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nursery ideas

Nursery Design 101: 6 Things to Consider For Your Little One’s New Space

nursery ideas

Designing a nursery is no walk in the park. From safety measures to smart decor decisions, from finding a functional layout to pulling the room together, new parents have their work cut out for them. Not to mention, this all has to happen on a tight timeline.

At Modsy, we’ve worked with many expecting moms and dads to design their first nursery. As such, we know that safety, functionality, and timing are essential parts of the process. There are actually a lot of nursery design do’s and don’ts that you might not know about.

Here, we break down a few of the essential things to consider when designing a nursery. Read on for some nursery ideas for your space!

nursery ideas1. Take Your Time Finding the Right Chair

The ultimate nursery essential, gliders and rockers are a great spot to soothe, feed, and snuggle your baby. While these come in many styles, it’s important to find the right option for you.

The main factors to consider are comfort, durability, and safety. While the perfect option looks different for everyone, many parents appreciate options with an ottoman or footrest for easier rocking, a tall back to lean their heads against, and wide armrests for more comfortable nursing.

Designer Tip: Finding your perfect glider or rocker can often take some time, so consider getting a jump on this one earlier to be sure it arrives in time.

Read this next: Before & After: From Breakfast Nook to Charming Nursery

nursery ideas2. Fill in the Details Later

Unlike designing your own room, where you can take your sweet time, a baby on the way might leave you feeling the pressure to get the nursery done ASAP.

And while there are a few pieces that are more essential than others (think changing table), it’s ok if the whole space doesn’t come together by the time baby arrives. Instead of rushing to purchase pieces you’re not 100% in love with, focus on the most important parts first, and fill in the details later.

For example, the crib is one piece of furniture that some parents choose to forgo for the first few months. Instead, many parents choose to have their baby sleep in their bedroom either in a bassinet or co-sleeper at first. If this is you, rest a little easier knowing that your crib is one purchase that can come a tad later.

3. Create a Cozy Space

Once you’ve got all the essentials squared away, it’s time to focus on the fun part – decorating your nursery!

No matter if you go pink, blue, gender-neutral, or animal themed, finding the perfect decor scheme is one of the best parts about designing a nursery.

Consider fun wall art, sticker decals, mobiles, and all the small touches that make this the cutest and coziest room in your house.

Designer Tip: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to avoid pillows and blankets in cribs. Instead, try placing a few throw pillows or blankets on your glider to give your space an extra cozy touch!

nursery ideas4. Skip The Changing Table

Rather than sinking your money into a changing table that will be obsolete after several years, consider purchasing a dresser with a changing table topper instead. This provides the same surface and function as a changing table but will have staying power as your nursery becomes a kid’s bedroom.

5. Invest In A Durable Rug

Just like a dresser, a soft and durable rug can prove to be a great investment. Find one that’s soft to the touch but stands up to lots of wear and tear so that you can keep using it as a foundation in the room (or any space) post toddler years.

As your nursery will likely be a space your baby spends a lot of time playing in, be sure to consider the composition of the rug you choose. An option that is not only durable but easy to clean will likely make you happy in the long run. Also consider that certain materials and dyes (especially synthetic ones) can potentially off-gas VOCs which are not great for avid crawlers.

nursery ideas6. Don’t Jump At Stain-Resistant Furniture

It’s tempting to go for an armchair or sofa that’s been treated with stain-resistant coating, but make sure to take time to do your research.

Just like rugs, many stain and water repellent sprays used on furniture may contain chemicals and toxins that can be harmful to newborns, so make sure to read the fine print and confirm your protected furniture is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and baby-safe.

Need help finding nursery ideas for your space?

nursery design

How Modsy’s CEO Turned Her Breakfast Nook into a Charming Nursery Design

nursery designs

In preparation for their first baby, Modsy CEO Shanna Tellerman and her husband, West, were in need of a nursery design. Like all expecting parents, they knew it would be a project that required time and attention. But, between life and busy work schedules, the project quickly began to feel overwhelming.

Enter our Modsy design team, who swooped in to help Shanna and her husband with the heavy-lifting. The challenge? Designing a space that worked for all their needs – from devising a layout inside what was previously their breakfast nook, to finding perfect-fit furniture.

Here, Shanna shares her nursery design journey as an expecting mom and a few lessons she learned along the way while working with the team to create a petite and charming nursery nook in her home.

nursery designs

Given their home’s odd layout of rooms, Shanna and her husband decided to turn their breakfast nook into the nursery for their new baby.

Lesson 1: Every Space Has Design Potential

“We live in a San Francisco cottage-style home on a very steep hill, which means it has an unusual layout. Our bedroom is on the first floor and there are two more bedrooms one floor below. We definitely did not want to put the nursery downstairs as it would be too far from our bedroom. Of course, this left us with very few options for where it could go…

We have a breakfast nook next to our bedroom, but it is fairly small and has an awkward shape with tricky dimensions. Given that, we hadn’t considered it seriously as a possibility for the nursery, but after giving it some thought, we realized this nook was the perfect spot all along.

