I always enjoy reading Ursula Wesselingh’s columns on children’s interiors, and this one is a must-read for making the most of a tight space while decorating a children’s nursery.  

The nursery is often the smallest room in the house, and in small spaces, each decorating choice has a big impact. Multi-tasking furniture and some clever design tricks will help you make the best of a small space. Here are my tips to decorate a small nursery:

Tonal colour scheme

A tonal colour scheme (using different versions of the same hue) means less contrast and fewer visual breaks, which creates calm and makes your nursery feel larger. Go for blinds or curtains in a tonal version of the wall colour for example, paint some furniture in slightly darker tones than the wall, or paint woodwork and walls in the same colour.

With a tonal palette, add texture to create interest. Use pattern sparingly and in small doses, for example for cushions or bedding.



Go for wall-mounted furniture and furniture raised on legs: this shows more of the floor which makes the room feel lighter and larger.

Simple furniture with clean lines makes a space feel calmer and lighter as it tends to “disappear” in the overall design.

Fewer pieces of furniture and minimising clutter make the room feel larger. Go for a single armoire or built-in storage for all clothes and toys, and have a simple display shelf for some decorative items.




Natural light makes small rooms feel mores spacious, so choose a window treatment that doesn’t block the window. You can also use a strategically placed mirror to reflect light.

An overhead pendant draws the eye to one spot and brings the ceiling down, so if you have the option, use ceiling spots instead to wash one wall with light and add table or clamp lights at different heights where needed.



Create a focal point with impact

To stop a small nursery from feeling bland, make sure to add some drama: one piece with real impact, your focal point. This could be a beautiful armoire painted in an eye-catching colour, a large piece or art or an accent wall for example.



Happy decorating!

x Ursula from Room to Bloom 

Photo Credit: Room to Bloom / Photographer Brett Charles

About The Author

Ursula Wesselingh
Children's Interior Designer

Interior designer Ursula Wesselingh is the founder and principal of Room to Bloom, London's first interior design company exclusively for children. Her expert advice has been widely published both on- and offline and she's a contributor to Living Etc, Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth and The Portland Hospital's Nurture Magazine. For creative nursery and kid's room ideas visit her Room to Bloom blog. Ursula is here to help you create a stylish haven for your little one. Connect with her at @roomtobloom and Facebook, or send an email to ursula@room-to-bloom.com if you would like to see your decor questions answered here on The Baba Blog.

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