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Best nursery furniture and decor ideas: How to style your baby’s first bedroom

From safari wall art to musical cot mobiles and boho rugs, we’ve tried and tested parents’ favourite nursery items available online

Tara Breathnach,Leeanna Lock
Tuesday 20 June 2023 13:06 BST
How to style your baby’s first bedroom

If you are welcoming a baby in 2023, like our writers who have tested these products, huge congratulations! We’ve got you covered in welcoming your new arrival into a comforting, safe space to call their own.

From safari and boho themes to teddy bear accents everywhere, our expert mum’s and dad’s have tested a variety of minimalist and statement decor to perfectly match the most popular nursery trends and colour schemes of 2023.

We hunted high and low for adorable but practical, as well as affordable, gender neutral furniture and decor pieces so you don’t have to. We’ve also included items that are just as well-suited for a playroom, so you can feel confident that you’ll get great use out of them for years to come.

But how do you design the perfect nursery? We asked Lucy Shrimpton, sleep expert and founder of The Sleep Nanny, for her top tips. “My tip is to decorate how you like.” She said. “Some people worry that the decor may be bad for sleep, but the main thing is that when it comes to sleep time they don’t have any crazy light shows, projectors, mobiles whizzing around or visual things that are going to encourage a child or a baby to look at them and keep their eyes open.”

She added that you should also “make sure the nursery is dark – blackout blinds will come in handy to keep out the natural light for daytime naps during spring and summer – and not too stimulating. And if you can, avoid the cot being beside the window to avoid draughts, outdoor noise.” Meanwhile she also suggested keeping the room temperature between 18 to 20C, “so it’s not too hot or too cold”. You should also aim to keep it reasonably quiet, but if you have a noisy area white noise can help with that soothing atmosphere.

How we tested

With all of Lucy’s advice in mind, we reached out to parents-to-be and mums and dads of multiple children, to seek out popular themes and favourite products for decorating a newborn’s nursery. We soon discovered the favourite trends of 2023 nurseries include safari, botanical and bohemian designs – as well as neutral beige, cream and green colour schemes.

With all that in mind, we found an array of relevant items to test. Our writer has decorated a nursery at home for her new arrival, so you can see just how these themes can be incorporated into the room and complement eachother.

How to style your baby’s first bedroom

Baby beds

Ickle Bubba coleby classic cot bed: £259,

Ickle Bubba cot bed

For timeless style at a bargain price, look no further than this gem of a cot bed which lasts until your little one is four-years-old. We were blown away by the level of quality with such an affordable price tag and were especially grateful for the handy underbed drawer which is already separated into two compartments to helpfully store sleeping bags, blankets and fitted sheets.

The drawer isn’t attached to any brackets so you can easily glide the whole storage unit out from under the bed for much easier re-stocking. Ickle Bubba’s mattresses are purchased separately and go out of stock fast, so be sure to snap one up ASAP.

Buy now

SnuzKot skandi cot bed: £379,

SnuzKot Skandi Cot Bed

A baby bed is essential for the nursery and, for pure style and elegance, we love this cot bed which will last your child from birth right up until the age of 10 with the addition of an extension. Made with natural beech wood, the solid frame and sturdy design means it will last through lots of rounds of jumping on the bed and pillow fights with siblings.

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Tutti Bambini cozee air bedside crib: £208.05,

Tutti Bambini CoZee Air

For more bang for your buck, we think this bedside crib is also well worth considering as it can be used as a co-sleeper or a nursery cot. We were grateful for the optional rocking legs, which allowed us to soothe little one to sleep without getting aching arms, as well as the wheels which made for easy transitioning from room-to-room. The handy storage compartment was a blessing for grabbing a muslin and nursing pillow for bleary-eyed feeds. Note that this one will only last your baby until they are approximately six months.

Buy now


The Little Green Sheep twist natural cot bed mattress: £219.95,

The Little Green Sheep mattress

Mattresses are a costly purchase so we recommend buying one that’s built to last. This 2-in-1 option does exactly that as one side is approved by sleep experts for babies and when you flip it over it is more comfortable for toddlers. With a 5-year guarantee and a promise to meet the bed time requirements of your child as they grow, we think this is a winner.