Not only was it right outside our bedroom, it also has great windows and gets beautiful light. So, despite the unusual shape and size, we decided to figure out the best way to make use of the space as our new nursery. It’s a good thing we didn’t rule it out from the start!”

“This felt like the perfect room for Modsy since we wanted to envision how an unusual space with tricky dimensions could go from a functioning kitchen seating area into a cozy nursery.”

nursery designs

nursery designs

Above left: A Modsy rendering of the breakfast nook-turned-nursery with furnishings that combining Shanna’s rustic style and her husband’s more modern taste. Right: After photo of Shanna’s real-life nursery now, fully furnished.

Lesson 2: You Can Have a Vision And Still Struggle With It

“Like many new moms-to-be, I spent my fair share of time gathering inspiration on Pinterest. I found that I really liked all the gender-neutral nurseries with gray tones, but my husband and I also wanted some splashes of color to keep the space bright and lively.

That’s when I realized we didn’t actually have a strong vision for how we wanted the space to look. As much as I thought we knew what we wanted, it became clear to me that we needed help finding products and pulling the actual space together. After all, this is our first baby and first nursery!”

Struggling to design your nursery? Modsy designers can help you imagine the possibilities for your space. Click here to start your project.

nursery designsLesson 3: Trust (And Enjoy!) The Design Process

“When our Modsy team stepped in to help with the nursery design, I was reminded how designing a space is never an instant journey from zero to perfection. It’s not about everything being exactly the way I want, right from the start; it’s about being open to fresh perspectives and surprises. And as it was, I wanted all the input I could get.

The next thing I knew, the team surprised us with an initial 3D design that was so sweet and spot-on, that my husband and I immediately fell in love. In particular, we loved the baby animal prints on the back wall. These were not part of our plan, but seeing them in the space (virtually) helped us decide to give the nursery an animal theme.”

“[My husband] West was involved at every step. There were moments when I got really hung up deciding between the different options for our space, and he was always good at making a final call.”

nursery designs

nursery designs

After seeing baby animal prints in their 3D design, Shanna and her husband decided to go with an animal theme in their nursery design.

Lesson 4: Finding The Right Furniture Is Worth Your Time

“I’m not going to lie, I did a TON of research on baby furniture because I wanted to ensure the pieces we chose would be safe and functional. But I was nonetheless amazed to learn that we really only needed to purchase three key pieces: A bassinet, a recliner, and a changing table. This actually made perfect sense for our small space and was really everything we needed.

One of the first things I learned as an expecting mom, which may be obvious to everyone else, was that babies don’t sleep in cribs until they’re six months or older. This was actually a relief given our tiny space. So instead, we purchased the Halo Swivel Sleeper bassinet that can easily be moved from our room to the nursery (we’ll hold off on tackling the crib until we set up the baby’s downstairs bedroom).

Recliners are very much a personal choice, and my research really helped me understand which features most people appreciate. We knew we wanted one with a footrest and a tall back that we could lean our heads against. I was able to pass this information on to the team, and they helped us find an option – the DaVinci Olive Swivel Glider – that perfectly fit our needs.

Knowing what furniture we needed really helped things come together quickly. Then, we were able to focus on the fun part – accessorizing the space!”

nursery designs

“Safety and functionality concerns are a big part of the decision-making process for many new parents when designing a nursery. I realized that the more I was able to communicate my ideas and hesitations about the design along the way, the easier it became for my designer to understand what the perfect nursery was for me.”  

nursery designs

nursery designs

Lesson 5: Personal Touches Make All The Difference

“Our parents sent us a big box of all the books they read us when we were young (some are even the original copies). We filled the bookshelves with them to make it a prominent part of the space.

We love that our nursery is filled with memories from our own childhoods. It’s the perfect special touch that helps personalize the space.”

nursery designsLesson 6: Always Leave Room to Grow (And Redesign!)

“We definitely hope to keep several parts of the room throughout our baby’s childhood. And we specifically picked pieces that would have longevity beyond the nursery years.

The changing table is actually the Ever Simple Wide Dresser with a perfectly fitted changing table topper from Crate & Kids. We really liked this option because we can secure and remove the topper as needed, and even convert the whole thing into a regular dresser once we move beyond the diaper phase.

We chose the Denim Rag Rug from Dash & Albert because it’s especially durable (it can withstand traffic and is easy to clean) and it added the right color and warmth to the space. The side table, animal prints, and bookshelves are all super versatile and will also likely make the move into a toddler and, eventually, big kid room as well.

Ultimately, everything we chose for this room could be used again if we have a second child in a few years because we’ve kept it so gender neutral – and we love that.”

Shop Shanna’s Nursery Look

Need help finding the perfect nursery design for your space?

Starting at just $59, we can help you envision your little one’s nursery in an exact 3D version of your space. Modsy designers can show you how different layouts and products will look in your space, and you can shop your look all in one checkout, knowing exactly how everything will look and fit in your space.

big kid room

My Modsy Story: How this tech-savvy dad transformed his son’s nursery into the ultimate “big kid” room

Avesh was no stranger to 3D technology and knew there had to be a way it could make designing his son’s first big kid room easy and fun.

