These Minimalist Nursery Decor Ideas Are a Recipe for Sweet Dreams

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These days, there's no set formula for designing a nursery, and it's safe to say that we've seen it all. From carving out nooks in shared spaces, like the dining room, to converting home offices and closets (yes, really) there are no rules when it comes to building out a dedicated spot for the little ones. That said, instead of going all out with layers of rich patterns and whimsical motifs, consider taking a slightly more subdued route.

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Hear us out. We're not talking about a snoozy setup that lacks heart or color but one that exudes an element of effortless cool with plenty of charm to boot. A thoughtfully decorated space not only makes the transition to the toddler years all the more seamless, but it inspires a soothing ambiance on top. With that in mind, we compiled a list of the best minimalist nursery decor ideas and the lessons we learned from each.

1. Stick to a palette.

If you're going to be introducing an array of decorative elements within a compact space, stick to a pared down mix of colors to keep things cohesive. Take note from this inspired room, dreamed up by Anne Sage, where soft earthy tones are punctuated by pops of black for a subtle hint of contrast.

Get the look: Crate & Kids Rattan Bassinet, $299

2. Color code.

Wallpaper featuring a cheeky motif is one way to make a statement in a minimalist nursery. Opting for a crib that comes in a matching hue is another. Chango & Co. masters the look in this whimsical vignette, where storage is found in the form of a lucite shelf that remains blissfully camouflaged.

Get the look: Crate & Kids Acrylic House Bookcase, $399

3. Hang art.

The little ones also deserve to have a space sans blank walls. Curate a mini gallery wall, with three or so prints, to invite a splash of color and charm to an otherwise modestly decked out space. This nursery designed by Brittni from Paper & Stitch pairs a modern minimalist scheme and organic details with effortless ease.

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Get the look: Fine Little Day Swimmers Poster, $29

4. Mount storage.

Keep the floors free of clutter by designating wall storage where and when possible. A wall-mounted shelf makes for a prime display for books, toys, and even plants, and it works with the minimalist nursery decor theme.

Get the look: String Wall Shelving, $295

5. Go dark.

Paint the walls of the room in a moody hue, and you'll find that you need to do very little else on the design front. This streamlined nursery by Citta Design feels more than complete thanks to the contrasting crib and the oversize potted plant beside it.

Get the look: MakeUpWallDecor Meters Pure Color Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper, $36.99

6. Stay classy.

We're loving the bespoke details of this charming nursery by Studio McGee. Subtly patterned wallpaper and sleek paneling provide texture and visual interest to an otherwise minimalist space, while a reserved palette of blush tones and white keeps things sweet and interesting.

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Get the look: Harriet Bee Alabaster White Catherine Metal 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, $429.99

7. Buy a rug.

If you're looking to create a focal point with your minimalist nursery decor, other than the crib of course, follow the lead of Amber Lewis and outfit your space with a colorful vintage rug. Not only will it double as a cozy landing pad, but it'll provide the perfect foundation for the remaining elements in the room.

Get the look: Anthropologie Bea Rug, $398

8. Combine styles.

Consider this proof that you can have a bohemian-inspired nursery that still errs on the minimalist side. The trick? Paring down on the decorative accents and sticking to a near-monochrome palette. An unexpected accent for the walls doesn't hurt either.

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9. Bring in greens.

The best way to elevate a minimalist nursery decor scheme is to outfit the room with a larger-than-life plant. Prop a green of choice in the corner and watch the room instantly transform into an oasis-like space.

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Get the look: Chelsea Garden Center Ficus Burgundy Bush, $49.95

10. Embrace the monochrome.

Decorating with a singular hue — yes, white counts as a color — is a surefire way to master modern minimalism. Just ask Emily Henderson. The creative opted for a total white-out when it came to her daughter's nursery and used art, books, and a delicately tasseled crib canopy to bring in saturation and fun.

Get the look: Pillowfort Tassel Bed Canopy One Size White, $44.99

11. Mix and match elements.

A mobile and patterned wall-hanging are just about all you need to invite a playful touch to your minimalist nursery decor as proven by this spaced from Almost Makes Perfect. Complement a neutral palette with warm, earthy tones for interest, and use an eclectic mix of materials, such as wood, leather, and faux fur, for a dynamic finish.

Get the look: Electric Sun Creatives Mobile No. 16, $185

12. Welcome the lighter side.

Install a delicately patterned wallpaper in the nursery, instead of just painting it white, to lend a subdued hint of color to the room. Outfit the space with furnishings and decor that are grounded in neutrals —this dreamy nook spotted on Coco Kelley pretty much nails it — to achieve an airy yet elegant finish.

Get the look: Serena & Lily Priano Wallpaper, $98

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Anna is a New York-based writer and editor with a penchant for travel, design, and interiors.