10 Design Elements for a Chic, Modern Nursery

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Playful Midcentury Modern Nursery Features Gray Furnishings & Yellow Accents

Playful Midcentury Modern Nursery Features Gray Furnishings & Yellow Accents

Not the nursery we grew up with, Pattern Play is a result of the client’s love of graphic patterns and color. This long room lacked architectural features. What seemed like a negative became the perfect playground for the offbeat mix of patterns, texture and color. The main challenge in the space was a balancing act on how to make all these patterns and colors work. In this corner of the room, designer Karen Wolf used mustard yellow as a powerful accent color against the black and white wallpaper and gray furnishings. Tricks of the Trade: 1. Create a focal point in the room. 2. Pop your accent color at least three times around the room. Note the mustard yellow. 3. Ground your space with neutrals to provide a place for the eye to rest. (Crème shag and gray Jim Thompson textured wallpaper). 4. Use black, white or gray. There is always a place for these classic colors. Ferm Living Half Moon Wallpaper. 5. Change up scale of patterns. Medium sized wallpaper print, large stripes and small bedding prints. 6. Mix up the patterns: Circles, Stripes, Brushstrokes, Chevron, Ditsy, Solid and Abstract. 7. Throw in an unexpected color – Red art. 8. Play with sheen and lustre, high to low. 9. Have fun and let yourself go. Design is a layering process and sometimes you need to delayer, start over and layer again. Mistakes happen and that is OK.

Photo by: Christian Garibaldi

Christian Garibaldi

Remember when you could toss up a duck or princess wallpaper border, paint the walls pastel pink or blue and your baby's nursery was done? Well, nursery design has come a long way since then. The trend for nurseries is to create a modern, sophisticated space that blends in seamlessly with the decor throughout the rest of your home, much like this chic nursery by designer Karen Wolf.

We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite modern nursery design elements for you to try in your own home.

1: Wallpaper

White Transitional Baby Girl Nursery

White Transitional Baby Girl Nursery

This fashionable transitional baby's room does not skimp on designer touches, from the wallpaper that pops with eye catching color to the crystal chandelier that illuminates the room. The furnishings were kept white giving a sense of space and peace while allowing the more colorful elements of the room to shine.

Photo by: Lisa Romerein

Lisa Romerein

Adding wallpaper to your nursery is a great way to instantly bring in some modern style. Plus, it could save you from the panic many of us experience when having to choose a paint color. This sweet space by Wick Design is a great example of how you can easily incorporate a pretty wallpaper in your nursery’s design scheme.

2: Fresh Hues

Midcentury Modern Nursery With Yellow Striped Rug, Eames Chair

Midcentury Modern Nursery With Yellow Striped Rug, Eames Chair

This midcentury modern nursery features a white crib, blue Eames rocking chair, white Roman shades, and a striped yellow rug. A white nightstand provides storage and supports a blue midcentury modern table lamp.

Photo by: Ben Gebo

Ben Gebo

Skip the pastels and go for a fresh, modern color palette like designer Amanda Reid did in this nursery. This bright yellow and turquoise combo could work perfect for either a boy or a girl’s room. Light accessories and furniture pair well with the pops of color throughout the space.

3: Fun Art

Gender-Neutral Nursery

Gender-Neutral Nursery

The second floor gender-neutral nursery with teal blue walls and playful patterns includes a convertible crib, lots of storage options and the latest in technology that helps create a safe environment for a new baby.

Photo by: Robert Peterson/Rustic White Photography ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Robert Peterson/Rustic White Photography, 2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

An easy way to instantly add a modern vibe to your nursery is with some cool artwork. Designer Tiffany Brooks chose two pieces which blend in seamlessly with her color palette. Hung next to one another, they create a stunning focal point.

4: Unexpected Patterns

Leather Glider in Gray & Orange Nursery

Leather Glider in Gray & Orange Nursery

When spending money on the design for nurseries and/or children's rooms, it's okay to splurge on pieces that have longevity. The splurge in this nursery was the leather-upholstered glider, which is durable enough to last and stylish enough to potentially work in a different room.

Midcentury modern-inspired fabrics and patterns help this nursery by designer Brian Patrick Flynn really stand out from the crowd. This space is a great reminder that there's no need to stick to expected fabrics and patterns, and stepping outside the box often creates stunning results.

