It’s exciting times for my sister-in-law Sarah, as she’s pregnant with her first baby. She’s due to give birth to a little girl next month and has asked me to come up with some ideas for the nursery. If you’ve ever read any of my previous interiors posts on these pages you will know that I love this kind of shizzle and soon whipped up the two mood boards in the slider above. (When I say ‘soon’, what I mean is, I asked our brilliant graphic designer Becky for a mini Photoshop tutorial, and the above mood boards are actually the result of a couple of hours of me wringing my hands at Photoshop and wondering why the lasso tool is so bloody hard to use). But back to the point in hand. Classic or contemporary nursery décor: what would you decide, if you were Sarah?

The Space

The room which is going to be the nursery is Sarah and Tom’s spare room. It’s south facing and currently painted and carpeted in neutral tones. They’ve got a biiiiig white chest of drawers which they’re keeping, and are on the hunt for an armchair, artwork, storage baskets that’ll live on the stair bulkhead, and ideas for décor.

Classic or Contemporary Nursery Décor {Option 1: Classic}

I decorated Jenson’s nursery a couple of years ago and I’m in no rush to change it, so I figured a similar ‘classic’ theme might work well for Sarah and Tom’s bebe too. Think calming colours and timeless furniture and accessories which can be used elsewhere in the house several years down the line.
1. The Curtains (Anthropologie, £88)
I first mentioned these curtains back in 2016 when I was wanging on about pom poms on the blog. You will note from the choice of blanket for Option 2 below that I am somewhat preoccupied with pom poms, although I’m slowly coming round to all the fringed homeware that’s so on trend at the moment (amaze Oliver Bonas lamps, I’m talking to you). Sarah would obvs need some black out blinds as well, but I reckon these Anthropologie curtains would bring a real softness and ethereality to the room. (Yes, I did need to look that word up).
2. The Artwork (Desenio, £6.95 each)
These prints were the starting point for the ‘Classic’ mood board, as Sarah had whatsapped me a link to these little guys, however I thought the white background on the Desenio ones would lift the space and make it brighter.
3. The Lighting (Cabyn Home, £280)
Soft lighting is an absolute essential in a nursery for all those 3am feeds and nappy changes. I was very kindly gifted this Javin floor lamp by Cabyn, a downright gorgeous homewares that you probably need to follow on Instagram. I’ve previously bought a table lamp and candles from Cabyn at a Fabulous Places market and they’re the most beautiful, well crafted items. The Javin would make the perfect lamp for a nursery. (But sorry Sars, you’re not having mine, I love it too much).
4. The Armchair (Made, £349)
Another nursery essential for all the night feeds and bedtime stories: an armchair. I’ve had my eye on the Ritchie armchair forever…the original would work well in a classic, timeless nursery, and the ‘Rainbow’ version with its rainbow-hued, Smartie-esque buttons would fit right into the contemporary nursery.
5. The Rug (Ikea, £17)
If Sarah’s baby is anything like my first then she’s gonna need a rug which can be quickly bunged in the wash after it has been projectile pooed/vomited upon. The nicest nursery rugs I’ve ever seen are at Aussie homeware store Mondocherry (The polar bear one! The rainbow one!), however an excellent budget rug is the Ikea Torslev: it’s just £17, and more importantly, MACHINE WASHABLE.
6. The Cot (John Lewis, £299)
Sarah’s little girl is going to be inheriting Jenson’s cot, which is a Boori cotbed. It’s subtle, timeless and practical, and would work in either décor scheme.

Classic or Contemporary Nursery Décor {Option 2: Contemporary}

A print in Sarah and Tom’s master bedroom sparked the inspiration for this moodboard. Think bold punchy colours and graphic fonts, toned down with lots of wood and rattan. To bring interest, a diagonal painted accent wall in navy or pink behind the cot, a la @amotherdesigner’s living room.
1. The Throw (Oliver Bonas, £42)
You can never have enough throws in a nursery (see 5 above). I rate Homesense and Oliver Bonas for throws and this bold blanket is my current fave.
2. The Baskets (H&M, £19.99)
One of Sarah’s main requirements is that she needs ALLTHEBASKETS. She has probably gathered from our house that baskets are key to hiding all the baby paraphernalia. In our living room alone there are three biiiig Ikea baskets full of toys and nappies, and H&M also has some beauts in at the moment. These seagrass ones folded down also make great plant holders when you’re past the nappy stage.
3. The Artwork (Castle and Things, £48)
This cool AF piece of art is in fact a tea towel. I’m obsessed with every. single. item from Castle, a colourful whimsical Australian homeware store. (Can you tell I’m a fan of Aussie homewares?!). And if you love a home tour then Elle Australia recently featured owner Rachel Castle’s abode.
4. The Artwork (Marta Abad Blay, €30)
Another artist that I’m obsessed with is Spanish designer Marta Abad Blay. Her work is so unusual and distinctive, and isn’t this Babywearing Mama print the sweetest?
5. The Armchair (Ikea, £150)
One thing that I regretted not buying with either of my kids was a rocking chair. If the Ikea Gronadal had been about when my two were newborns I would’ve snapped it up. According to the reviews it’s v comfy, and you could comfy it up even more with the Oliver Bonas throw and a couple of cushions. It’s a real statement piece without being too in-your-face, and it would fit snugly into a nursery corner.
6. The Cot (as above)
7. The Rug (Ikea, £120)
A striking rug is an easy way to give a room character, pattern and texture. I love the drama that this monochrome rug brings, and the black stripes would anchor the black accents of the throw, the frame of the rocking chair, and the ‘E’ of the ‘Hey Kid’.

So that’s Sarah’s nursery, two options in two nutshells. I’m desperate to get down there with a tin of paint and start faffing with shelves and baskets.

Are you in the throes of decorating a nursery? Which do you prefer, Option 1 or Option 2?

Classic or contemporary nursery?
Classic or contemporary nursery?