string nursery interiors
Image: String

Nursery interior design: Five ways to spruce up a child’s room

10 May 2024 | |By Annie Lewis

Whether you’re reimagining a spare bedroom or adding a custom-designed extension for your child’s nursery, here’s how to create a comfortable haven for your prince or princess

Pram? Tick. High chair? Secured. Car seat? In the garage, obviously. But what about decorating the nursery? It’s understandable to prioritise the baby essentials, but creating a relaxing sanctuary for both parents and little ones is also a necessity – especially when you’re starting with a blank canvas in the spare room that once was a hoarder’s paradise. It’s easy to go awry so, when it came to sourcing experts to help us with such a dilemma, we naturally called on royalty – Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, founder of the eponymous luxury childrenswear brand to be precise  – as well as esteemed interior designer Laetitia Thorp of London-based Thorp Design and Scandi-style furniture brand String’s marketing guru Bo Hellberg. Ready to get stuck in? Read on for the nursery interior design guide set to transform your child’s bedroom. 

Theme it

While many believe themes are fleeting, think of nurseries and a few spring to mind. From florals and bunnies to spaceships and safaris, the design world is your oyster when picking a theme. “I find nursery themes to be timeless,” says Princess Marie-Chantal. “We all love to reminisce about our childhood, and my earliest years and my children’s have been a huge inspiration. My daughter, Olympia, had an adorable bunny rabbit wallpaper in her nursery and my boys loved all things cowboy – many years on they are still so popular. I love the enduring appeal of these prints.” 

For 2024, Marie-Chantal has collaborated with American design house Schumacher to create a collection of pastel-hued fabrics, wallpapers and trims inspired by the brand’s signature prints. “Best-sellers so far include our Bloom Wind, Scattered Stars and Buffalo prints. Bloom Wind was one of the first prints I designed over 20 years ago, and it remains a best-seller – I love its versatility; from pyjamas and newborn essentials to wallpaper and curtains.” 

Pick the right wallpaper

thorp wallpaper
Image: Thorp

Once the theme has been secured, picking the right wallpaper will set the tone for the room. “Nurseries are the perfect canvas for introducing colour in a whimsical manner that may be unseen in the rest of the home,” explains interior designer Thorp, whose work spans comforting nurseries to striking, modern living rooms. “Soft, inviting and nurturing colours can be incorporated into the space through a tasteful wallpaper in a heritage floral or striped pattern. These prints offer timeless elegance while adding personality and joy to the space.”

“Wallpaper allows you to transform a room into a unique space of its own,” adds Princess Marie-Chantal. “Our debut collection is inspired by our signature sleepwear designs, from an adorable newborn nursery decorated in scattered stars and pastel florals, to little bears and buffalos [in] playful prints for a little boy’s room or playroom.”

Opt for bespoke furniture

When it comes to nursery furniture, functionality is at the top of the priority list. Often, the one size fits all approach doesn’t live up to demands and style falls by the wayside. One solution is to create custom, bespoke pieces to slot easily into all of the room’s nooks and crannies, so you and your baby have exactly what you need at your fingertips. “We’re seeing more people embrace custom and bespoke pieces in nurseries and children’s rooms,” adds Thorp. “We believe custom pieces ensure that the design is tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of a person. Parents today are seeking unique, personalised elements that reflect their child’s individuality and needs, and create a nurturing environment for little ones. One-of-a-kind furniture and décor [can] ensure quality and longevity, particularly multi-functional pieces that can evolve with the child’s needs, such as modular storage solutions or convertible beds.”

Make the most of storage

Creating bespoke furniture that’s versatile also means you won’t have to buy twice. “As children get older, their storage needs change,” says Hellburg from String, where flexible Scandi-style shelving systems are its raison d’etre. “With a modular shelving system, you have the flexibility to curate a configuration that grows with your child, and their equally expanding toy collection. For example, you can replace toy storage boxes with open shelving to create an integrated bookshelf or transform a crafts station into the perfect space for tackling homework. The range of cabinets available also gives a neat option for hidden storage so not everything is out on display.” 

Hellburg also suggests that savvy storage solutions are one way of keeping your child’s bedroom orderly and clutter-free without too much legwork. “To achieve a comfortable space, it is important to incorporate a dedicated area for creativity as well as zones for fun decoration and clever storage for their favourite toys and books,” he explains. “As adults, we would naturally fit shelving at our own height, but installing it so that your child can easily reach items is much more effective. The modular qualities of String’s shelving means that you can create a personal design to suit your child’s needs, ensuring that it will remain efficient as they grow up.”

Add cute accessories

Now for the personal touches. Chic bookshelves often do the trick, as do wall hangings or decorative ceiling furnishings that also double up as sensory art. Princess Marie-Chantal says: “A nursery needs to be pretty but, of course, practical. A few of my nursery essentials include cosy cashmere blankets, baby’s first hairbrush and my Olympia Slipper [which all add] lovely decorative elements. 

“Our suitcases are popular for storing cuddly toys and trinkets and we have designed a beautiful cotton cushion in the softest linen, a cosy sleepnest and your changing table must-haves, such as a wash bag and basket for your baby’s lotions and potions.”

Read more: The interior design aesthetics guide: 10 looks for updating your home