Popular Nursery Ideas for 2021

From modern boho pieces to accent walls that are truly works of art, we’ve rounded up the parent-favorite nursery design elements of the year.

No offense to the lovely gender-neutral nursery or minimalist mamas everywhere, but we’ve seen our share of white walls, pastel color schemes, wooden-everything nursery decor and fiddle-leaf fig trees. (OK, OK … long live the fiddle-leaf fig tree—we love them, too! But you get the idea.)

While these components provide a great foundation for your baby space, the fun part comes in customizing it with unique finds and sentimental items that make it truly personal. If you’re looking for something fresh to incorporate, these top trends can help get you started in creating a beautiful nursery room for your babe-to-be.

Hauteloom Townview Area Rug

Cover some ground: Take a new approach to the abstract aesthetic by adding a statement rug as opposed to a mural. Including punchy colors, designs, patterns, shapes, and lines will add personality while freeing up your walls for additional artwork. It can also serve as a focal point for baby’s room that you can easily build off of if needed.

Boutique Rugs, $320
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PrintPunkStudio Rainbow Prints

Over the rainbow: Except we’re not over rainbows … at all! From throw pillows to tapestries to bedding to wall art (and everything in between), rainbows of all color palettes are popping up in modern nurseries and boho nurseries alike. Add this charming set to a gallery wall for added flair. It’s perfect for a twin nursery, too!

Etsy, $64 for set
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Little Lights Race Car Night-Light

Shine bright: Lighting can make all the difference in creating a calming environment for rest and doesn’t have to be attached to a ceiling fan or traditional table lamp. Decorative and playful light fixtures (with a dimmer) offer warm effects while also adding personality to your child’s room.

Maisonette, $230
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ferm LIVING Apple Mirror

Rattan the right way: If you love this uber-popular material for its soft texture but want something a bit less beachy, opt for an accent piece versus a dresser, changing table or other main article of nursery furniture. A cute mirror reflects light to illuminate a space while doubling as decor. We’ve also seen rattan chandeliers and shelving that add a similar touch.

ferm LIVING, $115
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Crate&Barrel Faux Olive Tree

Fake it till you make it: Presenting some friendly competition to the aforementioned fiddle-leaf fig, faux olive trees provide a touch of soft and calming greenery without the worry of your baby eating fistfulls of soil once she starts crawling. And if you’re a plant-lover doomed with a black thumb versus a green one, these fakes totally please and won’t cause you grief.

Crate&Barrel, $169
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Lovevery Educational Play Gym

The perfect playmate: Learning-based play is a smart way to foster your little one’s current stage of development with sustainable toys designed for cognitive growth. We love this play gym for its thoughtful design that fits any nursery space, array of educational activities, and ability to cater to a new baby’s developmental needs from tummy time to teething to learning to focus and interact with their surrounding world.

Lovevery, $140
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Parachute Linen Crib Sheet in Terra

Earthly elements: Rust has been a must paint color in recent interior design schemes, but terracotta is a softer, more dynamic way to bring in shades of orange, red and brown to best compliment your hunny bunny’s domain. Try it in a crib sheet for a splash of this seasonal neutral color without the commitment.

Parachute, $79
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Greywood Mama DIY Board and Batten Accent Wall

Baby’s boardroom: Move over wallpaper. Wooden accent walls are everywhere, and there’s enough variety amongst design ideas to keep things interesting. We’re presently fond of the board and batten look. It’s clean and a bit more classic but still adds texture and a helpful grid-like anchor for piecing together the rest of the room. If you still want to utilize wallpaper or stencils, we’re also fans of paneling part of the wall and adding a bold border, as seen here. (And if you need something even spicier, you can also check out geometric wooden accent walls for more drama.)

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anewalldecor Parisian Street Mural

Away we go: It’s probably no surprise that travel-themed decor is desirable after a year or more being isolated in our homes. Let one of your four nursery walls transport you elsewhere, say, the bustling streets of the City of Lights, with this Parisian art mural where the cafes are open and the view is magnifique.

Etsy, from $89
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Newton Baby Waterproof Crib Mattress

Safety patrol: Safe sleep practices may not be a style staple, but it’s still a vital thing to note when designing your perfect nursery. It may be tempting to fill the crib with pillows, matching blankets and sweet stuffed animals, but remember that the only safe place for your newborn to sleep is on their back on a firm mattress in an empty crib or bassinet. (We know tons of influencers photograph their cribs ornately decorated for Instagram, but we think it’s more important to always show safe sleep environments!) Take it a step further with a super breathable mattress that’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified. (We linked one that’s also waterproof and 100 percent washable—double bonus!)

Newton Baby, $350
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Birch Robot T-Rex Wooden Clock

Dino-mite decor: Our reptilian friends are causing an uproar (the good kind) in the aisles of home accessories. Whether it’s a subtle nod to prehistoric times or used in a total dinosaur-themed nursery, this sleepy T-Rex is the perfect companion for letting little tykes know when it’s time for bed.

Birch Robot, $72
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Kakizzy Astronaut Bookends

Space cadet: Create a celestial crash pad by incorporating planets, constellations, astronauts and rocket ships. Not only will it inspire questions and perhaps ignite a love of learning, but it will also serve to remind your mini that you think he’s out of this world.

Amazon, $33
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