Tips for Decorating a Nursery: Penelope’s Room

Decorating Penelope’s Room

Nine months have passed and our little Penelope is finally here!! It’s almost hard to believe, and so amazing, that our family has expanded and changed forever thanks to this tiny little person.

In the months leading up to Penelope’s arrival we spent some time preparing her nursery, and I’m so happy with the way it turned out! Check out the pictures below, and my tips for decorating a nursery. I shared where I purchased/how I made some of the items, so keep on scrolling and reading for ideas, and feel free to share and pin these images! Enjoy…


Think About Comfort

One of my favorite elements of the nursery is the hanging chair. We first looked for a traditional glider, but ran into issues with finding one we loved that came in white with the fabric we liked. After several weeks of searching we finally found one that would work – only to be told it was over $600. It just wasn’t worth it for us! And we certainly weren’t in love with it. That’s when I remembered this swinging chair I saw at Pier 1, or as the store calls it, a “swingasan”. After paying it a visit in the store and sitting on it for a while, we were sold – it was so comfortable, and I knew it would look awesome, not to mention the fact that I know P will love it as she grows!

My five favorite things about our swinging chair vs. a traditional glider:

  1. It not only rocks forward and backward, but side to side, spins all the way around, and even bounces
  2. It has cup holders, as well as side pockets for things like books, burp cloths, or toys
  3. I can curl up in it with my legs crossed, and the boppy or pillow fits perfectly so I can breastfeed Penelope
  4. She will grow into the chair and love it as she gets older
  5. The price! You can score this Swingasan right now at Pier 1 on sale for $249. A much better deal than the $600+ we were going to be charged for the glider!

Now, onto the other tips and elements in Penelope’s Room:

Include Some Art

The wall art, below, is a decal that I found on Etsy. The colors of the owls can be customized, and the birch can be either brown or white. You’ll find tons of cool decals on Etsy! But if you like the one we used, you can find it here. Just a note to consider if you order a decal: it comes in several pieces, and applying it to the wall takes some time.


Think in Terms of Practicality and Storage

Below is Penelope’s dresser and diaper changing station. When decorating the nursery (or any room, for that matter) I considered not only what was visually appealing but how I would use the space. What would be practical? What will I need to place within reach? Thinking about all this ahead of time allowed me to know what I was looking for. I found the wall storage pieces at Home Goods and knew they would be perfect. Once hung on the wall, we stocked them with P’s diapers, butt balm, wipes, lotions, and refills of everything. And the hooks come in handy for clean clothes within reach for easy changing in the event of…blowouts 🙂

The wood and chicken wire in the wall storage pieces also add a sense of warmth to the space by bringing in natural elements.


Include a Few Sentimental Pieces

The fish on the left side of the dresser is a sentimental piece – it actually served as a night light for my husband and his siblings while they were growing up during their summers spent in Florida, visiting their grandparents. It’s adorable, and the perfect night light for P. Here it is lit up:

nursery_6 The second sentimental piece we included came from my grandmother. It is her old lamp, which she has had for years – I even remember it growing up hanging in her home. She gave it to us, and after a coat of paint and a re-wiring, it turned out beautiful!

nursery_7The flowers were actually the perfect color, so we taped those up and painted the rest of the lamp white. The leaves and details made it the perfect accent piece to go above the crib, with the wall decal.


Find and Choose Your Perfect Color Palette

One of the hardest things to do can be to settle on a color palette. It can be overwhelming because it is a commitment! It serves as the jumping-off point for everything else that will go into the room. I didn’t really feel like I wanted a particular “theme”, such as monkeys, jungle, elegant, etc., mainly because I didn’t want us to get sick of it after a while. I just wanted a fun space that would feel good and encourage creativity. I’m not a huge fan of pink, but was OK with a few accents. Like many of you I’m sure, I couldn’t picture what I wanted but felt that once I saw it, I’d know. And, while wandering through World Market one day, I found my color palette in a pillow:

IMG_3800Orange, gray, cream/white, a bold pink, and navy. It sounds strange when you write it out, but it looks great altogether! I chose the more neutral colors for the main areas and pieces (gray walls, cream/white furniture) and left the more bold, playful colors the for accent pieces, like area rugs, which you can read more about by checking out an online rug seller like Bazaar Velvet. This way, in case we get sick of the pink or orange, we can swap them out for other colors. And of course, I bought the pillow and it now lives in the swingasan.

