Looking for baby boy nursery decor ideas, design inspiration, or small nursery tips, tricks and decor? Come hear all about Emmet’s finished, cottage-cute nursery space!
It only took 9 months, but I couldn’t be more excited to share Emmet’s cozy, cottage-inspired baby boy nursery with you guys! In case the pics don’t properly convey this fact, this space is tiny. Like teeny tiny. This room is approximately 10′ x 10′ in size, which even my small-space loving heart initially thought might be too tight a fit for all of the baby gear plus our adult bodies, but I can honestly say after living in this space and spending a huge chunk of my days maneuvering in and around this room for the last nine months, it works perfectly for our needs. What’s more, I actually couldn’t love it more! It’s the sweetest, coziest, comfiest little space and now I can’t imagine our little fam spending Emmet’s first year anywhere else.
Our Baby Boy Nursery Design Ideas
Like I mentioned in our baby boy nursery inspiration post before Em was born, just like we did throughout the rest of our sweet little cottage ranch house, we wanted to incorporate some cozy wood and natural elements to warm up the space and give it that cottage charm we love so much, while also keeping it sweet and simple so we didn’t overwhelm the space or make it feel too out of place in our home at large. Which is why even though I was very tempted, we didn’t do any cool wainscoting or wallpaper on the walls. That would have been so fun, but it just didn’t feel right here. There’s plenty of fun to be had with all of the decor we included, though!
The design plan for the nursery started with and was inspired by the amazing bunny painting you see in the images. That painting was gifted to us for our wedding 5 years ago by some of my nearest and dearest family friends and is one of the most special, treasured gifts we’ve ever been given. Over Christmas break the year we got married we stopped by said family friends’ (absolutely amazing) abode for a little wine and a visit, and while there the lady of the house, Debi took us up to her art studio and showed us what she’d been working on. As you can probably tell, Debi is an incredibly talented artist and I have so many wonderful memories of seeing her beautiful, original art growing up, and of feeling so in awe of her talent. While in the studio I kind of fell in love with this “Swamp Bunny” painting she’d recently finished and was so enchanted by how magical it felt. Eight months later, she surprised us for our wedding and gifted us the bunny painting in hopes that it could one day be displayed in a nursery… and much to our excitement, that day is finally here! Whether we had a boy or girl, we always knew that this painting would be the centerpiece of our nursery one day, and it just fills me with so much joy that this painting will become a part of Em’s story and memories as he grows, just as Debi’s art was for me as a child. Animals then kind of became a theme throughout Em’s nursery. We love the idea that he’ll grow up with all of these animal friends scattered around his room, learning what they are, where they live and all about their important place in our world.
And because we somehow seem to be surrounded by the most thoughtful, supportive, creative family and friends around, even more custom art pieces were gifted to Em before his arrival, which you can see in the snaps today. How cool is that? One is that beautiful antique, child’s rocking chair you see Em sitting in, which was gifted to him by our dear friends Sean & Kelley. A fellow antiquer and creative, Sean hunted down and found this adorable antique wood rocking chair, and Kelley’s husband, another extremely talented artist, then painted the chair the most beautiful ombre green-blue, and added a whimsical custom painting of a fisherman hooking a mermaid on the seat in homage to Chris’ love of fishing, with an extra piece added for the mermaid’s tail hanging off of the front of the chair. Is that not the cutest, coolest thing ever? When Sean and Kelley surprised us with this chair at our baby shower we were absolutely speechless – it’s beyond special and our family will cherish it always.
Then, my best friend Ashley surprised us with yet another amazing custom art piece for Em – the framed watercolor painting you see hung next to his mirror that lists his birth stats and is surrounded by all of the animals we’ve included in his nursery. I think I cried when I opened it, remembering the day Em arrived and the joy we felt when they called out our baby’s stats! It was painted by Allison Hayes who just couldn’t have brought it to life more beautifully.
