even be a healthy hobby during a stressful time.  

Here’s a list of some overarching ideas that can keep you focused.


When putting together a nursery for your newborn, one can easily forget about the room itself. Take some inventory of the lighting in the room, both natural and artificial. Are there any windows? Where are the ceiling lights (if any)? Where are the outlets? The lighting situation can form the backbone of how you arrange the whole room. This is a functional item but will also give you a good idea of how the room will feel when it’s fully furnished. Having natural light is a big plus for a newborn due to its soft nature. Be sure to leverage it to your advantage if you have some!


Similar to lighting, spacing involves the room itself to make some decisions. Before getting started, it’s a good idea to get some accurate measurements of the room in question. This will give you a solid (and specific) idea of how much area you have to work with. In having the actual dimensions of room, you can know for sure if that dresser you have your eye on will fit along with the rocking chair and crib. It also prevents an embarrassing mishap of buying something that can’t fit through the doorway. In a nursery, there is a lot of furniture that serves a functional purpose. Taking advantage of all the space you have can work wonders. Consider looking at something such as acorner changing table that utilizes often unusable space. You’ll thank your past ergonomic self!


Consistency is one of the key elements when designing a nursery, and color is one of the best ways to create consistency. Color can simplify the design process while also making a nursery feel thought out and complete. Spend a little time investigating color palettes. Having a cohesive color theme, along with a couple accents colors will do a lot of the heavy lifting for a new nursery. Take a look at some colors that you think would be a good fit and do some research on complementary colors to them. Nurseries tend to do well with pastel colors because of their light and calming feel. It can feel like pseudoscience, but colors tend to bring out certain emotions in people. A little reading oncolor psychology can give you an idea of how specific colors can evoke a feeling within a room. Don’t overthink it!

Picking a Theme

Choosing an overall theme for a nursery can help simplify the smaller decisions. Some new parents opt for something specific such as afrog or jungle theme. How far some people choose to go with it is entirely a personal decision and some might feel more creative than others. If you have an animal theme going, it can be easier to just choose another pillow with a lion on it instead of stressing over what decision to make. A simple color theme is all you really need. The same can be said for a pink or gray or blue room. Having a theme can give your nursery a bit of flair but can also provide some cohesiveness. 


When getting nursery furniture, some parents put aesthetics before necessity! A room full of beautiful furniture that you can’t do anything with is just taking up space. Valuable space! However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Just because a piece of furniture is functional or has storage does not mean that it has to be an eyesore. Wood often works well because of its sturdiness and elegant look. Try and pick something neutral that will work with the colors you’ve picked beforehand. Your furniture will serve as the backbone of the room. Don’t forget that you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the nursery and anything thatmakes your parenting job easier is a major plus! Think functionality, but don’t sacrifice looks unnecessarily. 

With anything that involves design, personal preference is king! There is no right or wrong way to design your nursery. These are just outlines that can you help you through the process when things feel overwhelming. In keeping a few overarching ideas in mind when going through a room design, it should enable you to make the best choice for you! Have fun and choose what you like.

Article Written by Haley Kieser

Photo by Curtis Adams