Add Your Own Personal Touch

One of the simplest ways to make a room feel taller is to raise the curtains up to the ceiling. You can create the illusion of height by adding valences to the tops of your window treatments. I knew I wanted a gray/white chevron material, but thought I’d wind up searching high and low and paying a fortune to find it. But I got lucky this time: I went straight to the sale section at Joann’s Fabrics and found the material at a ridiculous markdown price! My total cost for the material, as well as the rods, was $8 and change!

nursery_13A few stitches later and some measuring, and we had valences!



nursery_12Even if you aren’t crafty and don’t like to DIY it, you can still attempt something simple like this. There are plenty of fabric glues and “no-sew” options for projects like the above.

Choose an Accent Piece

We wanted a storage area for books and other items for Penelope, and as soon as I saw the below accent piece, I knew it would work:

nursery_4We found it at Garden Ridge. It has open and closed storage, and adds to the orange accents. The gray/distressed finish compliments the wall color and overall theme of the room.

There are two other items in the room I didn’t mention: the ottoman, and the rug. The rug came from, and the ottoman I scored at Target.

Those are all the main pieces of Penelope’s room! I hope you found some great ideas here. Feel free to share this post and pin these images! And if you want more details on any of the items, such as where they were found or how they were used, drop me a note in the comments!


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I love it!!!

grownandhealthy Thanks Aubrey!!!

Love the nursery. I actually have been looking for a chair for the nursery. I didn’t want a glider as I didn’t like it for my first child…. Then decided that I may like just a plain rocking chair. Then today I went in to pier one and saw this exact Swingasan. I thought how perfect for the nursery. So a few questions I had…. Do u still like it and use it for the baby? Is it easy to get on and off with her? Thanks for ur post!

Kelly, I still love it!!! Best decision I made for that room. We snuggle up in there on a daily basis. I would recommend you go to the store and sit in one for a while (they won’t mind ;)) just to be sure it’s comfy for you. As far as getting in and out, I practiced while holding my cats before my daughter got here…haha but it worked – the key is to hang it at the right height so you can sit right down. Love it now, and am always picturing her loving it as she grows. Hope this helps and congrats to you!!

Hi Alessandra! I was thinking about the Swingasan chair at Pier 1 too.. That’s how I found your blog. Question, what did you use to hang the chair without buying the frame? Thanks in advance!

Glad you found me here! Purchase this kit: Hammock Chair Suspension Kit W/spring & Swivel-by-htd

All you do is screw the eye-hook that comes with the kit to the support beam in the ceiling (this is the toughest part), then hook the chair to the spring that comes with the kit. (Even though a chain comes with the chair, we also used the chain that came with the kit to get it lower to the ground.) Hook the chair, and you’re done! If you have any questions or want close-up pics, message me at I love our chair! 🙂

[…] you remember from when I designed Miss P’s nursery, it all started from a pillow I found for her room that I loved. That pillow became the jumping-off […]

Where did you get the storage shelves above the changing table? I have been looking for something like this.

We found them at Home Goods! Love that place. I know they don’t carry the same things regularly, but worth a shot!

Where did you get her dresser/changing table? I love it!

Thanks! We ordered the dresser from BuyBuyBaby, it’s Bassett. It also comes in a really pretty gray color but since we had gray walls we picked white. I got the items on the wall from Home Goods.

Great nursery, and thanks for the tips! I am looking to buy the white Swingasan chair for indoor use from Pier 1 also; have you noticed it getting dirty/dusty or having any color fading/transferring issues with the white? Thanks again! 🙂

Hi Jay! I’m proud to say that the nursery chair is still in great condition and easily our favorite thing in the house. No fading, and it’s also really easy to clean since the only fabric are the cushion and pillow. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Thanks for your reply! I think I will go with the white Swingasan then! 🙂

No problem! Awesome, I hope you love it!

Love the shelving above the changing table. Where did you pick those up?

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