Noah's Rustic Retreat
Inspiration: The outdoors. "We live in a log house and wanted to keep the rustic feeling," says mom Lori Mercado.
Location: LaGrangeville, NY
Mom's favorite element: The tree. "I love the silhouette look. I just freehanded it and added little birds on the branches to give it that extra touch."
Decorating tips: "If freehand painting intimidates you," Lori says, "then find an image from a book or magazine and project it onto the wall." You can do this by renting a projector that hooks up to your laptop.
Ava's Block Party
Inspiration: Texture and geometry. "We wanted to use some of the same colors that are in our main living while a lso creating a nursery that would stimulate our baby's mind with different shapes," says mom Tasha Lewis.
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Mom's favorite element: "I like all the different textures and shapes from the painted walls, hanging lamps, and the fur rug."
Decorating tips: "Look at how the rest of your house is decorated," Lewis says. "Then see if you can incorporate that into a baby-friendly space."
Maya's Modern Room
Inspiration: Modernism. "My husband and I wanted to stray away from the traditional, idea of feminine room and keep it feeling up-to-date," says mom Kim Wardell.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mom's favorite element: The chandelier wall decal. "It's elegant, modern, and different from any other design I've seen," says Wardell.
Decorating tips: "It doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful," Kim says. "Many o f the items in the room are made up of repurposed furniture or items we made. An old Philadelphia library desk is now used to hold Maya's stuffed animals, the changing table is an old TV stand, and her bookcase came from my husband's family."
Courtesy of Stephanie Fisher
Hannah's Pink and Green Paradise
Inspiration: Twins! "The room actually came from the idea of how I would do a nursery if I were having twins," says mom Brittany Durrett. "We had two bedrooms and I wondered how it would look if we tore down the wall and had a suite. I didn't have twins," she says, "but I thought, why not tear it down anyway?"
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Mom's favorite element: The bedding. "My mom made the bedding, the wall treatments, and many other accessories in the room," Durrett says. "Everything is very special to me."
Decorating tips: "Don't rush the process," she says. "When I get an idea, I want to see the result right away. But if I had chosen the first few fabrics or accessories that I found, then I wouldn't be nearly as happy with the room as I am," she adds.
Jaxen's Cosmic Space
Inspiration: Outer space. "My husband is a space junkie, so the rocket-ship theme was a no-brainer," says mom Hope Litwin.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Mom's favorite element: The painted rocket ship on the wall and the laser projector that displays stars on the ceiling.
Decorating tips: "Be creative and don't be afraid to go over the top," says Litwin. "Kids love color and creativity, so make the room as personal as you would have liked your room to be when you were a kid."
Parents.com tip: To create a mural, sketch your design or trace an image you find on to a piece of paper, and get a transparency made at a copy shop. Use an overhead projector to display it on the wall you wish to paint, moving it farther or closer to get it the right size. Trace your design using a pencil, then paint inside the lines.
Harrison's Timeless Stripes
Inspiration: A desire for timeless decor. "We wanted a nursery that our son could grow into and wouldn't appear too babyish when he got older," says mom Julie Rurka.
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Mom's favorite element: The stripes! "I really like the striking contrast of the pale blue and cream with the dark brown furniture."
Decorating tips: "Plan!" says Julie. "We first measured from the floor to the section of the wall where we wanted to put the chair rail and drew a line in pencil. We painted below the line brown and above the line cream. We then went through with measuring tape and measured 10 inches apart and drew the lines in pencil using a vertical laser level. We taped up each section or stripe with paint tape and painted every other stripe light blue. We removed the tape before the paint dried too much in order to prevent the paint from peeling." She also suggests toting paint samples around wherever you go in case you see something you want to buy for the nursery. "We were able to pick out bedding without wondering whether or not the colors would match."
Ashlyn's Secret Garden
Inspiration: A dream garden
Location: Long Beach, California
Mom's favorite element: The tree is my favorite part of the room. "I never get tired of looking at the pink flowers and the different directions the branches run," says Ashlyn's mom Erica Kee.
Decorating tips: Erica used carpenters chalk to get such straight lines. "First we marked the top of the wall with hash marks the width of the stripes, held the string up to each hash mark, and snapped to make a chalk line. Then we went around with painter's tape and followed the chalk lines." To create the tree, she searched online for other images of similar murals for inspiration, and drew it freehand with pencil first, and then filled in with paint. "I debated about painting on the ceiling," she says, "but decided it helped make the room look bigger."
Parents.com tip: If you're going with a tree mural, give it a sense of movement by extending the branches to the ceiling, even painting right over the crown molding.
Jennifer Hutton Whipple
Amelia's Romantic Room
Inspiration: A love for vintage
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Mom's favorite element: Toile curtains. They dictate the colors and tone of the whole room.
Decorating tips: "Splurge on draperies and upholstered pieces," says Jennifer Hutton Whipple. "You'll use them for years." Whipple was fortunate to have the toile curtains made by her mom to surround the white balloon shades. She crafted a pink-and-white polka-dot organza dust ruffle for the crib and a matching chain sleeve for the chandelier. "The room is accessorized with my favorite finds from antique stores through the years," she says. "The walls are painted a neutral tan, while the ceiling is a soft pink. White crown molding was a first-time project for Dad."
Ilan's Wild Weir
Inspiration: A love for leopard prints. "I created Ilan's room around the baby bedding," says Ilan's mom, Hollie Nelson.
Location: Trenton, Georgia
Mom's favorite element: The walls
Decorating tips: The special paint treatment is Nelson's first attempt at faux finishing. "Instead of using a sponge to give the walls a shadowy look, I used a regular paint brush," she says. "I followed the same technique oil canvas painters use to paint the clouds in their landscapes."
Mia's Floral-Mod Room
Location: Hazlet, New Jersey
Mom's favorite element: Ribbon mobile. Diane Desimini says it keeps Mia entertained during diaper changes. Crafty idea: Desimini created the mobile from ribbons and an embroidery hoop. Once all the elements were in place, she hot-glued the ribbons to keep them from slipping and placed another sash around the hoop.
Decorating tips: Desimini hand-painted the border on the wall to echo the pattern on the baby's bedding. "I also sewed the letters of Mia's name myself, and hung them with ribbons on tiny nails," she says.
Carson's Cowboy Room
Inspiration: Vintage cowboys
Location: McKinney, Texas
Favorite element: Three-wall mural painted by a friend. "It envelops you as you walk in the room," Kerry Doke says.
Decorating tips: "If you go with a theme, go all out," says Doke. "(A nursery) is the only place in the house you can get away with going overboard." If you have trouble deciding where to put everything, try her trick: "I cut out pieces of newspaper the size of my furniture and placed them in the room before putting the furniture in." Moving pieces of paper is a lot easier than lifting heavy objects.
Inspiration: A love for the outdoors
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Favorite element: Butterflies hanging from the ceiling. Says Liz Weirshousky: "They've caught Schuyler's attention since she was born."
Decorating tips: "Blue painters' tape is a do-it-yourselfer's best friend," she says. "I always get the 2-inch-wide tape. It covers hard areas that you don't want to get paint on." She also advises use of uncommon elements. Weirshousky tacked up pieces of vertical blinds to create 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."
Lily's Bright Quarters
Location: Covington, Georgia
Favorite element: Bold, checkered walls
Decorating tips: For painting stripes, the key is to be exact with all the measuring, says Judy David. She first measured the center of the room to paint the yellow cloud. Then before tackling the watermelon stripes, she covered the cloud with tape. "We mixed one part paint to two parts glaze," she adds. David repainted the stripes with a wallpaper brush to give it a linen effect.
Keep sending us your photos! We'd like to add the picture of your baby's room to our collection of real-life nurseries.