5: Mirrors

Midcentury Modern Nursery With Whale-Patterned Wallpaper

Midcentury Modern Nursery With Whale-Patterned Wallpaper

Taupe walls, a bright blue glider and lime green accents balance the black in this dark nursery. Bold black-and-white whale-patterned wallpaper creates a bold focal wall, which is broken up by a solid black dresser.

Photo by: karen wolf

karen wolf

Adding a mirror is another great trick for amping up the modern feel of a nursery. This bright green mirror in a nursery by designer Karen Wolf brings a fresh, fun pop to the room.

6: Gallery Wall

Chic, Understated Gallery Wall in Girl's Nursery

Chic, Understated Gallery Wall in Girl's Nursery

A simple gallery wall adorns the space above the crib in this girl's nursery. Accessories are fun feminine but will adapt well as she grows.

Photo by: Ball & Albanese

Ball & Albanese

Once you add some cool art, consider using it to create a gallery wall. Chango and Co. used a variety of framed prints in this lovely nursery to create a unique gallery wall in the space above the crib.

7: Paint the Ceiling

Gray Modern Nursery With Orange Striped Ceiling

Gray Modern Nursery With Orange Striped Ceiling

Baby's living the stylish life in this cheery modern nursery that features gray walls and wide orange and white stripes creating a canopy out of the ceiling. An intricate blue pattern on the white floor rug brings another colorful, graphic dimension to the space.

Photo by: Kari McIntosh Dawdy

Kari McIntosh Dawdy

Another fun, unexpected design touch is to paint the ceiling like designer Kari McIntosh Dawdy did in this space. The orange stripes draw the eyes up and complement the gray color scheme of the room.

8: Vintage-Inspired Rug

Girl's Nursery With Soft Pastel Palette

Girl's Nursery With Soft Pastel Palette

A soft pastel nursery combines romantic and contemporary styles. The round mirror hung over the dresser features beautiful patina that brings out the slight blue shades throughout the decor. A mint medallion area rug adds style underfoot, while the abstract art above the crib is custom painted to match the palette of the room.

Photo by: Full Spectrum Photography

Full Spectrum Photography

It might seem strange to include a vintage-inspired rug in a modern nursery; however, using a piece like this actually brings an extra level of texture and interest to a space. Little Crown Interiors used a light blue rug to add a splash of color to this otherwise light, neutral nursery.

9: Bold Light Fixture

Eclectic Bohemian Nursery With Arrow Wallpaper

Eclectic Bohemian Nursery With Arrow Wallpaper

Black and white arrow-printed wallpaper sets the tone for this eclectic, mature nursery. A turquoise, over-dyed rug brings a playful pop of color to the neutral space. Scandinavian-style furniture is both sleek and gender-neutral.

Photo by: Scott Hargis Photo

Scott Hargis Photo

If you can only make one or two changes in your nursery, focusing on your lighting is a great first step. Choose something bold like this MCM-inspired piece in a room by designer Regan Baker to work as a centerpiece.

10: Updated Themes

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Art Wall

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Art Wall

A gallery wall of transportation prints makes a colorful, fun backdrop to the sleek gray crib in this boy's nursery. Visual texture and tactile appeal is brought in through a mix of patterns from the graphic curtains to the blue-and-white gingham rocking chair and faux fur area rug.

Photo by: Jacob Snavely

Jacob Snavely

If you love the idea of a themed room, take a cue from Chango and Co. and update it in a modern and sophisticated way. In this example, they took the simple theme of cars and made it feel new by using framed, vintage-inspired prints from the same artist.

40+ Designer Kids' Spaces: Playrooms, Bedrooms, Nurseries and More

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Check out our top interior-designed kids' rooms, from playful theme rooms to contemporary teen retreats to calming nurseries.

Bunk Beds, Model Airplane Display Set the Stage for Fun Sleepovers

A pair of bunk beds makes this the perfect spot for sleepovers. A fun black-and-white pattern is carried from the triangle wall decals to the graphic-print bedspreads and white, Danish-style furniture. Model airplanes are hung in a group from the ceiling to give this kids' room its own mini airshow.

Dream Playroom Features Teepee, Rope Swings and Floor Cushions

Chango and Co. created every child's dream play space in this expansive playroom. Floor mattresses line one wall and are topped with playful throw pillows for crashing, a teepee provides a place for dreaming, and rope swings hang from the ceiling for extra fun. A bold Swiss cross pattern livens up the walls, and black trim highlights the architectural features of the room.

