10 Nursery Top Tips That Will Get You Decorating NOW

Nautical nursery with wave wallpaper

Is getting the nursery ready for baby’s arrival one of the most exciting parts of your pregnancy? You’re in the right place! Are all those Pinterest boards getting overwhelming yet? We’ve all been there. 

That’s why we have asked 11 interior design Instagrammers to share their favourite quick and actionable tip that will make the nursery your new favourite room in the house.

Which hack is your favourite? Give it a go and don’t forget to tag the Instagrammer and us at @kitandkinuk so that we can share your creations!

1 MURAL MAGIC - by @HelenaHomeStyle

Nursery with hand painted mountain mural

It may seem daunting but painting your own mural for your child’s space means you will create something that means so much more to you and your little one every time you walk into the room. You have nothing to lose, if you don’t like it you can always paint over. But if you love it you will have created something you're proud of and that no one else has! In the below reel I am sharing with you my simple step by step instructions, so what are you waiting for? If you give it a go, I would love to see what you create! 

2 COLOUR COORDINATE - by @mummy_and_mason

When designing your baby’s nursery, you’ll want to create a space that is relaxing and tranquil, so you’ll need to think about your colour palette - I personally find calming pastels work great in nurseries.

Below are three colour schemes that look amazing in a nursery setting:

3 calming nursery colour schemes

Once you’ve decided on your main colour scheme, you can start to think about the style and colour furniture you want to use. I prefer to keep the furniture neutral, using whites and natural wood finishes then you can follow that through to your accessories for example if your cot has beautiful natural wooden detailing, pick that up also with things like photo frames and shelves to give a coordinated look.

Next is the fun best part! Dressing the room with beautiful accessories it’s a good idea to keep to your main colour scheme adding in one or two accent colours.

There are so many gorgeous shops that sell decor for babies’ nurseries - from prints to wooden decor. Picture ledges, hanging rails and shelves work so well in nurseries for displaying all the gorgeous things, have fun with your accessories.

3 gorgeous calming nurseries in the suggested colour schemes

3 PANELLING PERFECTION - by @OurSmallTerrace

Gorgeous nursery with panelled walls

Like many of us I am just obsessed with the whole wall panelling trend! So much so that it features in every room in my house! 

My favourite room that includes panelling is my son’s nursery! We wanted the nursery to be a traditional, serene woodland theme. The traditional features we have added are wallpaper, coving, ceiling rose, column radiator and of course panelling! 

The panelling in our nursery is a shaker style with a thick picture rail shelf on top. To create the panelling we used cut-down MDF sheets. Your local timber merchant or DIY store should be able to do this for you. Just make sure you know the height and depth you want and how many batons you will need. 

We panelled the entire room so we needed a few. We chose to panel 3 quarters of the way up leaving a quarter to add wallpaper. A question I get asked a lot is how we created the picture ledge on top as it’s not a standard picture rail that you can purchase.

To create the picture ledge we used door architrave and a strip of wood sat on top. We used 4cmx2cm but you could use whatever thickness, depending on how thick you would like your picture rail. To soften the edge we chamfered the wood to give it a smooth finish.

Wall panelling close up

To fit the batons and picture rail to the wall we used a pin gun/nail gun, but you could also use a no nails adhesive glue. To fill in any joints you can use wood filler or decorators caulk depending on the depth of the joint. 

I know a lot of people question how long panelling will stick around for and how damaging it can be if you were to remove it. In my opinion it’s been around and is going to be around for a long time. Traditional never goes out of style! 

4 SPICE IT UP! - by @JadeHolyk

Spice racks in action

Spice racks are my #1 hack. They can be used on small walls to create an open wardrobe, as well as being able to add decor pieces onto - a cute photo frame with your baby scan picture is such a nice personal touch. I always love to theme mine and change them up seasonally!

Around the time I found out I was pregnant again, I first looked at Sophia’s room and carefully thought out how I could visually merchandise clothes, toys and props in a small space. Having these shelves absolutely harmonised the small space next to the window and I embrace it each morning when I open the bedroom door. They also allowed us to make use of each existing wall in the bedroom as a different creative point.

