There may be no other room in the house more sweet and exciting to decorate than your baby’s nursery, where nursery art will play a major role in setting the tone and feel. While you create the space that will welcome your tiny new family member into the world, it can seem like a big task.
After all, you haven’t even met this little person yet. How do you know what colors they will like or what art will inspire their development? And with so many nursery trends coming and going, how are you to know what will stick through the years?
Luckily, the same principle holds for nursery art as anywhere else in your room: Choose what you love. There are a few other practical guidelines to keep in mind, too. If you are just getting started on brainstorming which nursery art you will pick, the ideas below can provide some inspiration and starting points for you to put your own spin on later.
If you’re in more of the refinement phase, use the list below to ensure the space is both baby-friendly and has staying power. Either way, there are no hard and fast rules to creating the perfect nursery, just as there are no rules to raising the perfect baby. As with everything parenting, stay flexible and focus on what matters most, and the rest will fall into place.
Less is More
With all the unknowns that come with preparing for baby, it can be easy to over-prepare when everything seems like a necessity. While it is a good idea to stock up on diapers and wipes, rest assured you can skip over elaborate design measures for the nursery.
This area of the house should be practical, first and foremost. Let’s add up the bare necessities: a space to feed, a space to change, a space to sleep. Anything else is a bonus. Start with what you need, and then dream up ways to complement the practical zones you have created without adding extra clutter.
After you have the major design elements of the nursery in place, take a look at your available wall space (our handy guide to choosing the right canvas size every time is a great reference guide) and consider your overall color palette as you go out hunting for the perfect piece. Will you opt for one large piece of artwork to keep things simple or curate a gallery wall of family photos, mementos, and keepsakes? The choice is yours, so long as you consider the ideal mood you want your nursery art to have. This brings us to our next point.
Calming Comfort is Key
Along with being clean and easy to maintain, you will also want the nursery space to feel like a place of refuge. Many sleepless nights will be spent in this room. Calm can be found in many places, whether it be soothing motifs throughout a series of paintings or the soft color of the wallpaper.
For example, yellow is cheery and uplifting, but might it be too stimulating for your little one when they are trying to settle down for the night? The same goes for high-contrast images: great for mental stimulation and cognitive development, not so great for sleepy time.
Don’t overthink this—what makes you feel at ease? The same will most likely be true for your child. And even if you feel it makes no difference to your baby, you will be glad you chose that periwinkle print you love when you are staring at the wall, rocking with no end in sight during the dreaded witching hour.
To Theme or Not to Theme Your Nursery Art?
If you are expecting a child or have ever been pregnant, you have most likely been asked about the theme of your baby’s nursery. Until I was expecting myself, I didn’t even know that nurseries had themes. Was this some unspoken requirement I’d never heard of? Would my baby be happier in a colorful butterfly nursery or a neutral woodland animal nursery?
Though themes can be significant in guiding the imagery of the space, they can also limit the room as your baby gets older. If you want to keep your child in this room for a few years, it might be best to choose a theme or a color palette that can grow alongside their own personal tastes.
After all, your baby is likely to appreciate their nursery art for a few years — making this an excellent opportunity for you to share with them what you love. Some families want to pass along their passion for the outdoors and select art with woodland themes or that evoke their love of nature. Consider your own interests and what type of memories you hope to make as a family if you’re stumped for subjects for your nursery art.
Making it Gender-Neutral
The mystery that comes with being team green—that is, waiting until birth to discover the gender of your baby—can be thrilling, though it can also make it difficult to plan things like nursery design. Though you may want to shy away from the more defining baby pinks and blues, gender-neutral does not have to mean colorless.
As the “team” name suggests, green is a color suitable to soothe any baby. In fact, earthy sage green has been associated with learning and early childhood development. Other colors you might consider are a robin’s egg blue or a pale purple, and you can never go wrong with airy whites and grays as a base. These are soothing colors that will calm any baby, and parents will appreciate the sense of peace they create in the nursery, too.
Practical Nursery Art Tips
Do you want to purchase art with longevity or pieces you can swap out easily? Given that your nursery art collection is likely to evolve as your child grows, opting for a more affordable yet still stunningly high-quality giclée print is an accessible option for many budgets that achieves both goals. The archival quality of the inks will make for a vibrant masterpiece while staying within your preferred price point.
Many parents also find the nursery to be the perfect opportunity for a custom piece of artwork featuring their child’s name or initials. If truly personalized decor is what you dream of, consider finding an artist whose style you love and inquiring about a custom piece created especially for your little one.
Lastly, while you’re dreaming big, keep in mind practical considerations too. Select framing options that are easy to wipe down and clean. Make sure to hang your artwork at eye level and 6 to 8 inches above any other piece of furniture, like a dresser or crib. Ensure your artwork is secured if it is hanging above any place where a baby will be sleeping or playing. Still unsure about what artwork to choose? You could always install floating shelves and swap out prints, posters, and photos as you see fit!
Picasso said that every child is an artist. He also said that the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Take advantage of this shared space as an opportunity to nurture both your baby’s and your own artistic interests and sensibilities.
What nursery art did you select for your home? Do you have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.