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Simple and Serene Ocean Inspired Nursery


Putting together my sweet baby girl's ocean inspired nursery was hands down the most fun home decorating project I've ever tackled. I wanted to create a space that was simple, airy, feminine, and modern. It's easily my favorite room in the house.

Design Inspiration

My sweet grandmother, "Nanny",  passed away in June. She was so excited to know that she had a great-grand daughter on the way. I wanted to create a nursery that celebrated Nanny. Her favorite color was turquoise, and she absolutely loved the ocean. Her vintage moroccan-style pillow was the first piece I decided to use in the nursery and was the foundation for the design.

Decorating Style

Modern, simple and chic.

Project Details

When I first started designing the nursery, I was overwhelmed with all the possibilities. To organize my thoughts, I started mapping out several different mood boards to see what combinations I gravitated towards, and I landed on using lots of whites/creams, grays, turquoises/aquas, and pinks. Once I established the color scheme, the first project I tackled was the gallery wall. My sister took beautiful maternity photos that I wanted to incorporate so that was an easy decision. I absolutely love bright, abstract art and found the perfect print from Atlanta based artist, Britt Bass (I also ADORE this Beach Babes one that was recently added to the site; I think Chloe might need this one too!). I then found several different retro prints and photographs of the beach/ocean to bring that aspect into the room. The polaroid pictures are pinned with rounded wooden thumbtacks. It will be fun to swap these out with new pictures of Chloe as she grows!

Britt Bass Swoop Print I Tower #4 Print I Beach/Ocean Photographs I West Elm Polished Nickel Frames I White Ikea Frames (already had these around the house)

The crib and dresser was an easy choice for me. I had been eyeing the mid-century set from Dwell Studio, and when I saw it on sale, I had to have it. The color is a nice rich off-white, and I love the detailing.

To keep costs down, I decided to use the dresser as a changing table. The Keekaroo changing pad was super appealing because it doesn't require a changing pad cover (which means less laundry!). I had the turquoise cart already so I repurposed it into a diaper supply station. To finish off the dresser/changing area, I found a cute and inexpensive light at Ikea and displayed a couple of adorable baby shower gifts that fit the aesthetic of the room.

The crib sheets are a fun aztec print and feel very feminine with the light pink and white color combination. I decided to keep the wall bare above the crib to maintain simplicity and allow the adorable mermaid mobile (which was a gift from Chloe's sweet auntie) to pop.

Keekaroo Changing Pad in Vanilla I Ikea Cart I Freshly Picked Moccassins (I want a pair for Chloe in every color!) I BlaBla Mermaid Mobile I Crib Sheets I Moroccan Shag Rug

I love everything West Elm so it's no surprise I fell in love with their glider and ottoman. I love the modern design, but it's also super comfortable. The chair gives lots of head and neck support for late night feedings.  I added a little contrast and flair with the faux sheepskin rug. And the "For Like Ever" print adds some fun, modern spunk.

West Elm Graham Glider & Ottoman I Ikea Faux Sheepskin Throw I Super Rural "For Like Ever" Print

Chloe received a ton of books as baby shower gifts. Children's books are so colorful, they can double as wall art. I love the looks of the clear floating shelves, and I found inexpensive clear card display shelves that could function as book shelves.

The room needed some storage space for all of Chloe's toys and the rest of her books so we found an Ikea hack to convert a bookshelf into a storage unit. We found the fun flamingo in a boutique on our baby-moon, and it adds a nice pop of bright pink to the room. I opted to go with natural wood looking storage baskets to add some contrast against all the white and to tie into the other floor baskets around the room.

Clear Bookshelves (I used the 30") I Ikea Bookshelf I Ikea Baskets I Floor Baskets from TJ Maxx

I had so many pieces that I wanted to display somewhere in the nursery - things that were either gifted to Chloe, things that I bought for Chloe while I was pregnant, and some other items we already had, including the Peter Rabbit books my husband had when he was a little boy. I found some inexpensive, simple lined shelves at The Home Depot (warning: they weren't the easiest things to install) and had fun filling the shelves with all the goodies.

I have a slight obsession with anything blabla. Everything in the store is SO dreamy. Luckily, the flagship store is in Atlanta, and I waited for their annual Sample Sale to snag the knit dolls that are sitting on the display shelves.

One of my favorite pieces is the custom cross-stitch hoop that says "You are loved oceans and oceans." Before my Nanny passed away, I asked her if she knew how much I loved her, and she responded with "oceans and oceans". I wanted to capture this in the nursery somehow. It's such a sweet way to describe how much we love little Chloe. I love how dainty cross-stitch hoops are, but I'm  no cross-stitch expert. I stumbled upon colleen_stitches on Instagram, and she brought this to life.

On the opposite side of the room, there's a narrow wall space between the doorway and the closet. We decided to keep things simple here and paired the metal "C" for "Chloe" with the heart hook wall decor for hanging things like bibs, clothes, and towels.

White Display Shelves I Mermaid & Lamb Knit Dolls I Metal Letter "C" I Heart with Hooks


Favorite Items

It's really hard to choose one favorite item because I love everything in the room so much, but I'd have to say it's a tie between my Nanny's vintage pillow and the blabla mermaid mobile because they both make me smile each time I look at them.


Organize Your Ideas

Start with a mood board (or multiple mood boards) to organize all the options you're  considering. Include images of the art, furniture, rugs, and other things you are eyeing as well as color swatches.

Prioritize Your Big Ticket Items

To keep things budget friendly, prioritize the items that are most important to you that you don't mind splurging a bit on. For us, it was the crib, dresser, and glider/ottoman. For the rest of the room, search places like Ikea, TJ Maxx, as well as your own house for things that you can use.

Keep Things Simple & Sentimental 

Don't be afraid to keep some walls bare and to not fill each nook and cranny of the nursery with things. Using lots of whites and creams with pops of color provides a calmness to the room while also giving you the opportunity to bring some fun personality and femininity to the room. For me, it was extremely important to have lots of sentimental value to the room. I can't wait to tell my baby girl about her Great-Nanny, and this nursery helps me tell the story.



Saturday 28th of November 2015

LOVE my sweet niece's nursery! My sister did such an amazing job creating the perfect serene nursery for that sweet bundle of girl.