Baby boy nursery ideas – how to create a soothing sanctuary for your little one

Looking for baby boy nursery ideas? Get style inspiration and learn design tricks to give your baby a nurturing space to grow

A nursery with a mural on the walls
(Image credit: Anna Stathaki. Design: Eklektik Studio)

Your baby boy's nursery is a hugely important place where your little one will grow and learn about the world, so it's crucial that the space is nurturing and calming. Your child's nursery is a place where you can have fun with design too, with whimsical pattern and dreamy murals that will help your nursery feel straight out of the pages of a children's book. 

'Babies are extremely receptive to colour and pattern, incorporating visual interest in nursery can in fact enhance a baby's visual development and also keep them more occupied after waking from their nap,' explains Joanna Landais, founder of Eklektik Studio, an interior design service specifically for children's rooms.

While traditional nursery ideas would have a boy's nursery room painted in a lick of blue paint to reflect their gender, there is no need to conform to gender stereotypes. In reality, these nursery ideas are great for your little one, no matter whether they are a little boy or a girl. Read on for our top nursery ideas for the ultimate soothing sanctuary for your child.

Baby boy nursery ideas for a space that evolves with your child

Designing your baby boy's nursery involves a lot of forward thinking. Consider how quickly your child will grow and reflect this pace of life and constant change in the interiors. 'Your nursery must be well-considered,' says Becky Russell of Kingston Lafferty Design. 'A nursery space must be adaptable over time to change as the baby boy grows up as a toddler and young child.' Think about a wall paint color that will last, how your cot can adapt to suit a toddler, and storage needs as you accumulate more and more toys and books along the way.

Also think about the particular brands you use. Interior designer Jennifer Hunter advocates Kathy Kou Home, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child and Serena & Lily.

For Fanny Abbes of The New Design Project, for wallpaper, she advocates Drop It Modern, for children's furniture, Crate&kids from Crate&Barrel, and Modern Nursery. 

1. Create a cozy nook for the cot

A cozy nook in a nursery

(Image credit: Barbara Corsico. Design: Kingston Lafferty Design)

A cozy nook can create feelings of comfort and serenity in your baby boy's nursery, and is a cool kid's room idea which will help encourage sleep for both you and your baby boy. This well considered nursery space has a nook that beautifully frames the crib. 'This will change in time to a single bed,' explains Becky Russell of Kingston Lafferty Design (opens in new tab)

'Fun and playfulness is brought in with the house outline to the upholstered nook area, this is soft and comfortable and in time will act as a headboard for the bed,' she explains. 

The nook also doubles up as a clever storage solution, with the custom joinery adding a full bank of storage. 

Finally, the colors are evocative of sleep, with cool tones that complement the cloud lighting in the centre of the room - a soft and whimsical feature.  

2. Add a playful teepee

A teepee in a nursery

(Image credit: Clare Cousins)

For those looking to add a touch of fun to the nursery, a teepee is a nice addition that can sit in the corner of the room. Providing a safe space for your child to lie down on floor level, they are a lovely way for you to be close to your child. They also make a great play den for when your little boy grows up a little and enjoys scampering around. It's also a place to hide those toys that you accumulate over the years, doubling up as an aesthetic feature and a kid's toy storage idea.

3. Add wooden panels

A wooden panelled nursery

(Image credit: Nune)

This Hudson Valley House is a private residence in upstate New York, designed by Nune (opens in new tab), a small interior studio with locations in New York and London. The effect of the wooden wall paneling idea gives the room almost a chalet-like feel, but grounds the space in nature's influences, which makes it calming and peaceful.

4. Add an enchanting mural

A mural depicting a woodland scene

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki. Design: Eklektik Studio)

This  design is from Eklektik Studio (opens in new tab) - a London based design studio specializing in interior design exclusively for children. The whimsical design is the brainchild of founder, Joanna Landais, who selected this mural to bring the outdoors in with a natural theme and to help children feel calm and comfortable.

'Wall mural ideas are completely bespoke and unique to you and your home. Working with a mural artist can be rewarding and also an enjoyable experience,' says Jaonna Landais. 

'Every detail can be planned when it comes to the colour, position or height of each element. A bespoke mural can be planned around architectural features such as sloped ceilings or alcoves. This is something that can't be achieved with wallpaper. 

