Baby Boy Nursery Design Concept

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Planning the nursery for our little guy has been one of the harder design projects that I’ve ever tackled. I think every designer struggles with her own home because we love all the things. It’s always been so hard to narrow down everything I like in order to focus on one direction. This nursery was no exception.

Since moving into our new house (see the before photos here), we’ve painted all of the main areas, trim and walls, in Benjamin Moore White Dove (OC-17). I love this particular white because it has a creamy undertone with just a touch of gray. We’ll be painting the nursery White Dove as well to create a bright neutral background.

I am fully aware that I am designing this nursery more for me than for the baby, and it’s important to me that the room flows with the rest of the house. I decided to start the design concept by finding bedding that I loved to use as a jumping off point. I created several themes around adorable bedding combos, none of which felt perfect to me. Then I stumbled upon this quilt from the Ace and Jig line at Land of Nod.

Land of Nod Ace & Jig Quilt

I loved the combination of black and white with the bright blue and red and the tribal/boho/vintage print combos. I’ve been really attracted to Ace and Jig’s women’s fashion lately, so finding this bedding seemed like kismet.

While I was still debating the color palette and design concept, I drafted the floor plan. The room we’re using for the nursery is on the first floor next to the master bedroom. It has a south facing bay window which lets in lovely warm light throughout the day, hardwood floors, and an extra-large closet.

I knew right away that I wanted to remove the closet doors and put the dresser/changing table inside the closet. The current closet setup is the basic shelf/bar, which is totally impractical for little people clothes. Since the closet is 3′ deep, I’m planning to add a custom storage solution with two rods and a few shelves, probably from Container Store, along the exterior wall. If we had more room in the budget, I would demo this closet completely and replace it with a PAX system from IKEA. Maybe for the next baby.

By placing the dresser inside the closet, I was also able to make room for a daybed. I wanted to have a place within the nursery for visitors and Keegan to sit and relax. I found a reasonably priced option from Urban Outfitters and am planning to have a custom cushion made for it.

Once I was committed to the Ace and Jig quilt, the rest of the scheme came together pretty quickly. I found a large wicker mirror at CB2 to anchor the main wall and a modern mobile for over the crib. The vintage arrow print is one of my favorites. I had it framed in natural birch with a linen background to coordinate with the other light wood finishes in the room and contrast with the white walls.

Baby Boy Nursery Design Concept

I tried to select furniture that was reminiscent of mid-century modern design since we have several mid-century pieces in our living room. The Babyletto crib is a popular option that’s all over Pinterest. For the rocker, I knew I didn’t want a typical nursery style glider so that we’d feel comfortable reusing it in another room of our house at some point. Keegan requested one with a high back, though I loved this option. The dresser pictured is a vintage find on Chairish, but it’s a little over budget. Hopefully, I’ll find something locally that is just as perfect.

So far, I only have the bedding, rug, and arrow print on hand. The rest needs to be ordered or purchased locally within the next few months. I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure! Stay tuned for process photos of the room as we start working on it over the next few weeks.


Some of these links are affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission. This helps me to support my blog and allows me to continue to make free content. I only recommend products that I have used and loved or would purchase myself. Thank you so much for your support!

Mobile | Mirror | Arrows Print |Quilt | Crib Skirt | Crib Sheet | Crib | Table Lamp | Print Set | Dresser | Daybed | Pillow 1 (similar) | Pillow 2 | Pillow 3 (similar) | Basket | Rug | Side TableTable Lamp | Rocking Chair | Bookshelf

Baby Boy Nursery R. Cartwright Design

Baby Boy Nursery Inspiration

As soon as it began to sink in that we were really having a baby, I began to think about the nursery and what type of space I wanted to create for our baby’s first few years. We initially thought we wouldn’t find out the sex but after trying to dream up a gender neutral nursery and failing (all my design concepts skewed girly), I caved.

Learning that we were having a boy was somewhat of a surprise. For some reason, I hadn’t even considered the possibility. Of course, I immediately started stressing about the two most important things – his name and the nursery. The name is still up in the air, but the nursery is starting to coalesce.

I have been gathering inspiration photos of nurseries and children’s rooms on Pinterest for years, so my first step was to dig through the images I’d saved to that board. Most of them were little girls’ rooms, and there were few neutral and boys’ rooms that called to me. It was easier for me to pinpoint what I didn’t want than what I did want. I did not want to get locked into a theme like baby woodland animals or rustic cabin or baby zoo animals, which seem to dominate boy nurseries. I did not want to paint the walls blue…too specific. And, I didn’t want it to be overly cutesy or babyish. Obviously, it’s a baby room, but let’s be honest – this space is more for me than for him.

This light and pretty room is by Erin Gates of Elements of Style blog for her little guy Henry. I love the soft tonal palette, cozy neutral rug, and especially the modern brass chandelier.


Erin Gates

This is obviously a girl nursery but take away the little touches of pink, and it could easily go baby boy. I like the combination of boho, modern, and vintage elements and graphic punch of the wallpaper.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Veneer Designs.

Natalie Meyers

There is some great textural layering happening in this petite nursery space. Love the cozy shag rug, woven baskets, and blue trim.


Ryen Conley

This neutral nursery really speaks to me with its vertical white shiplap, basket light, and vintage rug. It feels modern and fresh but not cold, and it could easily transform to a big kid space.


Alicia Lund

I love everything Amber Lewis does and this nursery, which is all over Pinterest, is no exception. White walls, warm woods, a vintage style rug, modern rocker, and touches of blue are all inspiring me.


Amber Interiors

Sarah Sherman Samuel is another designer whose work consistently inspires me with its eclectic mix of modern, bohemian, and vintage. Her little boys’ room feels light, bright and modern. The emerald green and brass stool, pom-pom trim drapery panels, and vintage rug add layers of interest through color and texture without feeling babyish.


Sarah Sherman Samuel

This adorable space was designed by Rebecca Cartwright and Alicia Held-Morris for Rebecca’s grandson Jack. There are so many special touches throughout this space like the papered closet and ceiling, ticking stripe day bed, and modern lantern pendant.

Baby Boy Nursery R. Cartwright Design

R. Cartwright Design

Finally, Emily Henderson designed this room below for her son Charlie. It’s actually his big kid room, but I liked the combination of warm modern and organic elements.


Emily Henderson

I have a design scheme pulled together for our little guy’s nursery that I’ll be sharing soon. After combing through countless images, it was easier for me to pinpoint the elements I liked – mixed textures, a combination of boho, modern, and vintage styles, and lots of white. I also realized I wanted more of what you don’t see in many of these photos – color!

Do you have any strong opinions about nurseries and designing for boys vs. girls? I have no experience with babies so I’d love to hear your thoughts!