Nursery designs are traditionally filled with cuddly themes, pastels, and alphabet blocks, but modern nursery designs are growing in popularity. Modern wall decor can fit better with the overall design of a home, which is more reusable as your child grows out of their ABCs and trains phase.
Wall art is one of the most cost-effective and easy ways to build a room’s aesthetic. Framed art prints and patterned wallpapers can immediately elevate a room. When you let go of babyhood and embrace your developing toddler, you can switch out the “oh baby” calligraphy with something more grown-up, like “be silly, be honest, be kind.” If you’re looking for chic, modern, gender-neutral designs to grow with your child, we have suggestions to help you find beautiful wall art to decorate your nursery.
Creative Modern Nursery Wall Art Ideas
Custom illustrations, signs, and decals can all work together to create a sleek, gorgeous room. The key is deciding which works best for you and your aesthetic. If you’re into DIY projects, the options are endless — all you need is some paint, board, and hanging hardware. If you’re more of a buy and style person, there’s great wall art to fit every budget and design.
Wallpaper is probably the easiest way to decorate your walls with fun art prints or scenes. It’s great for creating a bold accent wall or filling a room with a stylized theme. The bonus of wallpaper is that it’s super sturdy and can add texture to a room.
Wallpaper can be time-consuming to prep, so it may be best to hire a professional. If you have the DIY spirit, you can get it done without too much stress. Wallpaper comes in all styles and price ranges, but it can be difficult to remove. When you’re browsing options, consider choosing a timeless design that your child can enjoy for years.
2. Canvas Gallery Wall
A canvas gallery is a collection of canvas prints arranged like a collage. Canvas wall art is a beautiful way to display photos and add some extra sophistication to a room. This is a great way to build a theme with photos, patterns, and color inspiration.
Consider what size and shape you want your gallery wall to be and how it can complement the rest of the nursery’s decor. Then you can trace the area on paper and map out how many canvases will fit within using various cutouts and size options. Once you have your gallery wall planned, you can decide what you want to print and get creative. If you have a jungle theme, an abstract tropical leaf wall art print and waterfall design would look great among the rest of your photos.
3. String Lights
String lights create a delicate, dreamy atmosphere that’s perfect for a baby nursery. They can be draped like a curtain down an accent wall or behind a piece of furniture, like the crib or rocking chair. They also work well as a frame around other decorations or the room itself. You can even get lights with malleable wire strands so you can shape them into words or icons with a little creativity and hardware. Whatever you decide to do, just keep in mind that your little one will be crawling in no time, so make sure they’re secure and out of reach.
4. Framed Prints
Framed prints are a quick, easy, and budget-friendly way to decorate your nursery. Your favorite photos will look beautiful and add personality to the baby room. If you’re looking for a theme, prepare a quick photoshoot and get pictures of flowers, pets, parks, and any other subject that will complement the room. You can always commission art or find stock photographs to have printed and framed if you can’t make what you’re looking for.
The framing you choose is the cherry on top. A minimalist and thin black frame or a bold vintage flourish can completely change the room and is a great way to further tie your decor together.
Garland is a nursery favorite and super easy to customize. They come in every color palette imaginable and can be made of beads, pom poms, tassels, stars, and more. Custom flags with the baby’s name are adorable and easy to hang above the crib. If you’re looking for a bit more flair, you can layer different colors and textures over each other and cover a whole wall. Garlands are also great frames for statement pieces and windows.
6. DIY Art
A little DIY will help personalize your baby’s nursery and is a great photo op for your baby photo book. You can practice calligraphy and write inspirational quotes on stationary to frame and hang, or create abstract paintings using your nursery’s theme, color palette, a blank canvas.
Another cute canvas art DIY is stamping a heart using your hands. Once baby comes, you can create a smaller heart using their feet for beautiful matching canvases you’ll cherish forever. Write the words “love you” underneath in your handwriting so they always know they have your support to dream big.
7. Family Adventures
You’re right in the thick of writing your family’s story, and displaying all of the adventures that brought you to this chapter is a wonderful nursery wall art idea. Including high-quality prints of you and your partner’s first date, first vacation, holidays, and the decision to have a baby will add something special to the nursery. You’ll never forget what brought you to this moment.