The high-quality, quilted and breathable fabric feels luxurious compared to others we have tested, despite being made of only natural ingredients. We were grateful that the hypoallergenic mattress is free from toxins, harmful chemicals and anti-dust mite. From carry cots to bedside cribs and moses baskets, you can find a mattress to fit anywhere your little one prefers to sleep online at The Little Green Sheep.

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Changing tables

Harwell dresser changer: £499,

Harwell dresser changer

This dresser changer is an essential addition to any nursery and with six handy storage compartments (including deep drawers) it’s a god-send for any disorganised parent. We were impressed with the soft close doors to save new parents having to add another task to their baby-proofing to-do list. We love that the changing top is removable so it can last through childhood years as a classic chest of drawers and handy mantlepiece (when they start to pile up their own junk). It is available in white and grey (£499,

Buy now

Obaby Maya changing table: £240,

Obaby Maya changing table

If you prefer to avoid bits and bobs on display then this changing table is ideal for you with three drawers to keep all of baby’s storage discreetly neat and tidy. At such an affordable price, we were blown away by the high quality and stylish Scandi design. Plus, the changing unit can easily be detached, leaving an elegant look to suit any modern bedroom long after baby’s first years.

Buy now


Tutti Bambini Lucas 1 door wardrobe: £458.52,

Tutti Bambini Lucas 1 door wardorbe

We love this playful-looking wardrobe with curved sides and plenty of storage space to display cutesy toys or story books. The three drawers are great for more discreet storage of clothes and helpfully hide the evidence that you ran out of steam when trying to perfectly fold items like other mums do on TikTok.

The tall wardrobe unit for hanging clothes is ideal for when your child grows taller and the length of clothes get longer. We added wicker baskets at the top and bottom shelf of the wardrobe to neatly store shoes, blankets and teddy bears. We loved the wide soft-close drawer at the bottom and added storage separaters to neatly pile baby’s socks, hats, mittens, leggings and swimmers.

Buy now

CuddleCo Clara white 2-door double wardrobe: £399,

CuddleCo wardrobe

If you’re after something a little less generous in size with more discreet storage, and under £400, we highly recommend CuddleCo’s double wardrobe. The classic 2-door design and under drawer perfectly complements any nursery or child’s bedroom, no matter what theme or interior style you have chosen. The minimalist design extends it’s lifespan to see your little one through multiple bedrooms as they grow older, (we just can’t promise the inside will remain as tidy though!).

The double racks, which can be removed when clothes are longer, offer plenty of hanging space for your mini fashionista’s wardrobe and makes picking your baby’s OOTD a breeze. We were grateful for the top shelf where we stored blankets for colder evenings and there was plenty of space for displaying shoes in the base of the wardrobe, too.

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Nursing chair

Ikea Poäng rocking chair: £120,

Ikea rocking chair

Affordable nursing chairs are hard to comeby and that’s why we love Ikea’s minimalist option, which has a range of six coloured cushions to choose from to complement your nursery theme. With no drills or screws needed, this flatpack was super easy to put together in less than 10 minutes with the cushion simply Velcroing in place. Having spent our pregnancy rocking away in the chair, our baby was already familiar with the soothing sensation.

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CuddleCo Etta nursing chair: £499.99,

CuddleCo nursing chair

If you want to add a touch of luxury into your nursery, look no further than CuddleCo’s premium nursing chair. Its stunning cord texture in neutral beige perfectly complements any nursery and we adored how supported our body felt by the thick cushioned padding and generously wide armrests. We could honestly rock ourselves to sleep in this.

Buy now


The White Company rattan house bookshelf, set of 2: £145,

The White Company nursery shelves

We don’t think we’ve seen a more stunning storage solution than this adorable set of whitewashed rattan bookshelf houses with teeny tiny windows to peep through. While it doesn’t hold the masses, we perfectly displayed baby’s favourite books, milestone blocks and soft toys. The boho chic design turned an otherwise plain wall into such a sweet and cosy area for bedtime stories.