Black and White Playroom Designed to Encourage Joyful Play

Designed to encourage joyful play, this expansive play space is packed with fun features that will lift the spirits of all who enter it. The crisp white walls boast a Swiss cross pattern and are trimmed in black to highlight the architectural details of the room. The highlights of the space are the expansive stretch of cushions topped with colorful throw pillows and ceiling-hung rope swings.

Girl's Bedroom Featuring Watermelon Wall Print and Subtle Neon Accents

A watermelon wall print sets a playful tone in this girl's bedroom and is punctuated by neon accents that both add additional liveliness to the room while remaining subtle.

Photo By: Sean Litchfield Photography

Pink Girls' Bedroom With White Poster Bed and Chandelier

A white poster bed with soft, pink bedding is framed by paintings of ballerinas, while an ornate chandelier and custom-made tufted door design add elements of elegance fit for a young girl.

Ballerina Bedroom

This ballerina bedroom is a little girl's dream. Featuring victorian furniture and opulent finishes, this bedroom is made grand with oversize wood trim, curtains, and chandeliers. The seat at the dressing table is wrapped in tulle and a chaise lounge for relaxing is nearby.

Girl's Feminine Room with Muted Pink Floral Wallpaper

A mod take on a feminine floral and an upholstered princess bed form a dreamy, tranquil haven for a young girl in the city. The reflective surfaces of nightstands and lamps brighten the soft space, and layered aqua bedding is luxurious and lovely.

Girl's Room With Wall of Storage and Bright Yellow Curtains

A custom, upholstered pin board with turquoise ribbon ties in with the latticed lines of the bedding in this sweet girl's room. Floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinets maximize storage in the close space, while broad windows framed with yellow pinstriped curtains offer a breathtaking waterfront view.

Bright Blue Feathered Pendant Light in Contemporary Study

A bright blue feathered pendant light sets the color scheme for this contemporary study. The design is finished off with a blue rug, a pair of yellow armchairs, a built-in tufted bench and a wall of built-in bookshelves that organizes books by color.

Dreamy Kid's Travel-Themed Bedroom With Airplane-Shaped Bed

For the kid who loves planes, an aviation-inspired bedroom is the dream. A retro biplane bed sits in the center of the room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling maps, painted clouds on a tray ceiling and a compass-shaped ceiling medallion.

Travel-Inspired Kids' Bedroom With Airplane Bed

This travel-inspired kids' bedroom features wall-to-wall map murals, including artwork on the tray ceiling, an over-the-top airplane bed where the "pilot" can board his or her bed via built-in steps, and a cozy, cushioned daybed with underseat storage and extra pillows for comfort.

Contemporary Girls Room with Pink Accent Wall

This contemporary girls bedroom is chock full of romantic touches, from the shell pink wallpaper to the pintucked bedding to the ornate frames adorning one otherwise clean, white wall. A modern acrylic chair is whimsical when paired with more traditional pieces, like the pair of mirrored nightstands and tufted headboard.

Playful Blue and Orange Nursery is Mod, Fun

The parents are avid bicycle riders, and they wanted their son's room to reflect their love. The bicycle ceiling fixture is painted a bold orange to match the colorful area rug, and a rope floor lamp is topped with a playful bicycle lamp shade. Light wood furniture is the perfect complement to the bold colors of the space.

Rustic Home Office With Wall of Shelves

This home office features floating shelves adorned with fun childhood toys. Two desks are put together for a work space that both kids and adults can enjoy.

From: Robin LaMonte

Photo By: Christina Wedge

Bold Black Contemporary Teen Study With Green Accents

The dark walls of this study are painted in black chalkboard paint, allowing its young users to doodle while bringing drama to the space and making accent colors pop. With its big, graphic rug and range of seating options, the room has space for lounging, studying, TV viewing, gaming and more.

Blue and White Contemporary Kid's Room With Geometric Carpet

The geometric print FLOR carpet squares freshen up the design of this fun kid's bedroom. Sconces in each bunk are controlled by individual switches so young occupants can get in late night comic book reading without disturbing nearby sleepers.

Modern Nursery Boasts Geometric Wallpaper

This nursery designed by Linc Thelen features simple furnishings and geometric patterns that will work as Baby gets older.

