Nursery Shelf-Styling 101

So you have a fabulous collection of knick-knacks, framed newborn pictures, plaster hand and feet prints, vintage stuffed animals, etc. to decorate your nursery with... Go to arrange it on a dresser, nightstand or shelf and feel completely lost on where to start. All of the sudden a 2-second job turns into 20+ minutes of moving things around until it all clicks. Sound familiar? Yeah... Been there, done that. Here's what I finally came up with:

Desert/Arizona Nursery shelf decor by SparkleMom Hacks

I found this rustic shelf at a thrift store and am absolutely obsessed with it. Endless possibilities! Both my husband and I are Arizona natives and that will always be an important aspect to our family. That being said, I definitely wanted to find a way to incorporate a desert/western feel into our son's nursery. (Arizona state string art from KayLay Design here, stuffed raccoon from Hazel Village here.)

Now lets break down the basics, here.

Collect your items: Think outside the box, here. Pull open the dresser drawers and grab things like baby moccasins, hats, pacifiers... You name it! If it fits the style you're going for, set it aside because it might be the finishing touch to you new shelf ensemble. 

Think in terms of COLOR and TEXTURE. The perfect shelf is going to have a few neutral colors, a few pop colors, and a variety of textures. By textures I mean, wood, fabric, fur, sequins, glass, metal, plastic, artificial flowers and plants... You get the idea. Texture makes it visually interesting and color keeps it appealing. 

Hello Briscoe Blog Nursery Reveal

This gorgeous nursery shelf setup from Hello, Briscoe is the perfect example of mixing textures. Gold metal shelf, greenery leaves, pink flowers, wood figurines, leather baby mocs... Perfect!

Start Staging:

Basic Rules:

-Cluster with Odd Numbers

For whatever reason, odd numbers are very visually pleasing- especially groups of 1 or 3 items. Remember when clustering to mix textures and colors! Cute look from Home Designing.

-Use Varying Heights

Jen Bishop's nursery by Style Curator

This is key. It may help to sort your items by height into different piles to make sure they are separated. It helps me to think in terms of triangles. Whatever cluster you're working on, make some sort of triangle with the heights.

See more of this cute, gender neutral nursery look here.

-Keep a Consistent Style

Boo and Rook Hunting Beach Nursery Inspo

Boo and Rook Family Interior Design killed this nursery shelf. Notice how the style is consistent throughout all the pieces on the shelf, even though the colors and textures vary? That's the tricky part for me. You can play around with this, just follow the basic rule of thumb. For example, if you're going for a neutral, minimalist feel (like pictured here) you don't want to add a red Fisher Price toy car. 

-Separate Your Colors:


megfecteau on Project Nursery, Green Woodland Nursery

In this look, notice how there are 2 different color schemes: black/white and bright, mixed colors. They are separated evenly using the triangle idea I mentioned earlier referring to heights. The black and white items make a triangle, the colored books make up the point to another triangle with the stuffed animal and piggy bank. 


Now chances are... You're going to finish staging your shelf and realize something is missing. Maybe you need more texture or height variances or simply more items to fill a hole. Shopping for such a specific (yet vague at the same time) item can be really difficult! Here are some ideas:


Timber Sprout old fashioned wood car toy 

Wooden toys, you can never go wrong there. Timber Sprout is one of my favorite shops for these.

La Dahlia crocheted puppy dog toy

Crocheted stuffed animals. Adorable and a great way to add texture. Le Dahlia made this cute puppy.

Gender Neutral Nursery decor inspo from SparkleMom Hacks Blog

Another awesome filler could be felt vines, like the one hanging on this teepee. Shop similar garlands here.

 Good Luck!


xoxo Heidi



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