Buy now

Le Toy Van kids toy box: £70.98,

Le Toy Van toy box

We adore this minamilist toy chest form Le Toy Van for storing games, blankets and cuddly toys – especially as your baby gets older and begins to pile up quite a collection of Christmas and birthday gifts. We particularly like the soft-close lid, which means there’s no chance of trapped fingers, and loved the bonus that it doubles up as a child’s seat for relaxed reading time (just make sure to pop a cushion on there for extra comfort).

We are also obsessed with the sweet branded tissue paper that each element arrived packaged in and have since recycled it for wrapping up gifts. The neutral, timeless design will see your little one’s variety of toy collections through the years and continue looking just as stylish in a grown-up bedroom or playroom.

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Habitat compton 3 shelf storage unit: £120,

Habitat storage unit

Ok, so techinically this is a shoe bench but trust us when we say it’s also a life saver for keeping newborn days organised. While this is super practical and modern for storing baby’s toys and changing essentials in a larger nursery or playroom, we actually loved this most for creating a baby area in the comfort of our living room.

We used this unit to store everyday newborn essentials and doubles of items that we’d always forget to bring downstairs, particularly when needed for a day trip, like bottles, a portable warmer, teething toys and changing gear. We were so grateful to discreetly keep nappies, wipes and bum balm in easier reach for urgent downstairs nappy changes, of which we did far more of than in the nursery.

Buy now


Childhome teddy storage basket: From £24,

Teddy bear storage basket

We adore this storage basket which fits baby’s dirty clothes in the medium size. The soft and fluffy borg fabric, with the cute addition of a happy bear’s face, was also loved by our little tester. We were grateful for the inner wipe-clean lining to throw even the dirtiest of garments into the pile. The storage basket is available in size small, medium and large to suit your room size and use, whether it’s for toys, bottles or laundry.

Buy now

Jojo Maman Bébé lion safari soft storage basket: £24,

Lion storage basket

This fun and playful quilted lion storage basket instantly added some character into our nursery with its statement design. We loved using this bag for storing toys, books, comforters and essential bits and bobs. The practical handles and flexible shape also makes it easy to transport essentials from room-to-room to keep baby entertained around the house.

Buy now

Ginger Ray wooden baby hangers: £7.99,

Clothes Organisers

From newborn to 18-24 months, we adore the aura of organisation these clothes dividers bring into an often chaotic and messy nursery. It is a lovely touch for parents to be reminded of each milestone their baby reaches when picking out outfits, as they grow through the early years.

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Dunelm flocked kids cloud shaped hangers, set of 25: £9,

Dunelm kids hangers

The price tag on most kids’ hangers will come as a shock to parents as more often than not they are overpriced and only come as a maximum set of three. Have no fear, we’ve hunted down a cracker of a bargain from Dunelm which includes 25 hangers for under a tenner. Not to mention, the soft texture, neutral cream colouring and gorgeous cloud design which perfectly complements any nursery theme.

We were grateful that the top hook twists easily to your preferance too as so many stylish adult hangers refuse to budge, making organisation a lot less time consuming. We couldn’t stop cooing at how sweet baby’s tiny clothes looked on these adorable hangers and were so pleased the sizing of the hangers perfectly fit a range of kids’ sizes when tested for newborn babygrows aswell as age 6 garments.

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Avery Row baby wipes cover - Riverbank: £16,

Baby wipes pouch

Neat freaks rejoice! This completely non-essential, but absolutely genius, nursery item is utterly fabulous. We won’t lie that when the wipes run out mid-poonami you’re obviously not going to waste any time restocking or faffing with the cover – but trust us when you do have some free time to refill and tidy up your changing station, it feels like such a rewarding accomplishment to see it brightening up the room.