Kid's Green and White Contemporary Room With Swing

This adorable contemporary kid's room is a playful style wonderland. A child-sized loft in the back makes a sweet tucked-away play space. A hammock swing waits to be curled up in. And the green, white and orange palette is one that stretches across genders and ages.

Girl's Bedroom With Coral Dresser and Light Blue Accent Wall

A beautiful coral dresser separates the twin beds in this shared girl's bedroom. Floral throw pillows add a mix of great colors and echo the pink border of the bright bed linens. A light aqua accent wall with sunburst decoration brings life and light to the design.

Purple Nursery With Silver Crown

Sleeping Beauty would love to put her baby down for a nap in this palace of a nursery. A silver crown hovers above the crib and black and white polka dot curtains crisply offset all the lavender.

Twin Girl Nursery With Pink Velvet Tufted Cribs and Blue Damask Canopies

This twin girls' nursery feels like you've entered an angelic, beautiful space that overcomes your senses with a calming, happy feeling. Pink velvet tufted cribs, blue damask canopies lined with pink linen and an elegant chandelier bring a dramatic and feminine look to the space. The sides of the canopy are trimmed with a combination of blue fringe and pearl strands. French-inspired furnishings from AFK are hand painted with metallic accents to complete the space.

Large Playroom With Jungle-Patterned Sofas

Two jungle-print sofas provide comfy seating and add fun style to this large playroom. The room has different seating zones, with plenty of open floor space for playing.

Bold Playroom

This kids playroom has bold colors. There are several zones within the 1200 square foot space allowing for more than one activity at a time. The cover on the day bed is made from Sunbrella material so it is incredibly durable, perfect for kids.

Brown and Pink Girl's Nursery With Crown

Here's a nursery fit for a little princess! A crown makes a gauzy canopy above Baby's bed, offset by damask wallpaper. The palette is soft browns and pale pink, soothing and sweetly girly.

Baby Katie's Purple Nursery

A well dressed room layers colors, textures, wall treatments, lighting and accessories. From the silk valance to the paisley wall paper to the interesting floor lamp, this nursery hits all of those points. And with a sweet palette of purples, gray and green, this room is ready for baby but will continue to suit her as she grows up.

Photo By: Stephanie Avila

Smart Young Girl's Room with Lots of Color

With the addition of a yellow chevron rug, white desk and pink poufs this bedroom is now bright, smart and perfect for a fun-loving young woman.

Photo By: Debbie Perez

Twin Girls' Nursery With Pink Velvet Tufted Crib

The vision for this space was to make it as magical as possible and to feel like you've entered an angelic, beautiful space that overcame your senses with a calming, happy feeling. Pink velvet tufted cribs and blue damask crib canopies trimmed with a combination of blue fringe and pearl strands create a stylish and dramatic look. French-inspired furnishings from AFK are hand painted with metallic accents and add a beautiful touch.

Spacious Girl's Room With Pink Accessories, Bunk Beds & Doll House

What little girl wouldn't love a bed for her -- and her dolls! This large, neutral space also features large windows, bunk beds, pink accessories, kid-height closets and -- of course -- a dollhouse!

Yellow Transitional Kid's Room With Gallery Wall

Doing homework just got ever so much more fun: This cheery room sets up a desk with a bright yellow chair opposite a rainbow-colored gallery wall filled with framed kid art. At the end of the room, brainstorm in style on the graphic print sofa.

Lavender and Green Girl's Room With Curved Wall of Windows

A curved wall of windows defines this girl's room as anything but run of the mill. Cheery lavender patterned shades and curtains complement the green loveseat and chairs, while a large area rug provides a soft place on which little ones can play.

Contemporary Kid's Bedroom in Blue With Polar Bear Shelf

Blue and white striped walls in this contemporary kid's room add a youthful touch to the space. A plush, teal beanbag is a perfect place to relax while the polar bear shaped shelf adds just the right amount of fun.

Photo By: Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Modern Kid's Library Features Low Built-In Bookshelves

Low built-in bookshelves allow kids to pick out their favorite books without asking for help from an adult. Plush orange bean bags are a kid-friendly addition to this modern library.

Girl's Bedroom With Slide

This modern white bedroom keeps it fun with an indoor slide and colorful artwork which serves as a one-of-a-kind headboard.

