Creating a Unique Nursery

Creating a Unique Nursery
April 6 2021

Preparing to welcome a new baby into your world is an exciting one… of course, the definition of exciting when used in this sentence is code for exhausting, thrilling and terrifying, but you get my point. When I was pregnant with my daughter we had a lot going on. Imagine me, 8 months pregnant, on my hands and knees caulking baseboards in our ALMOST finished basement… there is no euphemism here, it was unpleasant to say the least.

While needing to finish the basement before our little one arrived, we were searching the couch cushions for long forgotten quarters to decorate the nursery. So if you, like me, are pinching those pennies with white knuckles, I have a list of (budget friendly) ways to create a unique nursery.


1. Picking your crib

Let’s get down to brass tacks here and start with the big ticket item. A crib is the most important item in your nursery, and the decision I was most dreading. There are so many options, styles, and colors, and don’t get me started on picking the right mattress...

I tried out so many beautiful cribs, but being vertically challenged, most of the pretty ones with crown molding and thick side rails were so hard for me to get into. I’d need a step ladder just to pick up my daughter… no thanks.

I finally settled on a simple crib for it’s bargain price tag, and I could not be more happy with it!

Get it for your nursery: 

We ended up going with this simple Sundvik Crib from ikea, and let me tell you - it still looks darling in her nursery and I don’t need a crane to lift her out in the morning.

If you are tight on space, might we suggest a mini crib. In my research I stumbled upon this gem, and I had no idea it even existed. A mini crib is great for tight spaces, and guess what!? A mini-crib in Europe is just a crib, so it is a perfectly good option! It is a little spendier, but I love the versatility of this Nestig Wave Crib which gives you the option to use it as a mini crib, crib, or toddler bed, and it’s cute to boot.

Why We Love it: Practical, simple, sleek.


2. Add Simple DIYs

Maybe I’m crazy… or just crazy sentimental… but when I was pregnant, nesting meant DIY projects. I took on quite a few projects that add so much personality and pride (on my part) to my daughter’s nursery.

First, I upcycled my mom’s old rocking chair from when I was a baby. My husband helped me sand it all down, spray paint it white, and distress it. Next, I restored my husband’s childhood rocking horse. This one was more on me, but my husband sanded, painted, and took all of the nails out before I could style it and add macrame hair.

Finally, at 8.5 months pregnant, I implored my sister’s help to create a one-of-a-kind hanging floral mobile for above the crib. Looking back, this might be why I delivered my daughter two weeks early, but I regret nothing.

Get it for your nursery: 

Whether you have an old rocking horse to upcycle, or find one at a thrift shop, you can follow This Tutorial by Stagg Design and come up with a unique, one of a kind accent piece for your nursery! As for a crib mobile, I suggest This Tutorial by Cara & Co. It is perfect for any gender neutral boho nursery.

When planning your projects, might I suggest one thing - get help, and take breaks! I did not do any of my DIYs alone, so get your partner or dear friend to help while you take care of yourself and your little baby bump!

Why we love it: Personal, sentimental, unique


3. Choosing the perfect art

In my mind, art is the biggest nursery variable, and therefore can be extremely overwhelming. Will you choose this baby raccoon with the floral headband, or this baby zebra with the flower wreath? There is literally something for every taste and every style.

You can choose art that flawlessly embodies your nursery theme, or find art that will grow with your child. No matter what option you use, collect art that promotes an environment of positivity, growth, and learning. The art that surrounds your child will help nurture them into the tiny humans they were meant to be. 

Get it for your nursery: 

I don’t know about you, but I love a good alphabet poster for a nursery. I think they are a cute way to get your child interested in learning at a young age. These coordinating Cat Posters from Kiki and Max work seamlessly together, are gender neutral, and the perfect addition to any cat lover’s nursery.

If cat’s aren’t your thing, these posters also come with the perfect puppy illustrations in our ABC Dogs Bundle! You also ‘herd’ it here first, but we have new posters coming soon so saddle up, and we’ll keep you posted! Yeeeee haw!

