A fresh nursery

{Recently I did this fun post over at the Nester’s blog! In case you didn’t see then, I thought I would share today..enjoy! and watch later in the week for my “FAVORITE THINGS BABY/KID List 2010” Check last year’s version here}


How do you create a fresh baby nursery?? Not a themed room with contrived decorating and glaring colors but instead a FRESH  space with soothing and inspiring colors and a touch of vintage and modern.

{Amy Butler fabric and its linen not quilting material! from here}

My number one piece of advice?  Use as many NON-NURSERY items as possible, whether it is lighting, color, fabrics, glider/chair or rugs..steer clear of the baby baby items…instead gravitate to the things you love that might work in any room of the house.  Throw in a touch of whimsy and a precious new life and you have a fresh nursery.

{Like these items from Ballard Designs. Le Poeme rug and fab lantern options!}

 More favorite ways to achieve a FRESH NURSERY:

  • ART  I love these flashcards from Martha at Michael’s but I think most places are sold out. No fear, how about ditching the ‘mass produced ‘ and going for real art for your littles. (Although if you find these, snatch them up..they are darling and cheap! ha!)

{Martha Stewart flashcards at Michaels}

If Martha isn’t available, no worries because there are so many amazing options on Etsy like this artist, Holly Lewis of  Tembo Studio.

She did the paperdolls at the top of the post…and she also does flashcards prints. The woman studied printmaking at Harvard for pete’s sake AND she is a mama! I love this source.

I also found these wonderful free downloads from a project called FEED YOUR SOUL  featured here..wonderful selection of fresh looking art and its FREE if you feel like printing your own!

Art is available everywhere…So inspire yourself and your little one with as much artwork as possible in the nursery!

  • FABRIC. Think soft colors or very careful use of bold.  Think non matchy for interest. Consider non-juvenile fabrics…like geometrics, retro prints, or even plain linen. Or toile. I still think toile when I think baby and that’s okay  But don’t be afraid to think outside of the box with fabric and color and go against usual gender trends like pink or blue.

 {I think these work for a boy or girl, what do you think? from fabric.com}

Which brings me to my next point…

  • COOL TOYS…This lion from blabla and available at Land of Nod or Layla Grace and other boutiques is nearly $50 but you don’t have to spend a lot to find cool toys…wooden or knit etc… Target and IKEA are selling a lot of things like this too. . .don’t just assume they are too expensive if you like the look.

{carrot car $2.99 from IKEA}

  • COLOR.  Again, you don’t have to stay gender specific though of course that tradition is always pretty.  But my favorite girl color combo is actually blue and red with just touches of pink.  In general, lots of white is no fail especially as a way to unite a mismatched room of furniture. AND GREY..oh mercy if I have another baby I promise you its crib will be grey or is it GRAY??  And these Jenny Lind cribs are cheap and easy to find and paint.  So don’t stress if you an expensive crib is not in your budget.


OTHER ITEMS I am loving right now or STILL LOVING for a fresh nursery look: 

  • anything industrial
  • wire baskets
  • old sign letters not cute matchy letters
  • vintage toys, baby clothes or books
  • plates on the wall
  • chalkboard on doors down low and in lighter colors like mocha or pink! 
  • vintage lights-chandeliers of industrial…endless options.even exterior lights!


Bottom line, a FRESH NURSERY may  have vintage items but mixed with a modern chair or geometric fabric and fresh textiles for an effortless look. It can be a delicate dance and daunting task to put together a room that doesn’t come on too strong but it’s worth the effort to create a room that soothes the senses on late nights and sweet days and inspires as your baby grows.

I leave you with this for inspiration and fun!

NOW GO MAKE A BABY!  Love, Holly

{digital collage by Tembo Studio



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  1. There must be something about the name Holly! Such talent! I love your fresh and unexpected ideas and of course I’m crazy about the unique artwork by Holly Lewis! It was an amazing experience to grow up with such a talented artist as my little sister. She inspires me…and so do you!

  2. I adored the post the Nester did on you and your work in nurseries, very inspiring, as is this post!! The next time I work on a nursery I am referring to this post! Janell

  3. Great post and too funny….I decided over the weekend I want a grey crib. I found one from a modern company called Oeuf but think I am going to go the paint my own route (nothing like waiting until the last minute). Any good recs on painting a crib (type of paint and method?) I’ve got a grey and pale yellow idea in mind and have a ton of memos on the way and hoping my vision comes together b/c I need to get moving at 32 weeks. BTW, I just added you to my blogroll….it took too long!

  4. Hey Holly, great post! Do you remember the name of the yellow/white grid fabric? I have been searching fabric.com and can’t find it. I”m thinking of using gray/yellow/brown in my boys’ new shared room and I like this fabric. Thanks!

  5. Hi Holly! I just found your blog and love it!! And, I love this post too – I couldn’t agree more w/all your nursery decor suggestions! I look forward to following!

  6. Really enjoyed this article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

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