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How to decorate a nursery

OLLI ELLA_PITTER PATTER BEDDING’ve decorated the designated nursery in my home twice. Both times I went with a very neutral palette (more on my little boy’s room here) – sinply because I felt I would personalise the space once I got to know its little owner. However, I wish I had known about nursery design  destination Olli Ella sooner. (Kate! Wills! There’s still time!)

Set up by sisters Chloe and Olivia Brookman, the ethos behind Olli Ella is that not only should the decor in your baby’s room be beautiful, useful and stylish – but should also work anywhere else in the home. This is the smart – and super-stylish – way to decorate. With the most delightful, playful prints and gorgeous designs – I am totally smitten (and can forsee some additions to my little boy’s nursery).

Co-founder Chloe agreed to talk us through her tips for decorating that terribly important small bedroom…

OLLI ELLA_Harlequin Dusk Bumpettes

What are the essentials every nursery, no matter how small (my son sleeps in what is essentially a cupboard)?

Essentials really depend on the type of space you have, but they key is to be clever with the space and the items you choose, for example choose items the double up as something else or can evolve as the child grows. We like to recommend the following:

–        A great changer that doubles as a chest of drawers. You definitely don’t need two separate units and once the baby no longer needs the changing table you will have all that extra space on top of the changer.

–        A compact nursing chair for middle of the night feeds and cuddles. This can then be moved into another room such as the living room once the baby has stopped feeding.

–        Storage baskets for toys and baby changing essentials, they will keep everything tidy and organised, and look great placed on shelves, leaving extra space on the ground.

–        Every nursery needs a lovely mobile over the cot.


Can you recommend a couple of ideas for a neutral nursery?

For a neutral nursery I’m a big fan of choosing monotonic hues with a nice pop of colour: it’s the perfect way to create a stylish nursery which can work for both boys and girls. This also means the nursery doesn’t need to be re-decorated if baby number two comes along.

OLLI ELLA_Harlequin Dawn Cot Bumper

What colours/schemes do you think work for a baby boy/girl? 

For boys this season we love: white, mint, navy, and a sherbert-y orange.

For girls this season we love: pale pink, a light-medium yellow, mint, and navy.


 Genius storage solutions for all that baby-related paraphernalia?

We are big fans of baskets around here. I did a count and in my home I have over fifteen; we use them for toys, shoes, lego, blankets, nappies – you name it! Baskets work fantastically well in any room of the house not just in a nursery, so all the toys in the living room or bathroom can be quickly tidied away by placing them all in a basket.

OLLI ELLA_storage OLLI ELLA_Geo Storage Basket lifestyle_cropped

And what about some firsts: first decorative items/pictures/art/toys?

It’s all about personal taste. If you are decorating for a new baby then choose things that you love, that speak to you and represent the spirit of your family. We love to see walls with sentimental artwork, pictures, and garlands; shelves with treasured books and vintage toys also look great. Nice big rugs where the baby can crawl and play also look really stylish. Creating a space that is a promise of all the wonderful things to come.


How about decorating a nursery which has to be shared? Clever tips, please!

We love shared rooms!  Here are some ideas:

–        Choosing bedding and blankets that can be mixed and matched or bedding that is in a similar colour scheme so that all the bedding works well together.

–        Decorate the walls with pretty pictures and garlands that will appeal to all ages.

–        Design each child’s “area’ in a way that celebrates their individuality (i.e. colours they like) while still working with the rest of the room.

–        Also create a shared common space around a cute table and chairs or reading nook, this will most likely become their favourite place to spend time together.


 All images and products, Olli Ella

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