'With bespoke murals you can pick your favourite animals or characters but most importantly you will treasure it like a piece of art when you can observe the process itself. Our woodland mural was carefully planned in discussion with a client who had preference for woodland themed animals and earthy greens.'

5. Think about adding a crib skirt

A nursery design with soft furnishings

(Image credit: Jen Tang. Design: Jennifer Hunter)

Play with texture and furnishings in your child's nursery to soften the space and keep it a calming place for your baby boy to lay their head. In this design by New York-based designer, Jennifer Hunter (opens in new tab), the nursery has been designed with texture at the fore, with a cozy rug and floor-length curtains. 

'My favorite design trick for a nursery is a custom built-in crib skirt which creates ample storage space. It's a great way to conceal items and hide them under the crib while making them easily accessibly at the same time,' she says. 

6. Go for a bold wallpaper

A nursery with bold wallpaper design

(Image credit: Alexander James)

A bold boy's bedroom wallpaper can be all it takes to transform your baby boy's nursery into a bright and cheery space where your child's imagination can run wild. This design from Alexander James (opens in new tab) adds an eclectic touch, with a bold pattern on the arm chair and cow hide rug tying the scheme together. The white cot adds a virtual balance to calm the scheme.

7. Pick the perfect cozy chair

A chair in a nursery

(Image credit: Laura Hammett)

Creating a beautiful neutral nursery is also about creating optimum conditions for you to relax while feeding, nursing, and rocking your little one to sleep. Think about a rocking chair that will sooth your child with a gentle rocking motion, or a cozy chair that you can sink into at whatever time, whether it's mid-afternoon or the early hours of the morning. A footstool is a good addition to your chair, a cozy option for you to stretch your legs out, and if you are using an armchair, 'it should have the right height armrest to facilitate comfortable breast or bottle feeding,' says Joanna of Eklektik Studio.

'A nursery chair needs to be comfortable, ideally with supportive arms,' advises interior designer, Laura Hammett (opens in new tab). 'Go for high-performance fabrics if you want durability and something in a timeless style if you want to use it again and again.'

9. Find the perfect crib

A cot in a nursery

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

The perfect cot is a staple of a good nursery for your baby boy, but it has to marry safety with style - it is, after all, where your child will lay their head at night. 

'A safe, quality crafted cot comes first and foremost,' says Laura Hammett. 'You want slat gaps between 1 inch and 2.5 inches, witch a base which can also be lowered down for longevity as your baby grows and inevitably starts to try to climb out. My two definitely attempted!'

'But as parents, you want a cot to still tie in with your personal home style, so go with a neutral base in a durable material that you can layer and style with cot accessories over the years.

Finally, a cot canopy is a sweet addition to your cot, adding a whimsical detail to the scheme and a simple way to shield your baby's eyes from daylight.

10. Think about lighting

Twinkly star lights in a nursery

(Image credit: Ciru)

Lighting is of great significance when designing a nursery as you encourage your baby boy to adopt a sleeping pattern. 

'Lighting needs to be appropriate for both playing, reading and sleeping,' says Joanna of Eklektik Studio. Think about a light dial to control the levels exactly to your liking, a statement lighting fixture which can act as an entertaining mobile as your child sleeps on the floor, and make sure your curtains are black-out to block out the sunlight. This room uses twinkly star lights from Circu (opens in new tab)cascading down the curtain to provide subtle and calming light while encouraging sleep.

What paint colors are best for a boy's nursery?

Think carefully about the paint color of your nursery walls as these can have a real impact on your child and their sleep health. 

'I never use yellow on the walls in a nursery,' says designer Natalia Miyar (opens in new tab), 'as it can be quite a stressful shade for a child, but I would use a yellow as accent color in soft furnishings.' 

'For nurseries, I like to stick with neutral paint colors that work for both boys and girls, like an off-white, and then add a touch of wallpaper,' says Fanny Abbes of Brooklyn-based The New Design Project (opens in new tab)

'Since a baby’s walls are bound to get crayon or finger paint on them at some point as the child enters those adorable-yet-messy toddler years, I usually only wallpaper one wall and install it on a wall that will be behind a bed, dresser, or bookcase to protect it.'

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.