I’ve been designing nurseries for about ten years now, and I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Most nursery trends blow up, stick around for a little while and then fizzle out after a short while (as is the nature of trends). However, there is one trend that has been consistently popular for several years, and only seems to be getting more prominent in nursery designs all over the web and social media. The most interesting thing about this trend is that it’s not a pattern, texture, color or even design element. It’s a very specific item: The Little Darlings from The Animal Print Shop.
I first started getting asked about these photos from clients about four years ago, and I’m still getting flooded with requests for them today. Their popularity is so widespread that even Restoration Hardware noticed and picked up the line for RH Baby & Child. The Project Nursery Shop carries some as well!
So what’s the big deal with these photos anyway? Well, they are adorable, simple, know no gender and match virtually any decor, from traditional to modern and everywhere in between. It’s the perfect formula for a nursery decor smash success.
When a trend like this pops up, I always like to have some alternatives ready for clients who want something a little different or perhaps don’t have the budget for the original item. The Little Darlings can be pricey, especially if you want to display multiple. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite animal art alternatives to widen the pool of options when it comes to adorable animals in the nursery.
The first alternative is watercolor artist Natalie Groves via Minted. Her pieces have a beautiful and serene quality, and remain sophisticated and gender-neutral. They can also be used in a traditional or modern space depending on how they are framed.
If you love the idea of animal photography, but want a little more whimsy, this print set from Gooseberry Studios is the way to go. Each photo only shows an animal’s ears, which leaves something to the imagination, but also inspires learning and listening skills for children.
“Good Listening” Print Set from Gooseberry Studios
I just love this collection of baby animal paintings by artist Brett Blumenthal. Each one has such an adorable sweetness. My favorite thing about these is that they are actually canvas wraps, rather than prints, which means they don’t need to be framed and are safer to use in a nursery, especially over the crib.
Keep in mind that following a trend doesn’t have to mean following it to the letter. It’s always fun to look for alternatives that are just a tad more unique to you, but if you love the original, then that’s great too!