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Matalan green large ribbed class lidded canister: £9,

Glass storage jar

Available in blue or grey, we loved this stylish storage cylinder for keep cotton wool pads at easy reach on our changing table. The tall, roomy jar fits one and half packs of Superdrug’s My Little Star large cotton pads (£1.99, and if you’re a neat freak like us, you’ll get such a thrill when it comes to restocking. The ribbed glass and wooden lid looks so modern, allowing you to easily re-use the cannister for other rooms around the house when baby outgrows nappy changes.

Buy now

Avery Row small quilted storage baskets, set of 2: £34,

Quilted storage baskets

If you haven’t gathered already, we clearly like organised structure in our nursery, and multiple storage compartments to keep all of baby’s bits and bobs tidy. This multipack of reversible and beautifully designed botanical and sage green soft padded baskets look so stylish on top of a changer/dresser to keep nappies, nappy cream and baby wipes handy to quickly grab.

We’ve also used them for day trips out to store changing essentials and small toys because they are the perfect size and flexible shape to fit under the pram. They look lovely with the tops slightly folded over to show off the reversible designs.

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Baby mobiles

Mamas & Papas born to be wild cot mobile: £45,

Mamas & Papas musical cot mobile

If you are designing a safari sanctuary, this musical cot is a must-buy. We adored the soft lullaby sounds for night time soothing and thought each animal was beautifully crafted. We attached the mobile to the cot in seconds and instantly felt the room’s wildlife aesthetic come to life.

Buy now

Scandiborn cam cam baby mobile, seabed OCS: £48.09,

Cam Cam baby mobile

Hanging a mobile over your changing table is a genius idea, if we do say so ourselves, as it acts as helpful entertainment for a fussy baby during those unwanted changes. The handmade under-the-sea soft toys look so fresh and its lightweight material makes it easy to spin around for distracting your little one.

Buy now


Dunelm hot air balloon rattan easy fit pendant: £32,

Dunelm Hot Air Balloon Light shade

As well as the unique child-friendly look, we loved the sustainable et bang on trend rattan material of this lightshade. We were pleasantly surprised by the size – and how easy it was to fit – as one photo online made it look a like it could be on the smaller side. To really add to the cute factor, we placed a miniature soft toy inside the hot air balloon basket. The light is available in white, natural brown and grey.

Buy now

Liewood Samuel lamp mr bear: £27,

Liewood night light

A stylish night light can give your nursery a great glow, as well as being a nice decorative feature and best friend during those bleary-eyed feeds. Also selected by Dani Dyer for her twins’ nursery, we love this soft, silicone night lamp that simply attaches to a cot or shelf hanger. The warm glow is turned on and off with just a click and feels comforting for everyone.

It’s super lightweight and helpfully loops over your finger to transport from room-to-room at night time. The small design makes it an ideal travel buddy for holidays and its subtle sandy shade complements any nursery style. We were grateful that it doesn’t need any batteries and simply charges via a USB cable.

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Wall art

La Redoute nogu 90cm rattan flower mirror: £110, La

Rattan nursery mirror

We are obsessed with this bang-on-trend rattan mirror and absolutely love having it placed above the changing station to show our own little ray of sunshine their beautiful face and outfits each day. While it is clearly a flower design, we can’t help but also admire this as statement sunshine because of the warm textures and joy it brings into our nursery.

The 90cm diameter sizing was a perfect fit centrally above the changer/dresser and generously wide enough for selfies with your bestie. The vintage vibes bring such a fun, playful aesthetic to the room and received lots of complements when showing friends and family the completed nursery.

Buy now

Lucy’s Little Craft Shop jungle safari animal prints: From £4.25,

Etsy safari prints

We were delighted to find so many independent brands offering such gorgeous nursery decor on Etsy, just like Lucy’s Little Craft Shop, where we picked out these adorable safari prints. The range of A4 or A3 prints offered the perfect combination of safari and botanical themes to add a beautiful touch of character into a gender neutral nursery.

From lion cubs to ducks and dalmations, there are a wide variety of animals to choose froom to suit a farmyard, jungle or forest theme – or even pay homage to a particular country or family pet. We adored the hand-painted designs which are so child-friendly, spreading utter joy from each of animals’ smiling faces.