I am forever changing and evolving the styling here; swapping sentimental pieces, amendments to colour pallets and little outfits all based on how creative I feel or interchangeably between seasons.

And what is even better still, is that these were an absolute bargain and quite possibly one of the top IKEA hacks out there. These “shelves” are in fact spice racks and retail at around £4 per piece, which is amazing and shows that you can achieve a look to a room that looks so well stylised / expensive without breaking your bank balance!

5 MAKE IT MULTIFUNCTIONAL - by @GracieElleHome 

Hugo in his nursery come playroom

Like many homes in the UK, we don't have an additional room to act as a playroom for Hugo. So when I was planning his nursery, I knew that I wanted to allow the room to easily transition into a toddler room by adding in accessories. As he's grown, become more mobile and more playful and curious, we've had to adapt spaces in the home to work for us all. Here's a few tips based on what we did:

Work with the space you have

As Hugo began sitting and crawling, we found ourselves spending more time playing in his nursery, which prompted a reshuffle. I'd originally placed the cot in the middle of a long wall with no fixtures above it and space either side whilst he was small. Then, by pushing the cot to one side I created a small play corner for Hugo.

Cot pushed to one side to create play area

Don't overload it

When we first created the nursery, we didn't overload it. We opted for the Mamas and Papas Oxford range in white, a timeless style which will grow with him due to its generous size, adding in some greenery, and a handful of neutral accessories like rattan plant pots, shelving and soft accessories to warm and soften the space. 

Change through accessories

By adding in some fun muted colours in bunting, prints, shaped cushions, a patterned playmat, books and a floor cushion it created a really fun little corner.

Hugo's accessories

Quiet toys and fun storage

We also added in fun shaped baskets such as the Cam Cam bunny basket and Ferm Living Kids Pear basket. These add character to the room and act as handy storage to tidy away the few toys we keep in there on a night. With a quick reshuffle and a handful of new accessories we created a space which felt completely different and functions much better for him as a toddler. 

I love adapting spaces, and it shows it doesn't have to be a big change or expensive.

6 WALLPAPER WORKS - by @RenovatingJubilee

Nautical nursery with wave wallpaper

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started dreaming of nursery ideas. After we found out everything was OK at the 20 week scan I threw myself into researching. I spent many a night scrolling Pinterest and Instagram for the most beautiful nurseries and finally fell in love with the nautical theme.  We live close to the coast and spend a lot of time waking the dog on the beach so it felt perfect.

I knew I wanted a statement wallpaper or mural for the nursery and looked at many different sites. The wave print we finally decided on was from @etsy, it was self adhesive so no need for messy wallpaper paste. The contrasting patterned wallpaper not only looks great but we found James can actually focus on it easily which can apparently encourage vision development. We added further decoration through coastal themed prints, again from Etsy, and cute sea creature soft toys from Jellycat and BigStuffed.

We’re so pleased with the final look of the nursery and it has such a calming vibe (much needed during the early witching hours!).

Personally, when searching for the perfect wallpaper I would choose something enjoyable for the little ones. Anything with a pattern such as spots or stripes for newborns and then something more entertaining like a jungle scene or an animal theme for toddlers.

7 CREATE YOUR 'HYGGE' HAVEN - by @OurOwnHygge

A hygge nursery

“Hygge” is something that you feel – it can be an atmosphere or an experience rather than being about things. Home is where my heart is and before children my home was my sanctuary (it still is but bear with me…). It was that calming space to retreat into after a hard day at work. 

Introducing Barney into the fold, I envisaged chaos (happy chaos of course), piles of washing, nappies, books, toys thrown here, there and everywhere and most fundamentally, the loss of my preferred interior décor style. Some of that is just the reality of parenting and we have embraced it with open arms but I really wanted to create spaces in our home that incorporated Barney’s corners for play and rest but that didn’t fundamentally impede on our Hygge. 

It uses Scandinavian themes throughout. So neutral colours, natural textures, blankets, rugs, personalisation but a feeling of consistency, relaxation and calm throughout the whole of our home. 

