I love coastal style, but when it comes to nautical nurseries, many are often too cutesy for my taste. So I sought to create a modern, preppy space for my son by starting with some neutrals plus shades of deep blue and green, and then added nautical patterns and textures and some natural elements to his nursery design.
When it comes to decorating any room, I always start with one key inspiration piece and then proceed from there. By choosing a single piece that I absolutely love, I can use this as my guide for selecting the other furniture, decorative items, and anything else I need. For my son’s nursery, my inspiration piece was the adorable personalized oars artwork that I purchased from Minted. I just love that print — it’s sweet but also sophisticated and has beautiful, bright colors.
Per usual, I created this room on a budget. The IKEA Hemnes dresser was a Craigslist score (I swapped out the hardware so that it looked less IKEA-ish), the navy rug is from Safavieh which I purchased on Amazon for only $79, and I took advantage of sales and coupons to purchase other key items from retailers like Minted, Pottery Barn Kids and The Land of Nod.
You can see more photos and the full list of sources on my blog, Kate Decorates: https://www.katedecorates.co/decorating-ideas-tips/a-modern-nautical-nursery/
I didn’t have the luxury of nesting slowly, as we were in a tiny apartment while I was expecting and building this home. We moved in when my son was four weeks old, just in time to transition him to his crib! Without going too “theme-ish” (especially with the name CREW!) I wanted to pull together a look and feel that wasn’t too specific. It began with the sailboat mobile (the one and only item my husband fell pretty hard for!) and the room grew around that. The coordinates above his changing table are the coordinates of the hospital in which he was born, and the small watercolor print was created by a close friend. The wall color is Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt”.
Decorating without the actual space to reference meant there were a couple of surprises. Like it hadn’t clicked for me that when considering wall space and furniture arrangement, his double closet doors weren’t the folding kind — they were full size, swing-open doors. I love that style so much more, but it ate up some space along the south wall! Crew’s nursery was the first room we put together when we moved in and it instantly helped us feel we were settled in our home!
When we found out our baby was a boy, I knew the nursery would be nautical. We used anchors on our wedding invitations, and I love the crisp, classic feel of white and navy. I also knew I loved the clean, bright look of white furniture in a nursery. We already had some nautical decor items in our guest room which I was able to move into the nursery, meaning we spent less on new accents. Finally, I wanted the nursery to have a more sophisticated vibe, and not feel too “babyish” or cartoony. Of course our budget wasn’t going to allow furnishing the nursery from PBKids, but their style was definitely a big inspiration.
Lessons Learned designing our nursery:
An inspiration board is worth your time Taking the time to make and filter an inspiration board on pinterest allowed me to see what images I kept coming back to, and the similarities between them. I was able to define our nursery style and be more focused about what items to spend on to get a unified look.
Save big with used items Craigslist is a great source for nursery items. While resources I read discouraged buying a used crib, there are many other items available. We found our PBKids wall-mount book rack for a fraction of the cost new, and I have also seen gliders and bedding sets available.
Open a credit card and stack discounts If you are looking to purchase a larger furniture item, opening a credit card at Babies R Us is an amazing way to save money. We were able to add our glider to our registry, then open a credit card and receive both a registry completion discount and new credit card discount. Combined with gift cards received at showers, this made it possible for us to purchase our glider.
The Clearance section is your best friend Confession- I am extremely indecisive. I could spend hours looking at the nautical decor at T J Maxx trying to decide what would work best and where. Second confession- I am all about a good deal. So, while I would like to say it was impeccable taste that helped me choose these items, the truth is that it was often about price. Just a few of the items I found on clearance – starfish artwork (no way would I pay $59.99!), blackout curtains, lantern, canvas boat artwork, navy and white oar, driftwood whale wall art, side table (It was originally golden yellow but a steal at $29.99 then I just spray painted it gray).
We love seeing a fresh take on a traditional theme, so when we first spotted the nautical nursery that Amy Davidson and her husband designed for their son Lennox, we knew we just had to get the full scoop. […]
I have always loved the water and basically “grew” up on a boat. My husband shares the same passion as I do and we have become “the boaters” to our friends and family. We love the nautical life and wanted to express that by creating a nursery for our first child that would feel calm and inviting just like the water is to us.
My husband and I were both raised around water and we wanted something that would grow with my son. I got lots of inspiration from Pinterest and Project Nursery. My husband found the dresser and changing table online and used chalk paint to redo them. He also made the shelf and added the chair railing. We got the bedding, crib and Artwork from Restoration Hardware. My Dad made the rocking boat and him and my Mom made the sign behind the crib.