How To Design a Nursery: The Do's and Don'ts

Designing a nursery for your baby-to-be can be incredibly fun and rewarding, but it can also seem like a very daunting task especially when you don’t know where to start.

If only there was a list of nursery do’s and don’ts to consider when planning the room you’ll be hanging out in with your favourite little person. With so many trends and so many options, planning a nursery can get overwhelming, so we have collated everything you would need to know when it comes to planning and styling your little one’s nursery - it’s the CLM list of do’s and don’ts.

Baby Furniture

DO choose key pieces first. As strange as it may sound, decide on your furniture pieces before you decorate. We notice that parents often choose a theme or colour scheme before finding the right furniture, but it is far easier to match wallpaper, decor, and bedding to the key pieces in the room.


DON'T underestimate the space in the nursery. If you take one thing from these points, let it be this: measure your space and furniture before making your purchase. Keep the size of the space in mind, and how practical it will be moving around and sneaking in at three am. This will be incredibly challenging if there is no space to move.


Unsure? We’re always available to answer any questions you may have.


DO go for quality and functionality. Consider how long you want the nursery to be a nursery and how long you expect the furniture to last. Many key pieces of furniture are designed to fit your needs and grow with your child throughout their development. I.e. a compactum that converts into a dresser when the changer is removed, while the cot transforms into a toddler bed. See our exclusive ranges by Vox Furniture for a wide variety of these handy pieces.


When on the hunt for key pieces, look out for natural and sturdy materials, as there comes a time when your baby will stand up and rock the cot, alternating this with chewing on the edges!

Linnea Standing Desk - CLM Home

 DON'T clutter. Storage, storage, storage! Think of the midnight drill, it’s dark and your still half asleep, there’s no humour in bumping into objects at this time of the night. It’s important to get creative with storage because your little one will have a lot of stuff.


Colour Psychology

Choosing a colour palette for your baby’s nursery can be a long and frustrating journey. In the past, new parents almost always ended up opting for pastel blues, pinks or even all-whote; nowadays parents are much more experimental with colour, so it’s important to consider the psychological effects that different colours can have when making your choice. The colours of your surroundings can influence mood and behaviour, stimulate the brain and even affect the health of your little one.

Einstein Desk Lamp - CLM Home


It’s whimsical, cheerful and the colour of sunshine. Yellow has long been a popular colour for nurseries, and for good reason! Thought to promote concentration, and aid learning, yellow is a great colour to surround your baby with during their first few years of life. Pair it with soft cream and warm greys and you’ll have a striking, on-trend nursery too.


DON'T do red. Strong and intense, red is known to increase heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism and is definitely a colour to steer far away from when decorating your little one’s nursery. Some studies suggest that exposure to the colour red can cause mood swings, headaches and even insomnia.


DO go green! Calming, serene and nurturing, green symbolizes nature and the growth of plants and is the perfect choice for a nursery. Associated with good health and healing, green is known to reduce anxiety and will have a soothing effect on the body and mind of your baby. The best shades of green to opt for when painting your nursery are earthy shades such as pistachio, sage, olive, and moss.


DO choose textiles before painting. There is nothing worse that finally finding the perfect curtains or baby bedding, only to discover the colour clashes with your paint job. Given the array of available paint colours and the prevalence of colour-matching technology, it’s far easier to choose the room textiles and then buying a complimentary paint.



Often an afterthought, lighting plays an important part in our lives. Lighting has the power of adjusting an interior by creating a certain ambience and it also has the power of changing the perceived size of a room.


By combining the right lighting, natural and artificial, with the right furniture and colour selection, your nursery can go from a sunny picnic in the park to a cosy sleep clinic by the flick of a switch.


DON'T use hash lighting. Soft lighting is your best friend in a nursery. Babies eyes aren’t fully developed so a soft dim prevents overstimulation. Install a dimmer on any overhead lighting fixture especially if they are directly over the crib. Look for bulbs called “warm white” or “daylight”, which are more diffused, making the light gentler on your baby’s eyes.


DO create light layers. We have established that soft lighting is the way to go, but sometimes you just need to be able to see what you’re doing when you're elbow-deep in nappies. The solution: Layers of light. Make use of a variety of functional lights. In addition to the light fixture on the ceiling, aim for task-centred lights, i.e a night light, a reading lamp and a changing table light.


DON'T be afraid of the dark. When it comes to blinds or curtains, make sure they are dense enough to mimic night time, anytime. You want to be able to fake the dark when it’s time for an afternoon nap, it’s not just beneficial for baby, but for you too! Suns out funs out, after all, and your baby doesn’t want to miss out on anything, so make sure that your curtains are able to block sunlight and any false impression of a day soiree.

Linnea Standing Desk - CLM Home


Surprisingly, as important as the paint, the wallpaper, key furniture pieces, and lighting may be aesthetically, the feeling of the room should always be top priority. You want it to give a soothing sense of a place where you can rest and play with your favourite little human.


DO limit yourself to a single concept that is true to you. Settle on a specific idea to help you narrow your decorating focus, but also remember that you’ll be spending days and nights in the nursery, so stay true to yourself here, as cliche as that may sound. Sure, bunnies are oh-so-cute, but if it’s not true to your style, you’ll tire of it very quickly.


Are you a first-time parent? Don’t wait for the last minute to start your nursery project. Be sure to take our top do’s and don’ts into consideration when getting your nursery project underways. Starting early gives you plenty of time to air out new furniture and freshly painted spaces, and will also prevent stress and ensure that you have more than enough time to finish the job.


Not your first rodeo? We would love to hear your top tips for planning and styling a nursery.