Buy now

Dunelm sweet dreams metal wire words, 91cm: £10,

Sweet dreams gold metal wire sign

We love this bang-on-trend gold wall art, which is so simple but looks so effective when displayed strategicially to complement baby’s cot. It will also see your little one through many bedroom styles as they grow older too, thanks to its ageless gold design. We love the swirly handwritten-style font which adds texture and such a sweet, dreamy vibe to any room. The two words are separate so you can easily decide the best layout of styling them to best suit your nursery wall.

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H&Mrainbow-shaped hanging rack: £17.99,

Rainbow hanging rack

Rainbow accents are always a win for any nursery as they bring sheer joy even on the most grey days. We particularly love this rattan hanging rack initially for its warm, bohemian style, but grew to love it most for the practical reason of using it to hang up baby’s outfits or bathrobe for prepping changes ahead of time. We were grateful for the four hooks to hang multiple babygrows to keep ready-and-waiting to tackle emergency poonami changes.

Buy now


Dunelm jute bear round rug: From £39,

Jute bear nursery rug

The hand-crafted jute rug is so playful and stylish to complement nurseries or playrooms. We particuarly loved this hardwearing rug for a downstairs playroom where dirty shoes would often tread on it. A good shake outside helpfuly did the job to remove any dirt and the natural colour blend of browns and rustic fibres subtly disguises any small marks that develop during playtime as they grow older.

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Dunelm Kiara rainbow rug: From £29,

Dunelm rainbow rug

This is such a gorgeous addition to bring warmth and tone down a bright nursery, or add a luxurious pop of texture into a modern neutral bedroom thanks to the natural cream colour and tufted rainbow design. We were delighted by the soft feel of the 100 per cent cotton fabric, which made for a safe base for baby’s playtime set-up. The tassels inject a Scandi feel into the room which thankfully extends the rug’s longevity from a baby’s room into a must-have for modern grown-up spaces.

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Baby’s playthings

Penguin baby touch books: £6.99 each,

Penguin baby touch books

We love the vast Penguin range of baby touch books to always keep story time fun, tactile, educational and never boring. We particularly loved the titles: Nursery Rhymes, Hide and Seek, Night-Night and Tummy Time which were all filled with bright illustrations, sweet stories and plenty of different simulating textures for baby to touch.

We were particularly grateful for the Nursery Rhymes book which reminded us of the words to all of the catchy tunes to sing to baby when you’re sleepy and easily start to forget the lyrics. While the Tummy Time book is stimulating because its pages pop out to encourage baby to lift their head and see contrasting colour.

Buy now

Belle Baby nursery soft giraffe: £30,

Soft giraffe toy

We love this adorable soft giraffe from independent brand, Belle Baby, which is just the sweetest addition for playtime when your little one is walking and starts getting close to the same height for cuddles. It arrives in a vacuum-packed bag – so don’t be alarmed by the small package size – and the giraffe quickly pops up into shape. He does arrive a little wobbly on his feet after unpackaging at first but he quickly finds his bearings once stood upright.

Buy now

Mori wooden baby milestone blocks: £15.60,

Wooden milestone blocks

We love these sweet wooden blocks to track each day, week and monthly milestones as baby grows. They add a gorgeous touch to keepsake snapshots to showcase baby’s journey and remember how old they were in photo albums. The neutral pastel colours perfectly complement the rattan bookshelf, where we styled them on the wall. The building blocks also double up for playtime to help baby develop their fine motor skills.

Buy now


Crane drop 2.0 4-in-1 humidifier with sound machine and night light: £110,

Air purifier

We didn’t keep this in the nursery all the time but instead brought it in for a regular air freshen up before baby’s arrival. It’s also a best friend during night feeds or restless nights as the option of seven night light colours and its relaxing wave sounds help to soothe baby and relax tired parents. We were grateful that the machine is so practical to clean and refill without any awkwared wires attached.

