top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


In a world with Pinterest and Instagram, moms these days are under a lot of pressure to create not only picture-worthy moments but also “pin-worthy” spaces. The whole baby game has really been amped up by the sharing of cool new gadgets, mom designed products and baby must-haves. Every parent wants the best for their baby. This applies to the design of children's rooms and nurseries too. Who doesn't want drool-worthy (and I am not referring to the teething kind) space in which their child can play and grow? However, the task of mimicking those beautiful images you see on Pinterest isn't always as easy as it seems. Even as a professional interior designer, sometimes the Pinterest bar is set high. Using my own daughter’s nursery as an example, I am sharing some tips and tricks sure to not only please your littlest of fans but leave your friends asking who designed your space.

Pick a Theme

Children's rooms are just one of those spaces where a theme is always acceptable. It can be as abstract or specific as you like. In broad terms this could be a color or style such as ‘boho’ or ‘rustic’, in more specific terms your design could be driven by an object or a favorite item such as a book, animal, painting etc. A well-defined theme will be the thread that ties everything together and gives you a clear direction for design.

Mix 'n Match

Don't be limited to only selecting furniture from a matching nursery suite. Coordinating sets, although great if you have the room, can quickly fill up a small space. Mixing unique pieces allows you to tailor items specifically to the character of the room or constraints of the space. Designer Tip – By mixing old with new, affordable with expensive and DIY with off the shelf products you will achieve a room with a more authentic character than those rooms that are too well matched.

Think Outside the Box

Although the shape of the room may be boxy this doesn’t mean the design needs to be. Think outside the box and come up with inventive ways to use furniture, store toys and accessorize the space. For example, if your nursery is too small for a dresser, crib and change table, forgo the change table and consider adding a change pad to a lowboy dresser. If toy storage is limited, accessorize the room with baskets of various sizes and styles for added style and organization.


From layering bedding and complimentary blankets to accessorizing bookshelves, layering is your friend. Layering décor items allows you to add depth and character to the space while giving a room a more approachable, lived in quality. Some key tips for layering are to add one-off pillows to bedding sets and rockers, layer books and pictures onto bookshelves with accessories and toys, even consider layering child friendly rugs and furs over your existing carpet.

Hit the Highs and the Lows

A well designed nursery doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. I am a big believer in mixing high and low priced items (just don’t forgo quality). Work within a budget and tailor your selections to the budget. This could mean you buy custom black out drapery panels, as I did and then attempt an Ikea hack to achieve your dream dresser at a bargain price. Pick and choose the items that have the most impact or require the most longevity and spend your money there, such as a crib that will be home to two or more children. The internet is full of wonderful DIY solutions for those who are budget conscious, so be sure to take inspiration from others creativity and try your own at home furniture hacks or one of a kind art.

From Theory to Reality

In my daughter Emery’s nursery I knew immediately that I did not want to go gender neutral and created a modern, feminine theme that was based around my love of the colors peach and coral. I incorporated complimentary objects and décor that coordinated with the colors, but went for a more eclectic mix-n-match approach where I combined animal prints, modern patterns and a few touches of bold black for some unexpected personality. Restricted by a very small room and a reasonably tight budget, mixing and matching allowed me to work within the constraints of our space and create the eclectic character I was looking for. I chose to pair a more traditional or vintage looking crib, with a simple Ikea dresser that we dressed up with moldings and new brass hardware. I mixed custom prints with hand made art and purchased a one-of-kind quilt that was the main driver behind the design.

Photo Credit: Jamie Hyatt


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page