My 5 ideas for non-baby themed nurseries

May 21 2013 | Guest post by GrimmGirl
Photo from Henri's carnival-themed nursery!
My husband and I are only just beginning to talk about having a baby, but like the overeager person I am I've already been looking at different baby room inspiration online. Over the past few weeks I have looked at all the available store themes and come to one conclusion: they are not us. Baby animals, over-powering geometric patterns, PINK…. just because it's for a baby's room doesn't mean it has to be infantile!

In my fury, I decided something: I'll come up with my own easy-to-DIY, easy-to-love baby room ideas. I created a board on Pinterest to store my inspiration… here are my 5 favorites:

A Star is Born

By: Emily @ Go Haus GoCC BY 2.0
  • The idea: Classic Hollywood Cinema, 1920's-1950's
  • Base colors: Brick red, Cream off-white, Espresso wood, Bronze
  • Key features: Movie posters, lighted marquee letter(s), vintage film reels
  • Make it personal: use a customized poster of you/your partner/newborn as the movie poster, make the marquee letters the baby's initials
  • Bonus Points: choose a specific genre or actor/actress to help theme the room

Broadway Baby

By: Ryan HoardCC BY 2.0
  • The idea: Every theatre kid's dream! A dramatic start to a dynamic childhood.
  • Base colors: Ice blue, Warm yellow/white, Basic black, Deep red
  • Key features: Framed playbills, lighted marquee letter(s), pictures of the famous street sign, red curtains
  • Make it personal: use a customized poster of you/your partner/newborn as the playbill, make the marquee letters the baby's initials
  • Bonus Points: choose one play/musical (maybe the first play you saw as a couple?), lighted vanity changing table (to change to regular vanity when child is older)

Mother Nature

By: SurFeRGiRL30CC BY 2.0
  • The idea:The wonder and beauty of planet Earth. Set your child up to appreciate the world around them.
  • Base colors: Ocean blue, Grey white, Hunter green, Natural wood
  • Key features: photos of natural beauty at its best, pressed leaves and flowers, vinyl wall nature decals
  • Make it personal: choose pictures of spots that are personal to you (maybe even have yourself in the photos), used pressed leaves from your garden
  • Bonus Points: Choose a specific landscape or national park where you live or that has special meaning to you, using photos taken by someone in the family.

Little Space Cadet

Intrepid Toddler
Photo by Brian Potter Photography.
  • The idea:Where no baby has gone before… create a star grazer and explorer from day one.
  • Base colors: Charcoal black, Midnight blue, Star soft yellow, Yellow orange
  • Key features: Glow in the dark stars in constellations on the ceiling, solar system mobile, space photos
  • Make it personal: Use the constellations in the sky at the time of baby's birth
  • Bonus Points: Pick one or several sci-fis (Futurama, Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor Who…) and make a spaceship mobile

Littlest Book Worm

By: Erica FirmentCC BY 2.0
  • The idea: First rule of book club: don't talk about book club. It's never too early to know good literature.
  • Base colors: Parchment taupe, Rustic red, Ashen blue, Moss green
  • Key features: floating book bookshelf, framed title pages, book page mobile
  • Make it personal: Use pages from an author with the same name as your baby
  • Bonus Points: Use one author or similar genres (like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) to tie the room together
  1. I fully agree with you on the store-bought baby themes. I did my 7-month-old son's room up in fish – his dad is a commercial diver, and the room we set up for him was already painted two shades of blue, one of which is a beautiful tropical ocean dark blue. So I got a bunch of fish decals and decorated one corner with them, and bought some gorgeous watercolors of sea life from an artist on Etsy. It came out really neat and is very non-baby and calming for all of us. And bonus, we won't have to make drastic changes to it as he grows out of babyhood and becomes a big boy πŸ™‚

    1 agrees
  2. We want to do a forest/medieval themed nursery. While the store themes can be cute…it seems there are only 3-4 themes they just recolor or change a few things on them. These are great ideas that the child will hopefully continue to love as they grow older.

    2 agree
  3. We did a woodland theme. When I originally envisioned it, I thought about getting a wallpaper mural of giant redwoods or something β€” which would work well for a nature theme OR a kid who grows to be a Star Wars geek (very Endor!). But, it turns out that those murals are a lot more expensive than we cared to spend, so we freehand painted a landscape with birch trees around the entire room, and I love it SO MUCH!!! To the point where if our kid decides she doesn't like it when she gets older, I don't want to repaint β€” we'll just switch her room with the current guest room.

    3 agree
  4. I love the idea that not every nursery has to be cutesy-pastel-baby themed… but I'd just like to add that not every nursery needs a full-blown theme at all. I mean, these are fun & different, & go for it if that's what you're into–but we learned really quickly that you'll get sick of whatever you pick, especially when all of your family & friends hear about it and BURY you in all theme-related paraphernalia. It's nice that you think of my daughter when you see ladybugs, but my god how many wallhangings, frames, figurines (ugh!) and other crap can we cram into one little space? We just happened to find a used bedset on craigslist that was beautiful and not too baby-ish that we had bought, & it exploded from there.

    We had a book for guests to write little messages to the baby at our shower, and my niece, who was 7 at the time, wrote: "Hi. I hope you like ladybugs." That summed up the flaw in the whole theme thing for me pretty succinctly πŸ™‚ Basically, themes are great & fun & everything, but just be careful not to overdo it since you're forcing this entire idea onto a baby that has no opinions or likes/dislikes of their own yet. I'm still wondering how long it'll take for our daughter to shed the ladybug label & she's a toddler now. Just something to consider.

    1 agrees
  5. As a interracial couple with a pretty extensive ethnic background my husband and I are welcoming our little girl to a global village room, full of items from around the world such as Russian nesting dolls, indian sari blankets, and elephant mobile. We want her to appreciate she is a part of a world of diverse people and that she is a gift to that world.

    5 agree
  6. I'm trying to decide between a Nintendo theme or a Star Wars theme. Luckily I have tons of time since we're not even trying yet!

  7. Love the movie theme πŸ™‚
    We did rolling green hills for my son (Granny made a Farmer wall hanging featuring our family to match). For our daughter, we did a seaside with white cliffs we are both British) and a lighthouse and I had both children do hand or footprints in the 'sand'. My daughter has since added a tall castle to one of the hills.

  8. I also don't dig the traditional baby nursery decor. I love animals, so I put up some vinyls behind the door (flock of birds silhouetted) and plain black branches like a tree coming tthrough the window. I want to hang some prints from here http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoopyLolly?ref=search_shop_redirect

    Trying to find complimenting bedding is proving a huge challenge. My sister says most of the things I'm finding cute actually clash. (true!) Any advice?

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