Setting up a baby's room? Here are 12 ideas to get you started

Ideas for decorating the nursery.
Ideas for decorating the nursery.  Photo: Houzz

If you're setting up a baby's room, these ideas will help you get started.

I really like to decorate nurseries with an older baby in mind, because the newborn months disappear in the blink of an eye. I try to stay away from newborn-specific themes and go with something that will work for 0 to 5 years old. 

So if your baby bump is getting bigger and you have no idea how to start your nursery design, relax, breathe and put your feet up – I've assembled a few ideas that will get you started and ready just in time. Choose your favourites as starting points and just build from there.

1. Start with a fun wallpaper pattern

A nursery can obviously pull off more whimsy than most other rooms. Find a fun pattern and paper the entire room or just one wall. Build on the pattern by adding complementary colours or art.

2. Use your words

I hung word art over the changing table in my house, to teach the alphabet during every nappy change.

3. Put all the pattern in your curtains

Go with a big baby-inspired pattern on the curtains and leave the rest of the room neutral.


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4. Choose a unique overhead light

I love this oversize light fixture above the comfy chair. Let the light fixture set the palette and vibe of the nursery. 

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TIP: Get the cosiest chair you can find. You will spend more time there than you realise.

5. Throw in an oversized stuffed animal to set a playful tone

When my now-teenage daughter was a baby she had a giant bear that she affectionately called B. Her first words were "Mama," "Daddy," "ball" and "bear".

Make sure to keep the stuffed toys out of the cot, though - putting toys with bub as they sleep can be a SIDS risk. 

6. Let the palette create the theme

Pick two or three colours and repeat them throughout the room. Splash colour in unexpected places like curtain trims, rugs and art.

7. Create an accent wall

Highlighting one wall is fun and practical when you're being careful about costs. Accent walls can be created with paint, wallpaper or art.

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8. Go bold with geometric patterns

White walls are kicked into high gear with strong colours and geometric patterns in the rug and art. Infants' developing eyes are drawn to high colour contrast.

9. Consider horizontal stripes

A pattern of horizontal stripes expands even the smallest of spaces. Furniture, rugs and fabrics can all be tied in to the stripes.

10. Dress up the ceiling as well as the room

Babies spend a lot of time on their backs looking up, so treat the whole room as a giant mobile by hanging paper lanterns, parasols or string lights along the ceiling.

11. Use clothes as accessories

Hang hooks on the walls and display cute baby outfits. Open shelves and hooks make clothes and hats easy to access.

12. Repeat a pattern

Find a pattern and repeat it on cot bedding, curtains, chairs or art. Repeating a pattern is a whimsical look in itself, so there is no need for much else in the nursery – helpful if you are short on space.

By Charmean Neithart for Houzz