When you’re preparing for the arrival of your baby, there’s plenty to do: Endless doctor’s appointments, preparing for maternity leave, planning your baby shower—and getting the nursery ready for your little arrival.
For a while, all-things-baby-nursery were baby blue and pastel pink, but modern nurseries reflect overall design trends, according to Stephanie Purzycki, the CEO and co-founder of The Finish, an interior design service.
“Nurseries are getting more and more attention from new parents, and consequently, there are more options than ever for baby furniture and nursery essentials, which means you can have a lot of fun with these rooms,” she says.
Looking for nursery inspiration for your little one’s room? We spoke with design experts on their predictions for nursery trends throughout 2022. Let their guidance inspire your shopping and theme as you put together the first space baby will call its own.
1. More wallpaper
Wallpaper isn’t anything new in nurseries since it’s often added to create an accent wall. However, Purzycki says this year it is going around the room for a more traditional look.
“Wallpaper prints are also more traditional, even in nurseries, and new parents are turning to classic botanicals and floral prints, or youthful versions of traditional toiles,” she continues. “We've seen dinosaur toile, zoo-animal toile, and transportation truck toile. Sophisticated but not too mature.”
Not only is wallpaper sometimes tricky to apply, it also feels like a commitment since it’s also tough to remove. So, if you're afraid you'll get sick of wallpaper in a few years or your child will want something different as they grow, Purzycki says removable wallpapers are a great option.
One option is peel-and-stick wallpaper from Chasing Paper, which offers 200 prints and colors. Rather than having to roll out the paper, it comes in easy-to-install panels of three sizes, depending on your space.
- Get the Spring Leaves peel-and-stick wallpaper at Chasing Paper starting at $45
- Get the Tree Toile peel-and-stick wallpaper at Chasing Paper starting at $45
- Get the Rhyme and reason peel-and-stick wallpaper at Chasing paper starting at $45
2. Elevated safari
While the safari themed nursery isn't revolutionary, it is getting a modern update. Abbe Fenimore, an interior designer and founder of Studio Ten 25 says if you are open to wallpaper, incorporating a full room mural or accent wall is a great way to visually fill the space and create a large-scale art installation. Plus, accents are easy to find for a safari theme—and you can keep them simple.
“Crib bedding, accent pillows and drawer pulls are a great way to carry the theme throughout the space,” she continues. “Change the hardware on your storage pieces with a lion, elephant, or zebra drawer pull and look for quirky lamps in the shape of a giraffe or elephant.”
- Get the Animal Party Parade print at Rifle Paper Co. starting at $24
- Get a Safari Mobile at Nestig for $75
- Shop Safari crib sheets at Rookie Humans
3. Rich paint and ceiling colors
Ask any of your pals who started their families in recent years, and they’ll proudly talk about the gender neutral nursery they created for their baby. While they’re still popular —especially for parents waiting until birth to reveal the sex of their child—Purzycki says color is also coming back in a big way.
“Think rich paint colors on both the walls and ceiling,” she says. “This is a beautiful look even for neutral lovers, because you can pair a deep-green wall color with a pale wood crib, white bedding, and a cream-colored boucle rocker, for example, and you'll have a room that's bold but also soothing, and satisfies a love of neutrals.”
Have fun picking out your paint colors—from a dramatic purple to a captivating green—and then add in some nursery furniture in neutral colors, like a Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker that’s not only modern in style but oversized for added comfort. For a splurge that is both stylish and practical, consider The Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet, which matches the rocker and has patented technology that helps to soothe babies and promote sleep training in the first six months of their life.
- Get the Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker at Bed Bath and Beyond for $699.99
- Get the Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet at Amazon for $1595
4. Reading nooks
Though babies might not be able to turn pages on their own for a while, parents are thinking ahead and creating a space for their first library, according to interior designer Lisa Galano. “Meditation cushions/floor pillows, canvas forts, and poufs are all playful additions to a bedroom that can help pull bedtime stories out of bed,” she says. “Plus, when baby grows up, they can be dual purposed for when friends come over for a place to play together.”
Create your dreamy space with a few essentials: a cotton canvas pouf in pink, white or gray, a non-toxic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal playmat that’s perfect for reading and for tummy time, and of course, a few timeless children’s books.
- Get the Cotton Canvas Round Poof at West Elm for $199
- Get the Dreamer Playmat at Totter and Tumble for $199
- Get a set of Eric Carle Board Books at Amazon for $10.
5. Curved furniture
If you’ve been following interior design trends, you’ve probably noticed an increased interest in curved everything, from archways to kitchen islands. Parents-to-be are also interested in this approach and are choosing curved furniture for their nurseries, according to Christine Turknett, a principal designer at Breathe Design Studio.
“Rounded furniture can soften harsh lines in a room and also protect your little one from any sharp corners,” she explains. “Additionally, the combination between clean lines and arch motifs is refreshing yet classic, especially if you're able to find pieces that combine both shapes.”
For those late nights and early mornings when you’re rocking baby back to dreamland, the Snoozer Cream Nursery Glider Chair by Leanne Ford will not only offer comfort but an elevated aesthetic. Pair it with the Stokke Sleepi Crib that takes your child from the infant days to 10-years-old with the help of a conversion kit.
- Get the Snoozer Cream Nursery Glider at Crate and Barrel for $699
- Get the Stokke Sleepi Crib at Maisonette for $699
If you’re not afraid of a little color, a monochromatic baby nursery may be the best match for your home. As Fenimore explains, this theme allows you to work with multiple hues of a specific color to create a room that feels pulled together and modern.
“Layering color works well when it is a mix of solids, patterns, and textures throughout the space, and the combination will keep the room from feeling flat and too basic,” she says.
