Nursery Inspiration: Into the Woods

Forest motifs, a palette of blue and yellow hues, and clean-lined furnishings—see how to put together your own gorgeous, nature-themed baby room with tips from Kimberly Valente of Laurel & Wolf.
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By Julia Wang, Editorial Director
Updated September 17, 2020
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The look:

Modern woodland nursery

The inspiration:

The design came from the desire to create a nursery that’s gender neutral and could work for a newborn, toddler and even a young child. I always build the design of a room around a piece that the client loves—it could be a large piece of furniture or a small piece of art, but something that she loves looking at and feel inspired by. In this case, I built the room around the adorable woodland animal mobile that I found on Etsy. From there, I selected the larger pieces of furniture in natural wood tones: the crib, the changing table/dresser and the glider. Then I added in other woodland-themed elements, including the birch tree forest wallpaper, the bedding, the fawn clock and the pretty brass curtain tie-backs that look like tree branches. I rounded out the design with a warm sunny yellow area rug, window treatments and a neutral paint color to make the space cozy and relaxing for both baby and family.

The splurge:

When it comes to designing a nursery, I recommend splurging on the crib. Look for one that can be converted into a toddler bed so you can get the most use out of it. The crib and other large pieces of furniture should be gender neutral, to easily pass them on from one child to the next. With this design, the dresser/changing table is also convertible; the changing table can be removed from the top of the dresser so it becomes another furniture piece that can grow with the child.

Image: Laurel & Wolf

4 takeaway tips:

  1. Order the crib early. There can be a long lead time, and you don’t want to cut it close with the delivery, since the placement of other items in the room will likely depend upon the location of the crib. Getting the crib early also gives you time to return it if there’s a problem with it.
  2. Position the crib away from windows, so sunlight or headlights from passing cars don’t affect baby’s sleep.
  3. Place an area rug next to the crib even if the room has wall-to-wall carpeting. The rug will protect your floors and add some softness to the space. If you’re putting the area rug on a wood or tile floor, remember to use a nonskid carpet pad underneath. This particular area rug comes in a variety of sizes to suit different room layouts.
  4. Paint the room at least a few weeks prior to baby’s arrival so you can air out the space. Also consider using a low- or no-VOC paint, like Benjamin Moore Natura.

The focal piece:

The birch-tree wallpaper is customizable to fit any size wall. You can order it as a reusable peel-and-stick decal or as permanent vinyl wallpaper. Pixersize also has awesome videos on its website that show you how to install it—no experience necessary!

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The finishing touches:

The artwork can be put up as in a gallery, with all four pictures grouped together, or spread throughout the room. The prints are 8 by 10 inches. Depending on the size of the room and the amount of wall space you have, you can put them as is in same-size frames or make the artwork appear larger by using a crisp white matte and bigger frames.

Shop the look:

Wallpaper: Pixers birch trunks, Pixers
Paint: Aura interior paint in Jute AF-80, $70 per gallon, Benjamin Moore
Curtains: Line Up Curtain Panels, from $39, The Land of Nod
Area rug: Gold Bars rug, from $299, The Land of Nod
Artwork: Woodland Animals nursery art, $40, Rome Creations,
Glider: Custom Upholstered Charleston glider in Spring Quartz, $500, Little Castle, Target
Ottoman: Custom Upholstered Charleston ottoman in Spring Quartz, $190, Little Castle, Target
Dresser: Mid-Century Espresso dresser, $949, Dwell Studio
Crib: 3-in-1 convertible crib with toddler rail, $379, Babyletto, Target
Mobile: Hanging Whimsical Woodland Creatures mobile, $88, Carrot Fever,
Clock: Fawn on Forest time clock, $68, The Land of Nod
Crib sheet: Nature Trail crib sheet, from $24, The Land of Nod
Quilt: Zachy baby quilt, $60, Overstock
Curtain tieback: Branch curtain tie-back, $16, Urban Outfitters

Laurel & Wolf’s mission is to help everyone design the life they deserve. It’s easy: Fill out a design brief, see inspirational design boards from designers, choose a winning design and get started! Learn more here.

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