Small Baby Boy Nursery Ideas & Tips
If you’re expecting, have a super small nursery space and are worried that it won’t fit all those baby necessities or will be so annoyingly cramped you’ll be frustrated day in and day out, let this post serve as a balm to your soul that a teeny tiny nursery can work and what’s more, both you and baby can absolutely love it! Not only is this Emmet’s nursery, but before he arrived this room served as my closet/dressing room with a big closet wall at one end that houses all of my clothes, shoes and accessories, and since our primary suite addition isn’t finished yet, I still use this room and the built-in closet wall for all of my things, not Emmet’s, save for a small amount of storage space I carved out of it for diapers/wipes/baby stuff. Which is another thing I was worried about navigating, but much to my surprise, it’s worked out just fine. I just get dressed after changing his diaper, or grab what I need out of the room before he goes down for a nap, and it’s all good!
Because of that, the dresser/changing table in the nursery houses 3 months worth of Emmet’s clothes at a time, plus accessories and small baby products like burp clothes, bibs, pacifiers, lotions, medicines, etc. And once again, much to my surprise and delight, it all fits nice and neatly in the drawers (remember, baby clothes are tiny and don’t take up a ton of space). The rest of his clothes are all organized in just a few storage containers in that small space I carved out inside the closet wall, along with his stock of diapers and wipes.
So, after setting up Em’s nursery and living with it for the last 9 months, I think the key to making a small nursery work really well for you without clutter overwhelming the space is to make decor and storage pull double duty, getting comfortable bucking some nursery conventions or norms to do what works for your space, and finding ways to maximize organization so all that baby “stuff” stays out of your way, doesn’t take up valuable floor space and doesn’t overwhelm you on a daily basis. A clean, uncluttered space will work wonders for that new mom mind. Promise! That said, here are my tips for making a small nursery space work for you:
- A smaller dresser that would still work as a changing table for those first months (we change him on the changing pad on the ground now because he rolls like a wild man!).
- A small side table to set things on next to the glider that can also store books. Bonus: the books are accessible to Emmet so he can pick which one he wants to read each night! I’m pretty obsessed with this side table and love it even more now than the day I found it.
- A more compact (but still so comfy) glider instead of a bigger rocking chair or glider. Some rocking chairs can really take up a lot of space, especially if they have big legs that stick out. Not small space friendly! But there are tons of smaller gliders like the one we have here, that’s not necessarily meant for a nursery, but works perfectly for this purpose. Or they even sell compact rocking chairs specifically made for smaller nursery spaces.
- A compact ottoman to prop your feet up on. This was such an important thing for our comfort and now Emmet uses it to practice his standing! This particular one is wonderful because it’s the same height as the chair so it really does prop your feet up at the perfect height for max leg relaxation, but it’s perfectly compact, square shape means that it doesn’t take up unnecessary space!
- A crib that doesn’t take up unnecessary space. Things like big legs that stick out or high backs, or bulky flourishes can really take up a lot of space on a crib, and we just didn’t have that space to sacrifice! So sweet and simple is the name of the game here, and we couldn’t love our crib more. And bonus, it also has a storage drawer at the bottom! This color seems to be out of stock basically everywhere right now, but I’m sure it will come back in stock soon.
- As much wall storage as possible. We have that closet wall in here that’s so great, but in general, wherever possible in a small nursery, I recommend using the wall for organizational pieces so baby gear clutter doesn’t take up valuable floor space.
- Fun, functional, stylish storage pieces like the woven basket we use as a diaper caddy, or woven baskets for toys and stuffed animals help pull double duty as decor pieces that also conceal and organize unattractive clutter. My tip here is to find cute, fun storage pieces that fit right into the design of the space and can help wrangle all kinds of baby products that are essential, but not necessarily easy on the eyes. Stylish baskets are the best, and made even more functional when you put little organizer inside them like these!
Our Baby Boy Nursery Decor Ideas:
- Diaper caddy basket w/ clear plastic bins for internal organization
- Fan light w/ dimmer for cozy bedtime feeding (The BEST fan ever & totally worth the investment – we have them in every room now and love them.)
- Changing pad w/ terry & chambray cover
- Rattan mirror
- small ottoman
- Sweet, simple crib that perfectly fit the space
- “Swamp Bunny” painting by Debi Walker
- Custom painted antique child’s rocking chair (such a genius and unbelievably sweet baby gift)
- Pillow for glider
- Small glider
- Toy Basket for storing a good amount of Emmet’s toys
- Small side table w/ book storage
- Organic whale print crib sheet
- Large giraffe stuffed animal
- Small dresser/changing table
More Nursery Decor Ideas: