Designing a Nursery that’s Unique to You

September 15, 2019

By Meghan Basinger

This post was written to contribute to the topic of In the Home and Motherhood for the What Lola Likes blog by Meghan Basinger. All facts, opinions, and professional tips are Meghan’s.

How do you design a space for a boy after five years of pale pink and princesses? Is it weird that it was the first question that popped into my head when the ultrasound technician announced our third, and final baby, would be a boy? Designing rooms for our girls is was nudged me to turn my passion into a career as an interior designer – and here I was, feeling stumped.

Our girls’ shared room:

Photography by Alea Moore

Our most recent “girl” nursery:

Photography by Alea Moore

One-week post-partum and I’m realizing I should have been more concerned with learning diapering strategies specific to a boy…but once a designer, always a designer!

Here are a few things that helped guide my design process. If you work through a room with a checklist that’s relevant to YOU, I guarantee you’ll be happier with the end result than you would be with a simple copy/paste of a room you saw on Pinterest. 

1. Last Baby + The “Non-Nursery”

We knew this was our last baby, so the thought of creating a traditional nursery and splurging on a glider that we’ll only use for a year or two didn’t appeal to me. And candidly, there are some “nursery essentials” I’ve skipped on since kid #1…I’m looking at you changing table. Get yourself a dreamy dresser you can use for years, and change that babe with a pad on the floor!

I wanted to design a space he could grow into – a more sophisticated look with non-committal “baby” touches. For example: a moody, vertical shiplap wall vs. playful, themed-wallpaper. Three years from now we’ll trade the crib for a full-size bed and call it a day!

Photography by Alea Moore
Photography by Alea Moore

2. Don’t Put Yourself in a “Style” Box

Don’t ask me what my style is – I couldn’t tell you. I’m not a big fan of labels: farmhouse, modern, bohemian. The best rooms incorporate various styles, with color and texture.

Let me explain: ever walk into a décor store and feel like it threw-up all things “farmhouse”? All white everything, “gather” signs and wood-accents galore. I love some elements of the farmhouse craze, but you don’t want to smother a room with it. For the nursery, we brought in texture with our accent chair, pendant light and baskets. We opted for a sleek, modern, gold-framed mirror. It’s all about finding the right balance and mixing complimentary styles.

Photography by Alea Moore
Photography by Alea Moore

3. Keep it Simple – Less is More

We all know babies come with a lot of stuff. Which is why I wanted to keep our nursery clean + simple…he’ll no doubt take care of filling it as the years pass. Our accent wall and artwork were the driving forces behind the room design. I knew I wanted a bold, moody color on vertical shiplap (vertical is more modern than the traditional, horizontal shiplap) and I wanted a piece of art to run the length of the crib. I partnered with Atlanta-artist, Hannah Joiner, to commission a painting that was moody and romantic. I wanted an abstract nod to the rolling hills of Ireland and Scotland. My husband is a big golfer and has his heart set on playing courses in these countries – this was as close to a “theme” as I was willing to get…that and a couple nods to dinosaurs, since our son gets his name from the author of Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton.

Because the accent wall and art command your attention in the room, I didn’t feel the need to fill the other walls with a lot of little things. We incorporated special touches – vintage golf prints, a framed drawing of Baby Crichton done by my oldest, etc. – but otherwise, the space is clutter-free.

Photography by Alea Moore
Photography by Alea Moore
Photography by Alea Moore
Photography by Alea Moore

I’m all for Pinterest and the wealth of inspo it provides – but it can also rob us of our own creativity. The best rooms, especially nurseries because there’s room to be playful and think outside-the-box, are unique. Incorporate something special to your family. Find that one “wow” element to carry the room. You’ll know you’ve nailed it when you find yourself lingering outside the door to admire your work…anxiously awaiting baby’s arrival!

Happy designing! 

For more details + sources for this nursery, visit


Meghan Basinger is a lifestyle blogger + interior designer in Atlanta, Ga. She’s a wife and mother to three young children (Bauer, Kingsley + Crichton). She talks about everything from motherhood to home decor on and prides herself on sharing an authentic look at the joys and challenges of this stage of life. You can follow Meghan on Instagram at @megbasinger.