As your child grows you can tell your story with pictures that they’ll forever remember the love shared. They are pictures you’ll always enjoy having in your home and you can help your child add their own adventures.
8. Wall Decals
Decals are easy additions to any wall and are just as easy to remove. They’re especially great to complete nursery themes and aren’t as overwhelming as a full wall mural. Nature themes, like trees, birds, mountains, and clouds, are especially popular and easy to find. Showcase their initials with a monogram decal and pair with a growth chart to give their space character.
9. Outer Space
Everyone knew someone with glow-in-the-dark stars on their ceiling as a kid, and space themes are as popular ever. A chic, modern twist on the classic theme includes lots of neutrals and some muted colors. Consider a navy blue accent wall with constellations from your hemisphere the month your baby is due.
Include the solar system as a mobile or framed posters of each planet — your choice if you want to include Pluto. Novelty lamps can really make a space theme, so keep an eye out for lamps shaped like rockets, the moon, or stars.
10. Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are the perfect way to decorate the walls and keep tables clear and organized. Plain shelves can be hung with different lengths or off-center to add some dynamic and keep things open. Abstract and regular shaped shelves are also widely available and a fun decoration themselves.
Shelves can be used for storage, decor, and a mix of both. Keep crayons in a decorative tin and a few blocks stacked to keep the floor clean and toys on display. It’s also a great place to keep decorations out of your little one’s reach as they grow.
Murals are like decals and wallpaper times 10, but they’re excellent if you want a room that feels well-designed and cohesive without a lot of clutter. If you’re an artist this can be a great project for you to break out the projector and get to work. If you’re less practiced, you can still have a great finish with a ruler and some painter’s tape.
Geometrics and color blocks are relatively easy to do, and there are plenty of tutorials online. If painting a mural still seems out of your league, you can buy printed murals that adhere to the wall. You can also always hire a local artist to paint something unique and guaranteed to be great. Just make sure you go a little light on other decorations, or your nursery can feel busy and overwhelming.
Geometrics are a go-to for nearly every modern design and they’re super trendy. You want to avoid going overboard, but a few pieces can complement any theme or style. Funky frames, hexagonal mirrors, abstract canvases, and furnishings are all fun ways to bring shapes into play.
Consider what a lot of the shapes in the room are already and try to stick with something that can complement these. So if you have a lot of prominent, rectangular picture frames, then circular shelves probably won’t match as well as a honeycomb pattern. The shapes don’t have to be a perfect match, but avoid too many bold and conflicting choices.
13. Color Pops
Color pops are always trendy and a great way to make a room feel fresh and energized without it being too loud. These are especially great for modern styles that can be a little too muted or neutral. You don’t have to choose just one color, but be sure that they’re adjacent colors on the color wheel, or complementary colors.
The best way to choose your palette is to choose black or white, one additional neutral, and then one bold color. From your one color you can see the adjacent colors, so if you choose yellow, then you can also use shades of orange or green — just don’t go overboard and keep the colors a similar intensity. Use colors within a set of decor that’s already neutral, like a yellow lemon on a set of gray pillows, or a green leaf pattern in a gallery of black frames.
14. Statement Lighting
Statement lamps and lighting are a great way to help a room feel complete without cluttering the home decor, since you were going to have lighting anyway. Fun lamp and shade shapes are an easy choice, and there’s something for every theme.
If you’re not working within a specific theme you can still use string lights, orb lamps, or colored bulbs to change the energy of the room and add some warmth. Consider the shape and size of the lamp to fill space that’s looking a little sparse and what decorations may be enhanced with lighting, like a garland with glitter.
15. Name Signage
An easy and sweet decoration your baby can keep forever is a sign of their name. The baby’s name is a go-to decoration for above the crib and is great for balancing heavy decorations opposite the crib.
A simple wooden sign with the name painted across is always good, and another fun place to play with shapes. Garlands with flags that spell the baby’s name are also a favorite and DIY friendly, plus easy to reuse for milestone photos and birthday parties. If you’re looking for something more trendy, a neon sign of the baby’s name can be made in just about any color and may even be kept around into your child’s teens.
Icons are a fun, minimalist way to add a statement or message to your nursery room. They can be statues, framed prints, or painted directly on the wall, and they can stand alone or repeat to build a pattern.