For example, if pink is your go-to color, you can go beyond a coat of fuschia on the walls. Instead, Fenimore says you can layer the room with blush pink walls, raspberry accents and pink peony details with drapery, pillows and even lighting. “Painting your furniture pieces is another great way to bring in your color and add a little ‘wow’ factor as well,” she continues. “A bold mix of textures like gold leafing, faux fur, and grasscloth will give the room a high-end look and balance out the color around the room as well.”
For baby’s first faux sheepskin rug, pink is a fun color choice—and it's made to soothe baby’s sensitive skin. Add a brighter hue of pink with a set of blackout curtains. Last but not least, have fun with a textured rug that ties the shades of pink together.
- Get the Faux Sheepskin Rug at Overland for $89
- Get a set of Siple Solid Blackout Curtains at Wayfar for $16.25
- Get the Abbate Abstract Area Rug at Wayfair for $106.99
7. Bringing the outside in
New parents spend so much time in their homes, so it’s likely no surprise they want to bring the outdoors into their nursery décor. Nature-inspired prints in earth-toned colorways can create a cozy space for your baby by bringing in organic elements and prints of plants that would typically be found outside, says Elizabeth Rees, the founder of Chasing Paper.
She recommends adding elements of flora and fauna into the room design. “Layer in child-safe plants, like an air-purifying spider plant, onto a dresser or bookshelf. Or choose a sweet floral to use throughout the room in various elements, from baby bedding, lighting fixtures or decorative pillows, to achieve this trend,” she adds. For furniture, you can also opt for a natural wood finish to keep the room feeling natural and organic.
Adopt a baby spider plant for your baby, or add a wildflower accent wall behind the crib, not only adding dimension but also providing a distraction that will hold your baby’s attention during diaper changes.
8. Custom wall hangings
Rather than buying prints from a big box store, parents will be more interested in custom nursery artwork for their baby’s room, according to Samantha Hoff, a DIY lifestyle expert and the founder of Pottery with a Purposese. “Ceramic and macrame options will be trendy and can often be customized to your nursery color or theme by the artist, making your piece one-of-a-kind,” she says.
If you love your baby’s name and can’t wait to shout it, go ahead and have a print made from a company like Mollygrams. You can mix and match letters of different designs—woodland, animals, alpines, and so on—for a unique addition to your nursery. For a more modern touch, consider a custom wooden and macrame wall hanging that features baby’s name, too.
9. Whimsical and woodland
According to Fenimore, the ‘woodland’ theme is currently the most requested theme for baby boy nurseries. But this doesn’t mean just a few deer and rabbits. Instead, she says parents are looking for a space that feels whimsical with elements of nature like wood, stones, and soft textures.
“Layering cotton bedding with velvet accents and natural wood textures on furniture is a great way to create this look,” she continues. “Patterns like wood plank, birch trees, and birds are my go-to designs to help create this look.”
A birch shelf is ideal for gathering baby books, or for holding essentials. Fenimore says you can also add in storage baskets that bring in a natural texture or in the shape of woodland animals for keeping baby’s necessities organized. And for a mega cute factor, it’s okay if you can’t resist a felt woodland mobile either.
- Get the Birch Shelf at Pottery Barn Kids for $190
- Get a set of two Fox Shaped Storage Baskets at Walmart for $120
- Get the Woodland Animals Mobile at Crate and Barrel for $79
10. Muddy colors
Have you heard of the term ‘muddy’ colors? It’s not what you think. Instead, it’s the type of colors that are easy to live with, make sense past a baby’s first year, and feel sophisticated, according to Avery Cox, an interior designer. “This does not mean cool gray, which we have all moved on from, but rather caramel, green olive, mauve, terra cotta, and ochre,” she says. “These colors will grow up with your kid and can pair easily with new décor when it is time to update.”
A cloud mobile that features rust, ivory, and terra cotta colors creates both softness and dimension. Pair with a plush and vibrant green rug, and finish with a set of neutral prints that make sense from birth until elementary school.
- Get the Rust, Ivory, Terracotta, Peach Baby Cloud Mobile at Etsy for $78
- Get the Angelica Rug at Rugs.com for $149
- Get a set of Neutral Nursery Prints at Etsy for $12.75
11. Travel-themed style
The pandemic has impacted design trends, particularly as more people have invested in their homes heavily. After all: if you’re stuck inside or working remotely for the foreseeable future, it needs to be a cozy space. However, in the world of nurseries, travel-themed designs are coming back since they fulfill expecting parents’ wanderlust.
“You can keep it more traditional with an old-fashioned airplane or train theme, or put a new twist on it with palm-shaded beaches or snow-capped mountains,” Hoff says. “With this trend, you can go subtle or bold and keep it gender-neutral if you prefer.”
Shopping for this theme will be fun if you’ve already been quite the jet-setter. Think a world map pouf, a wild world map, a set of eight prints of major cities, and even some muslin blankets that feature destinations.
- Get the World Map Pouf at Amara for $199
- Get a Wild World Map at Minted for $93
- Get the set of eight Travel Theme Prints at Etsy for $75
- Get a set of Around the World Swaddle Blankets at Crate and Barrel for $54.95
12. Sustainable décor
As eco-conscious options that are good for baby and the earth become more wallet-friendly, Hoff says more people will choose these sustainable nursery options—from cribs and bedding to artwork and toys.
“Sustainable décor often lends a clean, minimalist look that, when mixed with natural elements like wood, brings a sense of spaciousness and nature into the space,” she explains.
Try a shelf from Lovery that’s 100-percent FSC-certified birchwood and serves a dual purpose: it can begin as baby’s bookshelf and then host their toys once they grow older. To match, consider The Wave Crib, which is not only sustainable and made of natural wood but transforms into three shapes: an infant crib, a traditional-sized baby crib, and a toddler bed.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.