Homeowner: Avesh, software developer and tech-savvy dad of two

Location: Princeton, NJ

Room: 3 year-old’s bedroom

His Style: Mod Visionary

The Backstory

Transforming a nursery into a big kid room

This year, our 3 year-old son was ready move into a room of his own. My wife and I were eager to use this opportunity to redo his space. Our plan was to ditch the old nursery furniture we’d used for our two kids, and start fresh!

We knew we wanted the space to be bright, modern, and fun. We envisioned splashes of color and a stylish chair for reading bedtime stories.

My son is really into cars right now. So, while we also wanted to incorporate that into the space, we wanted to do it in a creative and subtle way. Something he wouldn’t grow out of in a few years.


Avesh’s Room Before

The Design Dilemma

Visualizing the results without wasting time

As a software developer, I’ve worked with 3D tools before, so I know how they can make designing a space from scratch easier.

I’ve previously tried creating some 3D renderings of my own for a previous home improvement project. I ended up spending all my nights gathering ideas,working on the designs, or searching for products.

The process was so time-consuming and things always just seemed to look “off…”

For my son’s room we decided to try an interior designer. Unfortunately, the designers in our area were more experienced with a traditional style, and none could create the type of visualizations I was looking for. I remember wishing there was an online service with experienced professionals that could help.

“None of the interior designers in our area could create the type of visualizations I was looking for… I remember wishing there was an online service that could help.”

Avesh’s Modsy design #1

The Modsy Moment

Letting technology do the heavy lifting

When I learned about Modsy through TechCrunch, I immediately thought they read my mind. My wife and I had started gathering ideas for our son’s bedroom on Houzz and Pinterest, but when we saw the stunning Modsy renders we knew this would be the perfect time to try the service!

big kid roomAvesh’s Modsy design #1

At first, I wasn’t sure if our renderings would look as great as the marketing material… it seemed too good to be true, especially at the price! I was also not sure if they would have kid-friendly furniture options available. We were pleasantly surprised!

When we got our renderings back I was blown away by the quality. The lighting, textures, materials, and layout looked fantastic. There were also many ideas in the designs that hadn’t occurred to us before.


360 spin through Avesh’s Modsy design #1

big kid roomAvesh’s Modsy design #2

What Modsy’s Renderings Showed Avesh:

The Modsy renderings helped us completely visualize what the room would look like with a twin compared to a full size bed. This was one of the decisions we were going back and forth on, and seeing the two options made the decision easy.

Our first Modsy design showed us how the space would look with a twin bed. We loved this layout, which we hadn’t originally thought of, because it would give the boys room to play and be silly before going to bed.

big kid room
Bird’s eye view of Avesh’s Modsy designs

Modsy suggested a dresser with shelves above for books and other items. The kids don’t need a dresser with a mirror right now, so this was a nice use of that space, which again we hadn’t thought of before. We also liked the idea of the pouf next to the reading chair, because we could use it both for seating and as a place to set books for storytime.

We plan to buy a few of the pieces Modsy showed us, but we’ll most importantly use the layout they suggested. Turns out we already own the little red car they included for us in our design!


360 spin through Avesh’s Modsy design #2

We just wanted a modern space that would delight our son, express his personality, and that we could enjoy at night when putting him to bed, without spending night after night designing it ourselves.

The fact that these renderings are so photo-realistic made it much easier to make purchase decisions and give us the confidence that we’re all going to be happy with the selections.

 

Need a little design help? Try a Modsy rendering for yourself!

A Sweet & Serene Nursery: Designing a Gender-Neutral Nursery

Now that the hard baby-making work is over, it’s time to design your new nursery. Congratulations! As the room where your little one and you will spend lots of time learning and snuggling and playing together, it is important that this be a space you enjoy spending time in.

To help, we’re serving up a little design inspiration for s sweet, serene, and gender-neutral nursery.

gender-neutral nursery

Color Outside the Pink and Blue Lines

For a gender-neutral nursery, opt for light and fresh colors to keep the space feeling open and airy. We love incorporating playful elements like stars, moons, and animals for a slightly whimsical touch!

gender-neutral nursery

The best part about a gender-neutral nursery? You can easily re-purpose all the pieces later down the line if, say, another stork arrives bearing a new bundle of joy!

gender-neutral Nursery

Go For Multi-Purpose Pieces

Get some extra milage out of your pieces by thinking about how they can continue to be used later, as your little one grows up. We love cribs that convert into toddler beds and accessories that are not so babyish that they can’t be displayed elsewhere in your home.

Nursery

Bring It to Life

Sometimes the hardest part of designing a nursery is getting your better half on board with your vision. The best way to convince them? Show how your ideas would look before making any commitments. As one happy Modsy customer said, “Once my husband saw how the furniture and decor looked fit in our nursery, he was absolutely on board with everything.”

Struggling to bring your nursery vision to life?