Photo By: Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Modern Playroom Features Vibrant Red Striped Walls

Two bold red stripes add a splash of color to the walls of this modern playroom. Six mod orange chairs surround a rectangular metal table to provide plenty of space to build blocks or color.

Multicolored Contemporary Rustic Nursery With Wood Paneling

Unfinished wood makes for a cool accent wall in this contemporary nursery where bright colors and bold patterns create a whimsical wonderland. The flexible design scheme will delight its occupant for years to come.

Traditional Blue Bedroom With Venetian Mirrors and Fairy Tale Murals

From years of interior design experience and with a child’s personal tastes and interests in mind, comes one of the most enchanting bedrooms. The fairy tale mural adds magic to the space.

Contemporary Kid's Bedroom With Bunk Bed Slide

Painted clouds and city streets provide a fun and playful backdrop for this kid's bedroom. The contemporary bunk bed includes a fireman pole and slide for exciting exits from the top bunk. A hanging globe chair creates a comfortable swing above the blue and green checked rug, and an airplane light fixture is the perfect touch to complete the space.

Girl's Playroom With Pink and White Oversize Beanbag Chairs, Benches With Drawer Storage Large Patterned Floor Rug

This spacious play room leaves lots of open floor space for maneuvering. Large beanbag chairs provide cozy, contemporary seating. A large patterned rug beautifully compliments the hot pink and white details in the design. Giraffe and elephant patterned throw pillows and alphabet wood furniture piece bring traditional nursery themes with an updated look.

Girl's Bedroom Brimming with Whimsy

This girl's room blends styles, patterns and colors in fun and whimsical ways. An allover pattern of elephants dressed in pink adorns a single accent wall, bringing attention to the bed. White walls, furniture and bedding allow the pink accessories to pop. A traditional rug continues the pink and coral palette.

Neutral Kids' Room with Multiple Bunk Beds

Colorful and distinctive bedding turns each compartment of this fun kid's space into a private haven, despite the uniformity of the design. Built-in bunk beds with integrated ladders make maximum use of the room's square footage.

Aqua Teen Bedroom Is Stylish, Cheerful

Vibrant aqua walls set the tone for a fun, cheerful teen bedroom. A grand four poster bed lends sophistication to the space, and varying shades of blue add depth and interest.

Photo By: Jenkins Custom Homes Design+Build

Transitional Boy's Nursery With Black and White Striped Accent Wall

A black and white striped accent wall showcases multicolored letters in this boy's nursery. Green patterned crib cushions are matched with a green spotted rug and monogrammed green throw pillow. A gray chevron light fixture and black and white graphic curtain add more pleasing patterns to the mix.

Gorgeous Eclectic Boy's Nursery With Bold Graphic Designs

A natural wood accent wall sets a lovely textured background for the mix of wall decor in this beautiful boy's nursery. Inspirational quotes, a labradoodle and creative book page letters keep the nursery happy and colorful. Bigger pops of bright color come from the graphic patterns on the rug, crib cushions, ottoman and throw pillow and the vibrant navy blue velvet armchair.

Kid's Blue Contemporary Room with Yellow Accents

Yellow hanging lights and bed linens pop against bright blue walls in this contemporary kid's room. In the corner, multicolored chairs surround a small white table perfect for arts and crafts or tea parties.

Photo By: Donna Dotan Photography

Kid's Pink Contemporary Room with Colorful Accessories

Bold, colorful accessories pop in this soft pink, contemporary kid's room. Turquoise light fixtures hang over a white bed with pink and orange pillows creating a fun, vibrant space.

Photo By: Donna Dotan Photography

Kids' Bunk Room Features Fresh Coastal Design

Shiplap walls and white built-in bunk beds pair with sisal-style flooring and nautical light fixtures for a coastal look in this kids' room. A lifeguard chair and surfboard complete the whimsically beautiful design.

From: Blackband Design and GrayStone Custom Builders

Multicolored Contemporary Nursery With Sparrow Wallpaper

The whimsical sparrow wallpaper served as the inspiration jumping off point for this charming nursery. Walls were kept a soft neutral to allow the wallpaper to stand out, and another bold pattern was introduced in the yellow and white rug.

Blue Contemporary Media Room and Playspace

A no-holds-barred approach to decorating results in a whimsical undersea adventure in this media room and playspace. Shell-shaped theater seats and a treasure chest-turned-entertainment console create a focal point on one wall, while colorful murals and built-in seating are presented on the adjacent wall.

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