Why we love it: Timeless, Beautiful, educational


4. Search for one of a kind pieces

 When we were expecting, we had a neighbor moving out next door, and she gave me this adorable Wire Wall Shelf that they hung in their laundry room. I filled it with diapers, wipes, and bum cream and hung it in my daughter’s nursery and now it serves as a unique diaper caddy!

When looking to decorate your nursery, try to find things you love and give them a new purpose in your baby’s world.

Get it for your nursery:

If you aren’t a DIYer, thrift stores, vintage shops, and etsy are all great places to find these one-of-a-kind items. Things like this hanging Fabric wall Organizer by Nukko on Etsy really put a one-of-a-kind feel to your nursery without having to scavenge yard sales and thrift stores.

You can also take items that have different purposes, like this Wire Wall Shelf from Hobby Lobby and give it a new purpose, like a diaper caddy!

Why we love it: Versatile, unique, modern


5. Shopping gender neutral

Isn’t this gender neutral nursery to die for?! I’m just in love with it, and I don’t know about you… but I’ve just started the ride on this baby train. I would love at least one of each, so when planning my nursery I tried very hard to pick out gender neutral items that could easily be retrofitted to make a cute nursery for a baby boy.

This look is definitely on my radar now, and I’d like to share just a few tips I have found for a gender neutral nursery. First, the scandanavian style translates very well to either gender, and really gives you that modern look that is totally trending. Next,  I think this goes without saying, but try to stay away from the traditional blues and pinks. I never would have thought orange would make a killer nursery, but paired with the forest green looks amazing here! Lastly, think geometric shapes! Between all of the toys, shelves, and furniture you’ll buy for your baby, if you try to think geometrically, it will really translate well from one gender to the next!

Get it for your nursery:

The shelves in this nursery photo are perfect for any gender neutral nursery, and will be so cute in different rooms of your house long after your children have left home.

You can get these Floating Shelves from Kroft Studio on Etsy. The dresser pictured above is just darling, and it’s from Ikea! This BJÖRKSNÄS (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) with leather pulls is just the cutest, am I right?! The woven baskets on the floor really round out this look, and while I couldn’t find the exact ones pictured, I got close. You can get this Pineapple Floor Basket from Crate and Barrel and this Elephant Eloise Basket from World Market.

Why we love it: Trendy, simple, and interesting


6. Storage, Storage, Storage

Babies come with a lot of stuff. And I mean a lot of stuff. Packing for a weekend with my daughter looks like my husband and I are fleeing the country with all of our worldly possessions.

The most important thing I did in my nursery was plan for storage. I have a dresser much bigger than I thought I needed, and guess what? It’s full. She got so many blankets when she was born, that I have two drawers devoted to just blankets. I have a hanging shoe rack in her closet to hold diapers, wipes, and other odds and ends, and I have a wire shelf on her wall holding all of the diaper changing goodies!

Get it for your nursery:

This adorable Teepee bookcase from South Shore Sweedi will go with any gender neutral theme, and serve as some decor as well. Pair it with these Teepee Floating Shelves by ZiZi Design Studio on Etsy, and you’ve got yourself a theme!

If that’s not quite your style, you can try this Angled Bookcase from Pottery Barn is an amazing storage solution for small spaces. In my nursery I have a bookcase and a toy box, but this is a two-in-one! Plus, it comes in white which will match almost any other nursery decor you have planned! 

Why we love it: Cute, simple, practical


7. Decorating with decals

I’ve already let the cat out of the bag and told you guys how crazy I get with DIY projects. If you aren’t a DIYer and still want to put a creative, personal touch on your nursery… decals will be your jam. They are inexpensive, easy to change, and come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes.

My sister in law has the cutest accent wall in her nursery, she took little plus sign stickers and decorated one entire wall in her son’s room, and I’ll tell you - it looks like wallpaper! It was inexpensive, easy, and it looks absolutely stunning.