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Fitted Sheets

Ikea drömslott fitted sheet for cot, set of 2: £15,

Ikea cot bed fitted sheets

Polka dots are so fun and playful for nursery decor and we love the gender neutral shades this two-pack comes in. The 100 per cent organic cotton is light and breathable for warm weather and throughout the year. We were grateful that you could machine wash them up to 60C for a deep clean, too.

Buy now

Mattress protector

Silentnight safe nights mattress protector: £11.99,

Cot bed waterproof mattress protector

An easy-to-forget purchase but an absolute must-have for baby’s first sleeps when they are old enough to vacate your bedroom into their nursery. We love this waterproof, anti-allergy bargain from Silentnight for just over a tenner. When tested on an 18-month-old, we were grateful that the mattress rustle was quiet enough not to wake them during their night time wriggles.

Buy now

Changing mat

Mabel & Fox wedge baby changing mat: £25.49,

Mama Shack nursery changing mat

Mabel & Fox prove you don’t have to sacrifice style when it comes to practical changing mats as their vast collection of designs, prints and colours can complement any nursery decor – and each one looks so modern. We love the wedge shape which has thick padded foam and curved edges to keep baby in one place and feel comfortable during those fussy changes. We were grateful for the waterproof texture which makes cleaning up so efficient with just a few strokes of a baby wipe. The mat fits perfectly on both changing units we tested, with enough room to keep nappies and wipes on hand.

Buy now

Mama Shack changing mat linear leaf: £19,

Mama Shack changing mat

We loved the botanical print of this changing mat to complement a modern, safari or boho nursery in a gorgeous sage that lots of parents are opting for this year. The mat is thinner than a wedge, so we used this most for moving around the house and even keeping under the sofa downstairs for faster daytime nappy changes – or even tummy time. You can easily wipe the waterproof material clean. The mat fits snuggly when tested in both changing units.

Buy now

Nappy bin

Korbell nappy bin: £49.99,

Nappy bin

We were very relieved when this nappy bin arrived already set up and ready to use instantly, unlike some other popular brands we’ve tested. We were particularly grateful for the foot pedal when our hands were full and love that the openings are child-proof to keep little hands out when they are exploring their room.

Buy now

Baby monitor

CoboAi plus smart baby monitor: £289,

CuboAi baby monitor

Let’s face it, baby monitors are ugly and they can turn such a sweet haven into a room that looks more like a Big Brother scene. That’s why we love CoboAi because of its adorable white bird and subtle oak design which actually adds to the cuteness of a nursery.

You simply scan a QR code from the manual to start the app set-up and can activate notifications to receive the sound of a bird tweet to alert you when your baby rolls over or cries. We were also grateful for room temperature tracking that you can keep an eye on from your app, as well as the added CTIA Cybersecurity Certification for extra reassurance of baby’s safety and home security.

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Windowsill decor

Asda artificial bunny tails in vase: £12,

Artificial bunny tails in vase

To add some boho chic to a very plain windowsill, we thought this on-trend speckled vase full of bunny tails was a perfect addition. The lovely decoration brings natural warmth into the room, perfectly complementing any modern or nature themed nursery.

Buy now

JoJo Maman Bébé wooden koala stacker: £17,

Koala stacking toy

This sweet toy proves that wooden toys can be colourful too. We were pleased that it helpfully doubled up as an adorable windowsill decoration to continue the cuteness from all angles of the nursery until baby is old enough to start developing their fine motor skills. The playful ears and paws encourages tactile play and the cute bobble head is fun for little ones with big imaginations.

Buy now

Asda green eucalyptus leaves scented reed diffuser: £12,

2-pack diffusers

There is nothing better than walking into a room that oozes scents of freshness, especially a nursery that can often smell far from fresh. This budget reed diffuser does exactly that from the moment you dip the sticks into the refreshing, citrus oil. We loved this bargain for a pack of two, to either keep one on-hand ready to restock, or use downstairs to mask the smell of nappy changes there, too. The artificial eucalyptus stick and stylish label adds a lovely touch of greenery to complement a botanical, jungle or boho-style nursery.

Buy now

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