Nursery Checklist: Your Complete Shopping Guide to Nursery Essentials

Few design endeavors require the planning and preparation that goes into a nursery. It’s a huge undertaking if you’re expecting parents, especially when time is of the essence and life doesn’t stop. And, of course, you want a space that’s comfy and stylish for both you and your baby.

Some of the biggest hurdles and considerations are around finding the right nursery furniture. Should I get a crib that transitions into a toddler bed? Is a bassinet better? Do I want a full changing table or just a topper that fits on top of a dresser to save space? What about black-out shades—are they really necessary?

It can all quickly start to get overwhelming! But don’t worry, we’re here to help. To guide you through your nursery design, we’ve compiled our ultimate designer-approved nursery furniture checklist below. Read on to get our essentials to shop for with your nursery design.

Want more nursery inspiration? Check out our gallery for more nursery design ideas, get our designer’s foolproof nursery design tips, and read some of our nursery design stories from real Modsy customers.

nursery with green walls and modern white crib

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Crib, Cradle, or Bassinet

First and most important is deciding on a place for your baby to sleep. Your nursery furniture options here include cribs, cradles, and bassinets.

Cribs come in many forms, and can even be bought as convertible ones that transition to a toddler bed or a full-size kid bed. If you’re hoping to minimize spending on a new twin bed once your baby grows out of their crib, a convertible crib is a great option. Milk Street Baby furniture is one of our favorite go-to’s and they offer a convertible crib that goes with any design style space.

Alternatives to a crib include a cradle or bassinet. These are easier to move around than a crib so if you’re working with a small nursery and need more flexibility in your furniture, these are great for consideration. Cradles usually come on a rocker, stand, or even wheels, and bassinets can be set up anywhere as needed. Both are good for small spaces and great if you want to keep your baby sleeping close by next to mom and dad’s bed.


Along with baby’s bed, cozy blankets for both mom and baby are essentials—from swaddling blankets to throws for when you’re rocking baby in a glider or armchair. The style of blanket is up to you, but it’s good to have a variety, such as one that you can throw down on the floor for baby to lay on, or one that can be pulled out to be an impromptu changing station.

baby blue nursery with chair and ottoman

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Glider or Rocking Chair

A good chair is one of our top nursery furniture must-haves for rocking baby to sleep, feeding and nursing, or reading to infants as they get older. As a parent, you’ll be spending most of your time holding your little one in a glider or rocker, so make sure to choose one that’s comfortable for you, with depth and plush cushioning that supports you for long periods of time. Also, consider investing in a glider or rocker with a versatile style—they can often be used in other areas of the house when you no longer have a need for it in the nursery.

dark wall nursery butterfly artwork above crib

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A Baby-Safe Rug

It’s also important to pad your nursery floors with a soft rug. Be sure to find one that doesn’t have toxic chemicals and finishes that are sensitive to babies, especially since they’ll be crawling and lying on the rug often. Remember to use a non-slip rug pad to secure it in place. Need help selecting a rug? Read our complete guide to choosing a rug with expert tips from Modsy’s very own Senior Director of Sourcing!

Soft-Glow Lamp or Night Light

Controlled lighting is ideal in any nursery. Whether it’s a table lamp with a soft glow that’s easy on everyone’s eyes or ambient lighting that’s connected to a dimmer, you’ll want gentle lighting since your baby will mostly be sleeping in the nursery. Also consider a nightlight, which is great for when you have to go in and out of the nursery without disturbing a sleeping baby.

natural texture dresser for nursery

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Dresser or Wardrobe

When it comes to practical nursery furniture, a dresser or wardrobe with concealed storage is a must. This will help you keep the baby’s clothes, diapers, blankets, and small items organized and always within easy reach. A wardrobe can be great if you have no closet space in a nursery. Either way, think of the dresser or wardrobe as your command station for holding all your baby essentials.

Changing Table or Topper

Every nursery needs a place to change diapers and dress your baby. A changing table is ideal if you have lots of room in your nursery while changing toppers and pads is great if you’re working with a small nursery design that’s already packed with other nursery furniture essentials. Toppers and pads that can be securely placed on top of dressers are more common these days—or a portable changing pad that you can lay out on the floor or on a bed. Whatever you choose, be sure that it’s easy for you to access and use every day!

Blackout Curtains or Blinds

Much like lighting, blackout drapery is something to always consider for your nursery. Natural light can affect your baby’s sleep during the day, especially during nap times, so having curtains that block out light when you want it can help keep them on their sleep schedule. It can mean the difference between sleeping through the night or waking up at 2AM!

green wall nursery with basket and bear

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Toy Storage

Little storage helpers, such as trunks, baskets, and toy chests are great organization pieces to have in any nursery. They’re good for keeping toys, blankets, books, and other small trinkets neatly and safely stowed away and they fit nicely into corners and spaces. The best part is that the toy storage pieces can be used long after the nursery, moving into kids rooms and play spaces once they get older. Check out our kids room furniture checklist for other essentials that can grow with your little ones over time.

Hanging Mobiles

Not an essential but also an essential. Hanging mobiles are always a nice addition above a baby’s crib or in a corner. They give babies something to look at that also lulls them to sleep.

Get More Nursery Ideas:

10 Gender-Neutral Nursery Designs

6 Perfect Nursery Color Schemes

Try On Nursery Furniture In Your Space

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6 Trendy and Timeless Nursery Color Schemes We’re Loving for 2021

One of the most important (and most fun) parts of nursery design is choosing a theme and color scheme. And it’s not just about pink and blue anymore. Many parents are expanding their view on color and opting for nursery color schemes that are more gender neutral. They’re drawing inspiration from trendy baby room designs and seeking out nursery decor in a wider range of hues, be it layering lots of cozy neutrals in a shared kids and toddler bedroom or committing to the cool, clean-lined look of a black and white nursery.

If you’re not sure how to approach color in your nursery, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite nursery color schemes to help inspire you. Read on to find out more and get our tips for working these perennially stylish (and foolproof!) color ideas into your own nursery design.

black and white nurseryChic Black & White

Black and white nurseries are replacing blue and pink baby rooms given the combo’s versatility and longevity. Simply put, a black and white nursery is a smart long term investment because the room can easily be repurposed into a kids bedroom when your little one outgrows their crib.

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The Key Elements:

Accent a wall. If you’re looking to create contrast, try an accent wall in a deep charcoal black. It sets a moody and cool atmosphere and can easily be worked into any future black and white bedroom design.

Pick high-contrast decor. Layer in a mix of bold and subtle black and white nursery decor, such as graphic art, lightly striped pillows and throws, and two-toned baskets. They’ll add to the overall color scheme without overwhelming the room.

Pile on the textures. Think a furry sheepskin, whitewashed woods, a nubby ivory rug, a crisp white crib. The varied textures in white will offset the black and white scheme with a cozy vibe.

gender-neutral nursery designWarm Natural Tones

For a nursery that’s a little rustic but still warm and big on comfort, keep to natural hues. That means rich wood tones, natural-fiber accents, heavily textured fabrics, and touches of light beige, brown, and black. The result is a gender-neutral nursery that’s perfectly cozy and inviting.

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The Key Elements:

Start with a wooden crib. If you’re going with natural tones in your nursery, a wooden crib is the essential centerpiece. More than black or white-painted cribs, a wooden design is an instant statement piece that conveys a decidedly traditional and rustic vibe.

Work in a solid color. With natural color tones, it’s important to add a pop of contrast with an anchor furniture piece in a solid hue. Here, the blue-gray armchair helps break up the otherwise brown and beige room.

