At the very least, decorating a nursery is a way to keep oneself and their partner busy during the longest nine months of anyone’s life. At most, it’s the first step forward in achieving what one dreams of for one's child and creating the first space they’ll remember and maybe, just maybe, keeping a level of organization that makes those late night diaper changes run a little more smoothly. These next nurseries are the most idyllic of the ideal, but feel free to steal an idea or two from them. Maybe borrow a color palette from one and an end table from the other, and finish it all off by hijacking a theme. The designers behind these weren’t just curating a space to embody childhood, they were creating a comfortable little haven for a child and a parent to bond. So some of these nurseries cater a surprising amount to adult sensibilities and some are obviously an excuse for adults to relive their favorite childhood interests. Either way, these rooms make for some amazing memories on behalf of the children that sleep in them. If the beds were just a smidge better, there are definitely some adults who wouldn’t mind these being their bedrooms either.
This looks like a room from a gorgeous baby hotel. Of course, those don’t exist because they’d be way more neglectful than adorable, but this is still the most elegant nursery ever. And it’s from the Baby Ritz Carlton. Is that the actual wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? This is one of those nurseries that’s definitely supposed to be a space for the people who actually bought the stuff inside and pay the rent but it’s still super fun.
If we had a spectrum of the pinkest nursery on one end and on the other, that elegant nursery above - this one would fall somewhere about 80% towards the elegant nursery. It’s not full of colors that are so fun they’ll make you feel exhausted and a little nauseous at 2 AM, but that chandelier looks super fun to stare at from below (AKA from a baby’s perspective). It’s all the fun dangly stuff babies love but with super neutral colors.
This feels like a response to the super feminine, Pepto-pink girl nurseries that are super studded with bows and ribbons. It’s so much simpler and pared down so that what’s gorgeous about it is how functional it is. This just feels so clean and light, even if there’s no way all those surfaces will stay white around a baby. This is a nursery for a 21st-century feminist baby whose embracing her femme side but in a practical way. You know, that sensible baby.
Personally, I really object to this being classified as a strictly male nursery. Mostly because I would have loved it so much as a little kid (or now – please let me hang out in that little nook with the foxes and just read for a little bit). Portraits of woodland creatures? A theme that can easily transition from babyhood to even young adolescence? That gorgeous mural? Ugh, every baby deserves that. And those are some great bookshelves on the side.
This is definitely that classic flower-studded, ribbon-adorned feminine nursery but I still feel like it’s calming enough that the colors won’t blind you when you’re responding to a late night wake-up. It’s still a huge upgrade and those flowers are incredible. Whatever kid gets to grow up here will remember those down the line. Those might be my two new criteria for adorable nurseries - colors I can handle looking at before the break of dawn and functionality.
The real mark of an amazing nursery – a nursery beyond belief that Pinterest was built upon and designers dream to achieve – is how much can you make an adult want to disappear into it. Anyone would crawl through their computer screen just to mess around in this room. And that little moon pendant? A pink corduroy pear? What are we? In some updated Wonderland? Where’s Alice? Ugh, I bet that pink tent is the best place to hide. You know, from the entire world.
This baby has more chill than most adults. They’re probably named Clayton or Ebonese and they’re just going to glide through life, pointing finger guns and never having awful hair days. What makes this nursery special is the rug – it’s so colorful and full of patterns that it demands to be the focal point, so the neutral furniture lets that shine. If the furniture was as loud, it’d be way too much. Like a shouting match between elements of design.
I love this except I can just imagine how much it would kill me, as the baby sleeping here, not to be able to climb up those tapestry lamp things. I would be so frustrated that I’m the exact right size to cling to one like a little upside-down bat, only to have those dangled in front of me like some unreachable dream. That said, elephants. Elephants are perfect for any age, any gender, and any lifestyle. Elephants cover everything.
This honestly feels more like a bar than a nursery. Right out of frame there must be a liquor cabinet. I’d be shocked if there weren’t. Sure, it might just contain… I don’t know what – maybe sparkling water? But this is really the well-kept beard of nurseries. And sure, I’m definitely only speaking about that wood wall because whatever story led to these parents reclaiming that wood, I’m sure it’s very elaborate and involves more than a few Craigslist hook-ups.
Personally, I’d rather surround my baby with images of paleontologists and great thinkers, but sometimes you just want your child to grow up to be an outlaw. Not the “Captain Phillips” kind of outlaw, more like a Jack Sparrow who's sober and has his life more together. I still prefer my child growing up to study bones so they’re not climbing that insanely tall mast, but that’s just personal taste. And this is still super cute and I bet that mast makes for a great cover around the crib.
This tells us so much more about the parents and their passions than the child. In all honesty, as adorable as this is, it’s probably the nursery that best sets up your kid to not be super interested in Star Wars. Unless they really take to it, you’re basically guaranteeing yourself a lifetime of their apathy to your favorite movies. But it’s still a solid attempt and super, duper adorable. Especially that rug. And a lightsaber as a wall sconce? Genius.
This nursery is definitely filled from floor to ceiling with the kind of super bright colors I was complaining about before, but it’s just so adorable! Dr. Seuss gets a pass on everything, even hyper colors that blind you. Who doesn’t want Truffula trees? This is such a fun way to get your kid into environmentalism and what other eco-friendly nursery gets to have an orange rug? But the muted wooden floor is definitely necessary to tone it all down.
On one hand, why encourage your child to roam the insatiable ocean? Raise a landlubber – they’ll stay in one place and take care of you when you’re old. It’s just common sense. You don’t want to be the only 80-year-old on a boat, even if you’re hanging out with your cool sailor kid. On the other hand, is that a tiny rowboat toy chest? On the bottom lefthand corner. Okay, that’s more than enough reason to decorate an entire room like this.
I’m always for paintings of hot air balloons. They’re always called for, and always a great addition and the perfect theme for anyone from any walk of life. Honestly, show me this wall and I’m not sure I care about the rest of the room. The crib doesn’t have to be shaped like a hot air balloon (although extra points for that) as long as I’ve got my wall of hot air balloons. Not the safest way to travel but definitely the most adorable.
I’m starting to think the most important component to an over-the-top cute nursery is just a really cool mural that gives you something to stare at while you breastpump at all odd hours of the night. The mural and the crib and a chair for you to collapse in are the three most important teammates. You might as well learn something about the constellations while you’re not sleeping, right? Even if you just learn it by osmosis, or by staring at it, exhausted, for days and months.
Okay, this is next level. Forget everything I said! Not just about nurseries, but about anything, ever. This is one of those nurseries so gorgeous I really believe it’s just a room from a hotel where babies get to stay in themed rooms. No baby could possibly be lucky enough to just live and grow up here, right? This has to be for special occasions. Ugh, I wonder if their parents are super eclectic little wandering weirdos or the biggest squares who wanted one room in their house to channel their wildest dreams.
I don’t know if this will make sense but I think whales are the elephants of the sea. Yeah, that holds up. They’re huge, grey and full of love and intelligence. My point is that whales are a terrific unisex theme. They’re fun to look at and a little scary in a cool way and besides, their colors are super muted. Also, of course there’s an elephant toy in the corner. You know what they say - elephants are the whales of the land.
I don’t know if there’s a theme to this room or if the parents just got lost in a World Market and later went on a DIY bender, but I love it. The red crib is the perfect compliment to all these neutrals and that’s a stellar cabinet. One thing: are those zebras avoiding arrows? And consequently, their own deaths? Who is hunting these animals, especially in front of a baby? Well, whatever. They’ve all survived this long. They’ll be fine.
Be the biggest over-achiever of all parents and just build your own preschool in your house. A baby who already has a grasp of the alphabet? That baby’s going to blast all the other babies out of the water. Even the teachers will look like know-nothings. That baby knows what’s up. All the orange really feels like a pre-school vibe, or maybe a play palace at some department store. Also, that rocking chair better be as comfortable as it is great at rocking.
These are some great sentiments for your child to grow up looking at, but they might be just as valuable for you to stare at in those wee hours. If anyone needs them, it’s the sleep-deprived parent who ran out of clean sweatpants days ago. Not the baby who's living it up. One picture could even read, “some day they’ll sleep through the night”. That would be the most inspiring, especially if it was printed over an old-fashioned map or something.
One thing: why would you even leave this room? Tell me what the rest of the world has that this room is somehow lacking. You’ve got your own favorite cartoon characters, just for you and they’re all perfect buddies. You’ve got the cutest end table ever that’s both mid-century and a whimsical color. Why go to school, ever? This room meets every need. Also, how sturdy is that leaf? Asking for a friend. Who wants to sit on it.
Is that raccoon larger than life size? I am… so jealous. It just looks so fluffy. And that art… it’s so calming but unique. Maybe it’s wrong for an adult to envy a child but I really feel like my life needs that raccoon more than this model baby does. That chair – there’s a story there. That’s someone’s heirloom. Ugh, I didn’t expect all these adorable nurseries to bring out such emotions in me like jealousy. Well, I've learned more about myself than I ever wanted to.
I was so foolish when I acted like I knew all about fun nursery murals. I never considered that one way to make an awesome mural even better is by making it partially three dimensional. Of course, an adorable little copper plane would make everything better. Why isn’t the theme for more nurseries just “brass hardware”? Brass accents are obviously the best theme, even if it’s definitely not what a child would ask for. But if they did, that kid is going to grow up to be Bobby Berk and have the best home design makeover show.