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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?

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!

My Modsy Story: How I Reassured My Husband of My Vision for Our Nursery

nursery

She had a vision for their nursery. He just couldn’t see it. How did this couple got on the same page for their nursery? Read on to find out.

 

Homeowner: Alexandra Navarro, IT Research Whiz

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Room: A small empty room turned nursery

Her Style: Chic Collector

The Backstory

Her husband wants to be involved in designing the nursery—but he needs lots of reassurance

My husband and I moved from San Francisco, CA, into a new house in Scottsdale AZ. When designing our new space, we were struggling to find a way to combine our styles. He’s a mid-century modern purist, and I adore mixing modern with vintage – nothing pleases me more than a wonderfully large antique rug with a modern stone table on top. We just couldn’t find a way for our styles to coexist in a comfortable and chic way.

On top of that, I’m a more visual person and can easily imagine how a room is going to come together – even before there’s anything in there. My husband, on the other hand, has to see all the pieces together first. Otherwise, I can’t get him on board. One day my mom came over and helped me paint the nursery blue and my husband came home and freaked out! No amount of reassuring could get him to see past it…

nursery

nursery

The Design Dilemma

She had a vision but he couldn’t see it

I am so grateful my husband cares so much about how our home looks and feels! Designing a space together is a great exercise – we challenge each other and always end up with a space that looks way better than both our styles would alone. However, with our nursery I needed some kind of visual tool to show him my ideas to help get him get on board with my vision.

The Modsy Moment

When another couple’s similar experience with a nursery reassured her

After I found this Chris Loves Julia blog post about Modsy, I knew I wanted to try it out! I was hoping that Modsy would see the accent wall in our nursery and, combined with our results from the Style Quiz, sense what we were going for and create a digital (and very realistic!) render of our finished room.

Needless to say, Modsy really did a great job bringing to life what I had been picturing in mind already! I was elated that Modsy understood the vision for our nursery, and I felt they totally reinforced my ideas. And once he saw how the furniture and decor looked fit in the room, my husband was absolutely on board with everything.

nurseryAlexandra’s Modsy Design 1

How Modsy’s Renderings Helped Alexandra

Seeing her vision come to life eliminated all their doubts and inspired decisions

Since I had made such a bold choice with the paint, I didn’t want the nursery to come across as “half-done.” Modsy really helped pull the whole room together with little decor additions, and helped us see the finished version. We felt reassured in our decisions and felt confident that we knew what we were doing.

My first design was exactly what we were aiming for. It felt playful and comfortable, and I could imagine it with a baby crawling around. We have the crib, dresser and rocker in those exact places (we bought the IKEA dresser in white and I switched out the knobs with brushed brass handles and it looks great!). We’re still shopping for a bookshelf, floor lamp, and side table, though. I also love the light filtering curtains. Nurseries don’t always need blackout shades, and I think this rendering totally convinced me of that.

nurseryAlexandra’s Modsy Design 2

 

I hadn’t thought about the lean-to ladder bookshelf in the first rendering. It’s very modern and fits our style. It could go into any room of our house seamlessly, so I think we’ll be purchasing that. But I also might take the floating shelf idea in the second rendering and organize them upward like Modsy suggested in my first design, instead.

We hadn’t considered the layout Modsy suggested in our second design at all until we saw it – it was very appealing! The rendering made me consider taking a risk on furniture placement and even opting for more adult furniture for a kids space—it can totally work!

Ultimately, though, the room is currently set up like the first Modsy design. I might play around with the placement every couple of months, but this is really working for us. Plus, I love that the room can easily grow up with our little girl!

nurseryAlexandra’s Modsy Design 1

 

Need help sharing your design vision?
Modsy can help!

 

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A Room With Many Uses: How to Design (and Redesign) a Space Over Time

guest roomDear Modsy,

I recently moved into a new home and have an extra room that I don’t quite know what to do with. My partner and I hope that it will eventually become our nursery, but that is a few years out. Right now we would love a home office, but we don’t want to invest a lot of time and money and have to start all over.

How can we design the space for our lives right now, knowing that we will likely need to change it up in a few years? Please help!

Sincerely,
Time-Traveling Home Designer

 

Dear Time-Traveler,

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that life is full of changes. We believe that designing your home shouldn’t be a one-and-done situation, but rather a process that can evolve over time and grow along with your lifestyle.

As your needs change over time, that one random room you used as a home office might transform itself into something new, like a nursery. And while this is exciting it can also be stressful. We can help make this process a little easier by planning for the future while designing for the present.

 

Step 1: Right Now

Start by designing the space you need right now, be that a craft room, a home gym, or an office space. If this is a space you plan to stay in, we recommend opting for a mix of investment pieces and items that get the job done for now.

Think about what will stay in the room long-term:

  • A rug… might seem like an easy place to cut costs, but a high-quality piece will last you years. If you’re planning have a rug in this space for a  think about investing in a high quality rug that can last over time.
  • Storage… is always in demand, so investing in a bookcase or other storage option is always a safe bet.

Think about what you just need right now:

  • A desk chair… might not be the place to invest if you’re planning to transform your home office into a new space in a few years. A great alternative option is to use a dining chair instead. Use it as an extra (matching) seat at the dinner table in a pinch, and easily return it to your dining room when you are ready to repurpose your office into something else.
  • Accessories… are always great ways to add personality to a space. If you plan on refreshing the space in a few years, opt for more budget-friendly finds that you won’t feel bad about swapping out when the time comes.

 

Step 2: Making Some Changes

Congratulations, it’s time to transform this space into a nursery for your little bundle of joy! Don’t sweat the details, we know that not everyone has the time or resources to completely start from scratch. That’s ok! Repurpose the investment pieces from your office and look for new pieces that will work beyond the baby days.

Here’s where to start:

  • A dresser… with a changing table topper is a great option if you are looking for pieces with longevity.
  • A crib… that converts into a toddler bed is also a great way to stretch your budget to cover more than a few months.

 

Step 3: Think Long-Term

Whether it’s a big kid room, a guest room, or back to an office, down the line you can still use the same investment pieces to transform the extra room into something else.

What to consider:

  • A Sofa Bed… is a great space-saving option that gives you the flexibility of using the extra room as a space for guests, but also lets you use it in other ways. Turn it into a craft room, a workout space, or even back into a home office, but quickly transform it back into a bedroom when guests visit or the kids come home for the holidays.
  • The Same Rug… that you invested in before. If you are deciding whether to skimp or splurge, think about how you will use the space. If this is a high-traffic area, maybe a cheaper option makes more sense in the short-term. If not, maybe spending a little extra now is the better option to save you more in the long-term.
  • That Dresser… without the changing table topper. Remove that piece and you are left with a quality dresser that will last you years. Great storage pieces, dressers can be used in many spaces, not just bedrooms. Consider repurposing it as storage for a craft room or guest space. You can even swap your credenza for a dresser in the living room.

However you decide to use this room, you now have some great pieces to use as the building blocks of any space.

 

 

Need a hand designing for now and later?

 

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?