Most anything important to you and your family can be incorporated as an icon, including the venus symbol, a cross, or hiking trail symbols. Icons can also be pop culture references or simply decorative shapes, like Mickey Mouse, clouds, bows, and donuts.
Plants can make any room more inviting and fresh, and are beautiful in a nursery. If you’re building a jungle theme, hang tropical plants and ivy to build out the atmosphere. If you’re going more minimalist, a small succulent is adorable and super easy to care for. The bonus of keeping plants now is it can become a fun and educational activity for you and your child when they’re older, as most toddlers and children enjoy gardening.
Choose which plants can thrive in your nursery by tracking the amount of sunlight it receives, and keep plants out of reach of the baby. For extra safety, choose plants that don’t require heavy pots and soil, and that are non-toxic for children and furry friends. Finally, consider how much care they’ll need and if it will become a relaxing hobby or a burden when you’re busy with your baby.
18. Fiber Art
Fiber art is a huge category that covers everything from dreamcatchers to crochet baby blankets, and it can really add to the comfort and warmth of a room. If you’re not a crafter, know that you can purchase any wall hangings your heart desires from artists local or online.
Boho dreamcatchers, tapestries, and embroidery are all trendy options for your nursery walls that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you’re opting for plants, you can combine these two decor ideas with macrame pot hangers to really create a modern boho vibe.
19. Monochrome Palettes
Monochrome palettes are the cornerstone of modern design. They create simple, minimalist elegance without too much effort. The hard part is keeping a monochrome palette crisp and trendy, not cold and boring.
The key is to use patterns and accent pieces. Bold patterns add interest to the design, and the monochrome palette keeps these patterns from becoming overwhelming. Pops of color and accent pieces warm the environment but use them sparingly to avoid disrupting your palette and confusing the design.
20. Metallic Strokes
Metallic accents can be gorgeous and glam, while still achieving the modern minimalist nursery wall decor of your dreams. Feel free to mix metallics, too. The easiest way to achieve a complementary mix is to go by feel, since some metallics are more earthy, like copper and brass, and others are more bold, like gold and silver.
To keep your metallics from overwhelming the room, use them sparingly as thin frames or with light fixtures. Metallic accents to furniture or canvases can add some shine to the room without breaking the clean and simple aesthetic.
Sculptures on walls or shelves are a cute, simple addition to a theme or design. Similar to icons, they can be standalone pieces or part of a collection that adds to the room’s cohesion. A popular sculpture for nurseries is the minimalist animal bust. It’s a simple acrylic animal head that comes in one color and is simply hung on the wall. Choose a size and color that fits your space and hang your favorite or a collection of favorite animals. Many sculptures can also be used to hang hats and jackets for added utility. Complement with animal prints that showcase giraffes, baby elephants, and unicorns for added whimsy.
Calligraphy has been a huge trend for the better part of a decade. It’s gorgeous, simple, and more accessible than ever with the Internet and digital art tools. Large posters, wall decals, and small frames are all ways to decorate with calligraphy. Choose inspirational quotes or lines from your favorite book and then decide how you want to display your simple art piece.
23. Signs and Letter Boards
Signs are another fun way to personalize your nursery art with interests and text. You can create a permanent piece of decor with paint and aboard, or choose a chalkboard sign or a trendy magnetic board to update your room regularly.
Mirrors are simple additions to any decor that help brighten a room without any effort. Choose a mirror with an intricate frame for a little flair, or a collection of small mirrors in fun shapes to build a decorative pattern. Mirrors are perfect for sparse spaces where you want a little something extra, but you don’t want to overwhelm the wall.
25. Character Illustrations
If you’re not so into photographs and are looking for ways to decorate your wall, character paintings are the way to go. There are tons of artistic styles and content themes to choose from. Astronaut illustrations, watercolor princesses, and paintings of bugs on flowers are all darling choices that can match an array of nursery decor without becoming too childish.
Planning your nursery’s design is a fun and exciting part of expecting a baby. Fun and playful baby home decor doesn’t have to be ABC blocks and saturated primary colors. Careful color choices, simple decor, and stunning wall art can all help you create a beautiful, modern nursery. Here are some of our other favorite nursery resources: