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Design Inspo

How to Design a Nursery You’ll Love

What you put in your nursery is subjective, but there are helpful tips to get you started. According to designer and new mom Diana Farberov, it all comes down to the basics (and then adding the icing on top).

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You’re having a baby — congrats! If you’re reading this, you’re probably also an interior design lover, and you can’t wait to carve out this new part of your home. Where to even begin? Interior designer and new mom Diana Farberov breaks down the recipe for designing a nursery space that’s perfect for you and your growing family. 

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For expecting parents, designing a dedicated space for a baby can either be an exciting or daunting task. Babies need so many particular items. How do you sort through the noise and find what works for you? The pieces should be functional but also aesthetically pleasing and blend seamlessly into your home. Ask yourself: what is truly necessary, and what can be considered a bonus to your dream nursery? 

Parenting is hard enough. Let's make nursery design a bit easier! 

Start with the basics: 

1. A Crib

From a traditional sense, this is an obvious basic nursery item. Regardless of whether you plan to co-sleep, sleep train, or whatever your crib use case is, you should plan to invest in one that you like from the start. Bonus points to cribs such as Nestig’s Wave Crib that can transform as your child grows!

Nestig: Candy Cloud Crib ($749), Crate & Barrel: Jenny Lind Maple Wood Spindle Baby Crib ($1199)

2. A Rocking Chair

Although several people told me a nursing chair wasn’t necessary (especially in the early days when you’re likely just feeding in bed), as a designer, I found the idea of purchasing a new seating piece exciting. Finding a beautiful, comfortable chair brought me a lot of joy, and I used it around the clock (literally). Eighteen months later, my son still loves to sit on it, and now we’ll cozy up together to read a book. 

Six Penny: Neva Swivel Glider ($1599), Crate & Barrel: Snoozer Glider Chair ($1099), West Elm: Sarah Sherman Samuel Swivel Glider ($949-$1099)

3. A Side Table

Easily overlooked, I actually consider a side table a required pairing with a rocking chair. You will absolutely need a place to set down that bottle of milk, your phone, an extra pacifier, and a snack for yourself. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are juggling a baby and a cup of coffee.

Etsy: Vintage Turned Wood Side Table ($180), Lulu & Georgia: Killian Round Side Table ($748)

4. A Dresser/Changing Table

Allow me to introduce you to the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. This petite rubber changing “station” is your solution to this furniture debacle. The Keekaroo allows any dresser (of ample length) to become a changing table so you aren't stuck purchasing furniture with a short life span. Instead, you can focus on a dresser with a great design and plenty of drawers to store tiny socks and diapers. Place the Keekaroo, a basket of wipes, and diapers on top as the icing to your changing table masterpiece.

West Elm: Scalloped 6-Drawer Dresser ($1299), Pottery Barn Kids: Penny Extra-Wide Dresser ($1599)

5. A Rug

Perhaps an unexpected addition, but I consider this an essential item. A nursery needs to feel cozy, and a rug instantly does this to a room. You want to have a comfortable surface to sit down and play with your child. Be wary of shag rugs that accumulate more dirt particles and opt for a nice tight wool weave or a thin flat piece such as a Ruggable design set on a plush mat for added comfort.

Ruggable: Gradasi Grey Rug ($639), Pieces Home: Vespucci Rug ($1195), Schoolhouse: Ribbed Wool Rug ($449)

6. A Table Lamp

Lighting can truly make or break a space, and because of this, I put the table table in the essentials and not the add-ons section. Ideally, your lamp is on the side table, but if it's somewhere nearby, that’s still incredibly helpful. I have ours at the end of the dresser/changing table. The key is to place your lamp on the opposite end of your little one’s feet so they don’t snatch it during a diaper change. The table lamp is the last thing we turn off to signify its time for bed, and it helps me navigate the bedroom in near darkness without disrupting the mood. With so many beautiful tabletop lamps out there, this should be one of the most fun items to choose from.

Crate & Barrel: Bibelot Wavy Lamp by Athena Calderone ($129), Wooj: The Pleat Lamp ($185), Zara Home: Green Mini Lamp ($54)

7. A Baby Monitor

Despite this being an expensive piece of technology, the Nanit is unanimously the most popular baby monitor on the market. It pairs with an app you can download to your phone or iPad and has a wide range of monitoring and tracking you can use to keep an eye on your little one. Why do designers love it? It's simple and sleek, and although it's an essential part of a nursery space, it blends seamlessly into any aesthetic.

The Extras Design Goodies

Think of these as toppings to your perfect nursery recipe to enhance your space! What you do and don’t need is subjective, and I encourage you to trust your gut and create a comfortable space for you. For some parents, that means minimalism and buying only the key essentials (see above). For others, that means buying everything possible for the “just in case.” These items can range from diaper genies, noise machines, and humidifiers to more decorative elements such as toy and book storage, art, and stuffed animals. Focus on the general elements in a room you feel are missing. For me, that meant a mirror over a second clothing dresser in the nursery. Not necessary, but a perfect addition to tie the room together.

For many, the idea that a nursery has to be 100% finished before the baby is born is a mental relief. Although this is convenient, the reality is the initial weeks will be spent with the baby by your side, so you do have time to put the finishing touches before the little one truly occupies their own space. Trust me, your newborn won’t mind if the art isn't hung or the books aren’t perfectly arranged. 

Changes in the home and having a baby are often seen as two of the biggest stressors in our lives. It’s hard not to get caught up in the influx of information related to each of these topics. At the end of the day, babies don’t have much of an opinion of their own. Focus on what colors, textures, prints, and styles bring you comfort and joy, and a beautiful nursery will inevitably be born.

Photo credit (image above and to the left): Maya Rose Navarro (@mayaroseephoto)

To shop the products featured in this article, click here — and when you're ready to start designing your own nursery, use Spoak's design tools to bring your vision to life.

Date Posted
April 19, 2023



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