Ground it in black and white. The best foundation for natural-toned nursery decor is a black and white rug. The diamond-patterned Moroccan rug here not only provides cozy texture, but it also contrasts with the wood furnishings, which in doing so brings focus to them.

yellow nurseryBright Yellow & White

If you want a nursery that’s colorful and lively but not overly saturated, consider a yellow and white color scheme. It’s a sunny color combo and a little can go a long way. You can set off your nursery with one statement yellow and white piece or add in lots of patterned textiles and art for a brighter, bolder look. How bold you want to go is totally up to you.

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The Key Elements:

Build on a bright rug. Colorful rugs can transform even the smallest nursery. Use it as your jumping-off point for a yellow and white nursery, then layer in your furniture and accents. What’s great is that the rug can easily be worked into a shared kids bedroom design down the line.

Juxtapose with white. The best way to balance out a bright patterned rug is with crisp white nursery furniture staples, like a painted crib and an all-white dresser. These become neutral counterpoints that help to soften the impact of any bright colors and patterns.

Bring in adorable accents. A colorful room calls for whimsical accents and finishing touches rather than versatile black and white nursery decor—as stylish as they may be. Here it’s about charm and fun so go big on cute animal storage pieces, kids rugs, and mobiles that inspire joy.

neutral nurseryCozy Neutral Tones

The focus is on subtle neutrals in this white and black nursery. There’s also an emphasis on cozy white shades, from ivory to off-white hues, which are mixed with light gray notes. Rather than bold black and white nursery decor, the furnishings feature softer, more nuanced colors.

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The Key Elements:

Go for warm white tones. The cozy feel of this nursery is rooted in the classic white furnishings, including the oversize armchair, delicate gray and white rug, and patterned off-white textiles. A rug and armchair in complementing white tones is always a great place to start.

Play with shades of gray. It’s a perfectly gender-neutral color, but varying different gray tones in a nursery can also create a sense of warmth and add depth to the space. Look for accents that have a light gray undertone, like the rug, armchair, and dog art in this nursery.

An evolving gallery wall. Whether it’s a nursery or a teen bedroom design, a gallery wall that mixes sophisticated and whimsical art is bound to age well and grow with your kid over the years. Try combining monochrome prints, architectural drawings, and dog art like this nursery.

blue nurseryCalming Blue & White

When it comes to nursery colors, you can almost never go wrong with a classic blue and white color scheme. It’s a soothing palette that can be elevated or eased up with elegant or relaxed furnishings as needed.

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The Key Elements:

Vary blue tones. With blue and white, start with the lightest blue tone and go darker as you furnish your space. Unlike straightforward black and white nursery decor, layering a range of blue tones is key to adding depth, comfort, and calm in any room but especially in a nursery.

Sneak in soft stripes. Blue and white stripes are a versatile pattern that adds instant whimsy. But when they’re too bold, you risk your room suddenly feeling coastal and nautical. Take a cue from this nursery and add in soft stripes through accents, like the ottomans, rug, and art.

Keep to classics. Tried-and-true furnishings are best in a blue and white nursery. Classic designs beget a classic color scheme here. Go with a more traditional white-painted hutch and a navy glider with clean lines. The more simple and relaxed the furniture, the better.

Warm Earth Tones

Hone in on warm earth tones for your color scheme if you’re after a trendy modern boho nursery. It’s all about pops of color with this approach.

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The Key Elements:

Have lots of pops of color. Aside from your crib, dresser, chair, and large furniture pieces, your accents should offer just touches of both bright and rustic colors, like marigold, rusty red, tawny yellow, and burnt orange. Together, they add up to a colorful boho look.

Layer textured rugs. A distressed rug is a must when it comes to a boho nursery. It adds a vintage element to the space along with soft padding underfoot. Pile on a faux fur or sheepskin rug for an extra plush layer and to round out the room with a quintessential boho vibe.

Bring in a bit of nature. In total contrast to crisp black and white nursery decor, boho accents highlight the delicate colors and elements of nature. From floral pillows and rug patterns to botanical art and throw blankets that recall the colors of dusk, opt for decor that nod to nature.

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5 Stylish Nursery Designs for The Chic Little One in Your Life

Awaiting the arrival of a joyful new addition to your family? Needless to say you’ve got a lot to think about with a new baby on the way—but it’s never too early to start thinking about nursery designs! It’s important to think about comfort and functionality in a nursery. And since you’ll be spending nearly as much time in the new room as your baby will, you want the nursery furniture and interior design to reflect your personal taste.

If you are planning a nursery, you may have noticed the growing trend toward super chic and simple nursery decor. Out with the clutter and cramped spaces and in with a new nursery interior design that embraces both form and function for a stylishly chic space both you and your little one will love! Take a look at these 5 nursery designs that are as stylish and fun as you are.

blue nursery duesignClassic Blue Babe

There’s no doubt this nursery decor is in vogue! It centers around Classic Blue, the Pantone Color of the Year. This stately, warm blue is kind of the millennial pink of blues and doesn’t feel gendered at all. It’s a calming shade that works well for accent walls, floor-to-ceiling drapes, wall art, rugs and nursery decor items.

This room balances it out with neutrals to make the space even more serene. A few smart storage solutions help keep the clutter at bay and there is plenty of space to change into a kids room as your little one grows. (You can even add an additional bed if a sibling joins the party!)

boho nursery ideasEclectic and Artsy

If you want to pass your boho tastes on to your baby, this eclectic and artsy nursery interior design scheme might be just the thing. The room features patterns galore so the nursery will be alive with unique design elements! It also features fun art on the walls and stuffed animals to make it extra warm and inviting. Try to anchor the design on a color palette to make sure your nursery feels cohesive and not too busy.

Cozy and Colorful

If you’re into plush and cozy nursery designs, try out a cozy and colorful scheme like this. It features warm tones, natural materials, and extra cozy touches all around. The rainbow tapestry behind the crib is a family favorite and the soft colors pull together the make the room feel bright and sunny.

Pro-Tip: For the kiddo prone to ripping things off the wall, pull crib into the center of the room—that way little hands can’t grab onto any wall decor.

nursery ideasMagical Playspace

Nothing says nursery interior design like baby animals, unicorns, and stars! These elements make for a dreamy nursery escape that you and baby will love. It features a peachy shade of pink that casts a warm glow throughout the room. Pair that with lots of cozy textures and you have a delightfully decorated dreamland for your new babe.

The room also has a cool dresser with a changing table top. It’s a great investment piece—when baby grows out of it, just take off the top and use it as a regular dresser for years to come!

tropical nursery designTropical Tot

For a little taste of paradise in your nursery designs, try out the tropical flavor of this room! It is packed with gorgeous leafy prints, natural materials and a neutral color palette to complement the wallpaper. Add in a few fun animal touches, like the safari animal wall-mounted decor here. The future animal lover will be excited to find them and you can add to the collection as your little one gets older!


Need help with your nursery project?

A nursery is such a wonderful addition to your house because it means a little one is on the way! Maybe you’ve started gathering style inspiration for your nursery design already—looking at Pinterest boards, asking friends, or checking Instagram hashtags.

If so, you may have discovered that few home projects are as monumental as decorating a nursery! From finding the right nursery furniture to thinking about how the space will grow with your child over the years, a nursery project is certainly no easy task. But don’t fret, consider us your personal nursery interior designer—from the layout to the furniture, we can help you complete your project and design a beautiful baby nursery you and your new family member will enjoy.

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4 Pretty Nursery Designs To Inspire Your Own

nursery designs

Looking at nursery designs for your soon-to-be little one? You might have discovered that designing a nursery is no walk in the park. There are a million things to consider: What’s the best spot for the crib? What about the changing table? How can we make it cute? With so many things to tackle, it’s no wonder pulling together a nursery can feel overwhelming. Not to mention there’s that less-than-nine-months from now deadline you can’t miss!