We have incorporated Barney’s play “room” into our kitchen/dining room – we managed to reconfigure the space to utilise a part of the room that sits in front of our bi-folding doors.  I imagined lovely summer afternoons watching Barney play and going in and out of the house freely so I had to make his play space work right there! Hygge is whatever you feel it is for you but here I will share my top tips for ensuring fluid interior styling through your home even with bambinos:

Consistency

Stick to the theme you have in the rest of your home! Identify the colours you have used and the textures you love and repeat that in your children’s spaces, whilst making it fun! We have both a foam play mat and a jute rug to keep that flow of natural textures in each space as we have jute elsewhere in our home. We have also used the same paint colour on our wall panelling in the dining area and on the back wall of the play room – discreet touches of “same same” that just blends everything together so well. 

Discreet touches blending everything together

Don’t forget your walls

Utilise walls for additional décor – educational resources like maps, personalised prints, animal heads, shelving, bunting and flags – we even have a stork hanging off the ceiling which just makes the room feel more spacious! The walls really allow you to get imaginative to make the space your children’s own.

DIY/Hacks

Don’t be afraid of DIY! If you are inspired by something on social media, you can absolutely execute it! I wanted to add a statement piece of décor in Barney’s play room that involved wall panelling in the shape of a house – I roped in a little bit of help but got stuck in and now the house is the heart of Barney’s play space. This type of thing will last for years to come because it is so neutral and blends perfectly with the rest of the décor in our kitchen/dining area. 

House panelling inspired by @HelenaHomeStyle:

Wall panelling in the shape of a house

Support small

Choosing pieces which are handmade and that can be personalised fit so well into a play space or a bedroom as you can cherry pick colours/styles to fit into your theme (rattan lettering, wooden peg board, wooden signage).

Storage is king!

We personalised the infamous ‘Trofast’ unit from Ikea with organised labelling. We also LOVE crates and baskets.  These also help with toy rotation which I absolutely love!

8 POWER TO PRINTS - by @BabyJesseAndMe

Educational nursery prints

Prints are definitely on the top of my list when it comes to designing a room whether it be a nursery, a toddler room all the way through to an older kids room.

When choosing decor pieces for my little boy’s nursery I immediately started looking for prints to spruce up his feature wall with. When we transitioned the room into a toddler space, I wanted a mix of modern prints as well as educational eye catching prints. I found lots of different small businesses that offered these and I finally went for a gorgeous number print. We’re at the stage where we’re teaching numbers and of course the neutral colours fit in perfectly with his neutral decor throughout his room!

My top tip is to compliment different decor pieces with similar colours throughout your prints!

9 GET 'EM HOOKED - by @MelodyAndBabes

Hooks in a nursery

We don’t have too much space in Caleb’s room with it being the fourth bedroom in our house, but in this little corner above his cot we have gone for some wooden wall hooks, which I totally recommend and love!! Ours are from H&M Home and it literally takes 5 minutes to hang them! All you need are 2 screws and 2 wall plugs to ensure they are securely attached to the wall! My husband popped these up while I made sure it wasn’t squint! Something I absolutely love about them is you can quickly change up a space by styling it with different decor and clothing as and when you please! I love the simplicity of the look it creates and I especially like that I can hang different framed pictures, decorations and bits and pieces without nailing a million different holes into the wall!

I have chosen to hang these birch hooks above Caleb’s cot as it’s the perfect place for him to admire his little rainbow garland hanging above where he sleeps! Who else loves a neutral, minimalist styled nursery?

10 SIMPLY VIBRANT - by @TheHoppyHome

Alcove shelving in a nursery

I decided to add floor to ceiling shelves in what would have been wasted and unused space - the fireplace alcove. This has given depth to the space, draws your attention to the height of the room, opening up the area, perfect for styling, all whilst adding a great storage solution.

And the best part is that the colourful accessories on the shelves make for a fun and vibrant nursery, which will easily grow with our little one as he gets older, simply by swapping out some pieces.

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