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25 Modern Nursery Ideas to Create a Stylish Retreat

There’s nothing more fun than creating the perfect nursery to serve as a haven for your new little bundle of joy — and for you. It’s an exciting time, but it can be overwhelming; where do you start?

We’re here to help. Last summer we offered some nursery ideas to get you started; here are some additional modern nursery ideas. Inspired by clean lines and pared-down style, the contemporary nursery is warm, inviting and comfortable for adults and baby alike.

Here are some modern nursery ideas.

Keep It Neutral

Looking to steer clear of pale pinks and blues? Try subdued neutral palettes; use shades of gray, ivory or taupe for your modern nursery. Neutrals give you the opportunity to layer using other color combinations. Paired pastels or bright pops of color work well against a neutral background.

Pale monochrome palettes also create a calm, serene environment — perfect for baby as well as tired parents. Neutral colors are also gender-neutral and give you design flexibility as your family grows.

When using a toned-down or monochromatic palette, add layers of texture throughout the room. Accessories such as a chunky knit throw or sheepskin rug work with the colors and also add dimension. Shiny objects or cleverly lit wall décor (think mini marquee initials) add interest and make your nursery stylishly fun.


Streamline for Space

Selecting streamlined furniture and placing it in the room for optimal space is essential in any modern nursery. Furniture with a low profile (i.e., not too high) that is multifunctional will save you space and make the room feel bigger.

Today’s cribs have simple, clean lines and storage space, and some are sized for even the smallest room. Considering a changing table? Use the top of a small chest of drawers or dresser. For bookshelves, go for a narrow ledge or something in clear acrylic that disappears into the space.

When placing furniture, leave as much space as possible in the center of the room. This gives you room for a play mat for your baby and for rocking your little one to sleep.


Use Design-Inspired Décor

Let’s be honest: Design-inspired décor readily translates to décor that an adult would love. The reality is that newborns and even young toddlers don’t really care whether you have stripes or bows on the wall.

Since parents spend the most awake hours in the nursery, we should feel comfortable and content — and love the way the room looks. So take the opportunity of decorating your nursery to create a haven for yourself, too.

If you’ve always wanted navy walls, mix it with white furniture and accessorize with wood textures. Chevron patterns are versatile and appropriate for adults and babies alike. For the wall, framed family photos and a mirror are the perfect accessories.

When creating your design scheme, your goal is to have a balance of baby essentials (crib, changing table) with nice-to-have pieces for parents (rocker, daybed). A baby blanket is a must-have, but so is a throw for Mom and Dad. A wireless portable speaker or smartphone dock is terrific for lullabies and relaxing music for the whole family.


Focus on Lighting

A standout ceiling light fixture is a simple and brilliant way to modernize and style any nursery. When selecting a fixture, look for something that is striking and makes a statement yet flows with the rest of the décor.

If you have a mid-century modern piece of furniture in the room, complement it with a beautiful brass or wood fixture. If your room is all white or neutral, try something shiny or that has a pop of color. Large, round snowflake-like fixtures are also a great option for a contemporary statement.

Regardless of which lighting you choose, install a dimmer in the room. You’ll find this super-helpful, from middle-of-the-night feedings to lullaby time.


Curate to Reduce Clutter

This is true for many things in life, and especially for your new nursery. A pared-down nursery is relaxing and inviting. You and your baby don’t need the 25 gifted stuffed animals you just received, and you certainly don’t have to put them all on one shelf. Be selective by displaying a few items that are meaningful.

Take the extra step of curating your toys, books and other items. For example, wooden toys on a shelf take on an interesting vintage look. Grouping items by like colors or cool color combos are another way to sort while creating style appeal.

Keep your furniture to the essential pieces and make it double as storage. Coordinated cubes or baskets that conceal sundries such as baby blankets and bibs will easily accommodate the room as baby grows.

Simple, pared-down style also gives you the ability to feature one thing in the room. It can be a unique painted pattern on the wall or a cool lighting fixture.

Regardless of what design choices you embrace, make sure your nursery is a haven of convenience, calm and beauty, as well as a room that you enjoy being in. Your baby will appreciate that, too — and, we hope, give you many peaceful nights.

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