Get it for your nursery:

This Doggie Decal from Kiki and Max is perfect for any dog loving family! Beautifully illustrated and featuring 10 adorable dogs, this removable vinyl decal is printed on premium clear vinyl.

If you are looking to cover a bigger space in your nursery, try these Pink Rainbow Decals from Project Nursery + Junior. Cover an entire wall with these adorable decals, and you have an instant accent wall.

Why we love it: Inexpensive, easy, and versatile


8. Wallpaper for the win

Speaking of wallpaper… that is another great way to add an accent wall to your nursery. Creating an accent wall with a playful print can create an eye-catching feature in your little one’s bedroom.

There are thousands of wallpaper patterns out there, and they are made with an easy application so you can do it yourself. Wallpapering your accent wall is an inexpensive way to bring a little life to your nursery while remaining on budget, and your nursery will be the thing of dreams!

Get it for your nursery:

If you are planning a minimalist nursery, then this Black Delicate Herringbone Nursery Wallpaper from Livettes Wallpaper is for you. It will add just that subtle hint of something extra to your nursery, while not making the room feel cluttered and busy.

If eclectic is your style, maybe this adorable Mushroom Forest wallpaper from Anewall Decor on Etsy is just what you were looking for!

Why we love it: Inexpensive, easy, and stylish

9. Display their name with pride

Who knew choosing what to name your baby would be such a difficult task. Do you use a family name? A best friend’s name? Do you use a name that reminds you of no one you’ve ever met or known?

When my husband and I finally settled on a name, it was the best day. Not only did the stress immediately leave us, but we also fell in love with the name, and could stop calling her ‘peanut’. So, once you land on a name, shout it from the mountain tops, hire a skywriter, get it carved in stone… or printed on wood… 

Get it for your nursery:

Our custom cut wood signs are the perfect way to add a dazzling display to any of your nursery walls. This Beautiful Name Crest would look amazing in your daughter’s room! Or our wooden pennant would look amazing in a little boy’s nursery. Better yet, this is decor that your child can never grow out of! 

Why we love it: Personalized, customizable, and bold 


10. Splurge on one item

Having a baby is the most exciting, important thing you’ll ever do. You are literally creating life, so give yourself one item you really want, and go crazy! Whether you splurge on your crib, your dressers, your decor, or one beautiful toy…  it’s important to give yourself that one thing.

Get it for your nursery:

We love this adorable gray tweed Noe Rocker from Pottery Barn Kids. Trust me -- you’ll spend a lot of time in a rocking chair, so make sure it’s comfortable! You can also choose to splurge on shelving! I love baby board books, so my daughter has… a lot… and luckily she loves them too. If you are like me, and have storage boxes full of baby board books for your little one to grow to love, we suggest this Sloan Bookshelf. This bookshelf is so cute, modern, and extremely practical!

Why we love it: Modern, gender neutral, and versatile


The nesting instinct is a powerful one, and we know you want to create the perfect nursery, but please keep in mind these simple truths: First, You are growing fingers, toes, elbows, and a list of other tiny body parts, so take care of yourself. Please decorate safely and take as many breaks as you need. Second, Your nursery will be mostly for you - at least for the first few years - so if you like one dresser over another, just get the one you like - I can guarantee that your baby will not mind. And lastly, your baby will be happiest in your arms, so do not let the stress of creating the perfect space drive you batty.

Once you bring that baby home, everything will fall into place for your little family and all will be right in the world. 


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Not surprisingly, it was the birth of my own son that made me realize it was time to expand, and offer a new line of designs for new families and children. We realized that when our Miss Design Berry clients started families of their own, they wanted the deeply personal service and customized design that they had come to know and love from working with us.

So, our mission for Kiki and Max is simply that - to launch a new family brand that brings the same dedication to service, detail, and personalization that our clients have grown to love so much.

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