It’s easy to see why many expecting parents look for design help when creating their nursery. We’ve rounded up 4 Modsy nursery designs to show you some of the possibilities for yours. Read on to get inspired and pick up tips for designing your own nursery space—and make it look as cute as you imagined!

Nursery Design #1: Classic & Playful

nursery designs

Even in a nursery, you can’t go wrong with a classic blue and white color scheme. It’s a universal palette that’ll give your nursery a fun, fresh feel.

nursery designsMake It Cute With…

  • Starry wallpaper (or one with an adorable pattern) is a great way to give the room playful theme.
  • A dangling mobile for a fun little accent that will catch your baby’s eye.
  • Fun and geometric rugs to add a pop of pattern to the floors.
  • A circular pendant for another intriguing sculptural element.

nursery designsMake It Work For You With…

  • A classic, comfy armchair where you can relax while your little one naps or sleeps.
  • Reading lamps and a small pouf with your armchair to give yourself a little resting corner.
  • A dresser with a changing table topper, which can be used for years to come in a kid’s room and even in a teenagers.

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Nursery Design #2: Elegant & Restful

nursery designsPlaying with nursery designs in a small space can be an added challenge. If you have a small space for your nursery, go for a soothing vibe with soft-colored walls, like a pale green, that also feels pretty. Once you have that, all you need are a few elegant pieces to really make the space feel warm and inviting.

nursery designs

Make It Cute With…

  • Fun animal art in the form of soft focus pictures, watercolors, and illustrations.
  • Adorable wall decor, like a hanging bookshelf and charming coat hooks.
  • A little plant, like a cactus or a mini tree, is perfect for a little one’s first bedroom.

Make It Work For You With…

  • A modern rocking chair for you to cradle your newborn in. It’s just as good, if not better, than a rocking cradle.
  • A small dresser instead of a changing table to save space and add more storage.
  • Versatile moveable pieces, like a pouf or a stool that you can pull into another room if your little one wants to crawl on the ground and you need more floor space.

See Nursery #2 in 360!

Nursery Design #3: Eclectic & Colorful

nursery designsYou can also go bold with color to make your nursery a warm and vibrant hideout for you and your little one. Navy is a great shade for a backdrop that provides a welcoming atmosphere. This particular nursery design has a nice nook that gets lots of light and also fits a bookcase, which makes for a great “library” for children’s books.

nursery designsMake It Cute With…

  • A red patterned rug with a trad pattern to brighten up the navy walls and to add a fun eye-catching element to the room.
  • Nature art, like desert landscapes and florals that, which will enliven the space.
  • Plants galore. We’re talking everything from a small fern and hanging plants to a leafy tree for the corner, all of which will help to warm up the space.

nursery designsMake It Work For You With…

  • Lots of pillows that you can throw on the ground as a pillow for your baby’s head when they’re out of the crib. But make sure to keep all the pillows out of the crib!
  • Multiple baskets for holding toys and stuffed animals. Because let’s face it, there will be a handful and plenty more to come!

See Nursery #3 in 360!

Nursery Design #4: Modern & Artful

nursery designsThere’s no reason you can’t have stylish furniture and cool art in your nursery designs. After all, it should be a place where everyone feels at ease and wants to spend time in. Try a neutral palette, then add modern furniture pieces with clean lines for a cool, laid-back look.

nursery designsMake It Cute With…

  • A stimulating mix of artwork, such as animal, floral, and graphic pieces that give the space a lively, collected feel.
  • A stylish, streamlined crib that becomes the focus in the room.
  • A durable striped rug in warm neutrals that adds function and also an inviting tone.

Make It Work For You With…

  • A neutral color palette keeps things the room from feeling stuffy. No need to stick to white, either. Go for soft grays and even an off-white, which can open up a small room.
  • Mid-century designs that have staying power even after your little one’s outgrown the nursery. The pieces can easily be used in other rooms in the future.

See Nursery #4 in 360!

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