Real-Life Nursery Inspiration

Need a little inspiration? Design-savvy parents share the things they love most about their own kids' rooms.

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Grayson's Cool Room

Grayson's Cool Room

Tracy Kalman Jordan wanted her son Grayson's nursery to feel serene, so she covered the walls in cool gray. To keep it from feeling too one note, she ordered birch tree decals from Etsy and hung them on the far wall. "They're whimsical without screaming 'nursery,'" she says. And if she ever tires of the trees, they peel right off!

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Clara's Pink Paradise

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Clara's Pink Paradise

Sherry and John Petersik have a knack for decorating on a budget. Their secret: "When we spot something, we don't see a bad color or dated pattern, we concentrate on what's changeable!" Sherry says. This mirror from Marshall's was black when they purchased it, but painting it green made it sing. A gallery wall--kept consistent with frames in the same color--completes the look.

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Lucy's Pretty Patterns

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Lucy's Pretty Patterns

Jessica Santo wanted her daughter Lucy's nursery to be a place that makes people happy. "I love mixing patterns and bright colors," she says. And many of the things that adorn the room are handmade: the mobile (made my Santo), the crib skirt (made by a friend), and the book corner (made from rain gutters by Lucy's dad and grandfather)--just to name a few.

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Chase's Neutral Nursery

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Chase's Neutral Nursery

Melisa and Josh Fluhr knew that their second son's room would eventually fill up with toys, books, and knickknacks. So they chose a palette of black and white for the walls, crib, chair, and even the lighting. Now all those extra belongings look sharp, instead of adding clutter.

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Charlotte's Sweet Retreat

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Charlotte's Sweet Retreat

"I knew I wanted to make something for the nursery that Charlotte could keep forever," says Alissa Gilligan, who sewed her daughter's crib skirt, fitted sheet, and a quilt she'll use when she's older--the last of which dictated the colors used in the rest of the room. Dad Justin got in on the DIY fun too, reupholstering a chair they purchased for $10 at a thrift store.

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Graham's Grown-Up Space

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Graham's Grown-Up Space

"We didn't buy 'nursery' décor aside from the crib," says Amy Bethune of the nursery she and husband Andy created for their son. "We stuck to the housewares section of stores such as Target and IKEA." The couple saved money elsewhere by making their own crib skirt, mobile, and window treatments. The result: an affordable room that can grow with Graham.

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Schuyler's Garden

Liz Weirshousky

Schuyler's Garden

A love for the outdoors inspired Liz Weirshousky to create this crafty space. She used vertical blinds to give the illusion of a picket fence. "I drew the design on each slat and cut them out with regular scissors," she explains. "We nailed the horizontal pieces to the wall in just a couple of places and then used double-stick cushion tape to fasten the pickets to the horizontal rails."

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James' Classic Stripes

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James' Classic Stripes

Ben Parker earned his stripes (literally!) by painting the walls of his son's room with this bold pattern. "It's a small space, so we hoped the stripes would make the room feel bigger. They did!" says wife Courtney. "And we love that it's gender neutral, so it can easily be used again if we have a little girl someday."

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Eli's Mod Room

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Eli's Mod Room

At the center of the orange and navy nursery Katie and Jeremy Raadt created for their son Eli is a wall of letters that hold a special place in Katie's heart. Instead of playing typical baby-shower games, guests at Katie's shower were given papier-mache and wooden letters from JoAnn Fabrics and asked to decorate them using acrylic craft paint, craft paper, fabric, buttons, and twine. "I love that his room has art handcrafted by my best friends," Katie says.

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Ava's Block Party

Tasha Lewis

Ava's Block Party

For Tasha Lewis, it was important that her daughter Ava's nursery mesh with the rest of the house. "We used some of the same colors that are in our main living area but also different shapes that would stimulate our baby's mind," she says.

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Blake's Bright Quarters

Blake's Bright Quarters

Instead of choosing typical boy colors, Rebecca Propes mixed shades of chocolate, aqua, and tangerine in her son Blake's room. There's a variety of animals too: a dog mobile, giraffe blocks, and bird wall art. "We had an owl theme for the baby shower," she says, "and kept it going in the nursery."

Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.

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