How To Get Started On A Minimalist Nursery Theme

A beginner’s guide to creating an affordable minimalist nursery in 11 easy steps. Create a space that is safe, functional and beautiful!


11 Steps To Create A Minimalist Nursery

How to Start a Minimalist Nursery Theme

When it comes to decorating a baby’s room, you want something that is stylish and functional.

But the problem is that babies come with a lot of STUFF! And as they get older, they just get more and more stuff.

Before they’re begging for their own Star Wars themed room or a princess room complete with a vanity set, I wanted to share some tips for you on how to create a minimalist nursery design without sacrificing style or function. The great part of having a minimalist nursery is that it works great if you’re wanting a more gender neutral nursery design!

This post offers solutions for common problems like storage, lighting and what to do with all the toys. You can also find suggestions for furniture pieces that fit into small spaces while still looking great!

1. Start with the basics

Think about the bare minimum of what you need for your baby to live comfortably and safely. Somewhere to sleep, somewhere to be changed, a place to snuggle (if you wish), and a way for them to be entertained by you when they’re little and a way for them to entertain themselves as they grow up (aka. books and toys).

mom holding baby in a neutral colored glider

Three key furniture pieces that I believe every minimalist nursery must include are:

  1. Crib – If you’re looking for something smaller than the standard crib, check out this post on minimalist cribs I did last month!
  2. DresserThis minimalist dresser is great for small spaces and can double as storage for necessities and baby stuff.
  3. Glider/Rocker – I love this minimalist glider because it has a super clean and modern look, but still functions very well. It can be used for nursing and rocking baby to sleep, but would also look great in a minimalist nursery.

Pro tip: I wouldn’t spend a ton of money on a crib unless it converts into a bed that can last them into their teen years. But most times it’s cheaper to buy the crib that’s just a crib and then buy other furniture as they grow (and get more opinionated on what they want). They might even really want a floor bed which no crib I know on the market converts to.

2. Invest in staple items like a really good nursery glider/rocker and blackout curtains, but don’t shy away from purchasing less important items second hand

Do not be afraid to invest in furniture that will last for years – even decades. Yes, it is expensive up front, but trust me when I say that it will save time and money in the long run. It will be well worth it in the end.

The minimalist dresser I mentioned above, for example – it’s timeless and can last for years because of its quality and style. It is also very versatile. Not only can you use it to store clothes for baby and toys, but as your child grows up and needs a place to keep their clothes, it can be used in their bedroom.that work and give you what you need without making the room look too babyish.

Then purchase items that are second hand like toys, books, or any other specialty items (i.e. stuffed animals).

3. Keep accessories and decor to a minimal. Add a few pieces that warm up the area

Don’t go over the top decorating. Textiles are things you can put in a room that reflect your style. When it comes to minimalist nursery décor, less is more. I suggest using textiles to add pops of color like a crib blanket or throw pillow. Keep it simple and minimalist so that you can change the room up as your child grows without getting rid of everything.

boho neutral nursery with wood crib

Don’t overdo it with stuffed animals or other toys, either. Often times, what you don’t see is what makes minimalist nurseries look so beautiful.

4. Take advantage of multi-use items

Instead of getting a separate changing table and also a dresser, why not buy one that will do both? That way, you have less in the room and it can be used in your child’s room as they grow.

mom with baby on changing table

The minimalist dresser I mentioned above does double duty by being a changing table, too. It comes with all of the necessary straps and fasteners to be used as a changing table.

5. Keep crib bedding simple

Nothing says minimalist like clean lines and neutral colors. Stick with basic white crib bedding (at least for the first year!) and avoid accessories like fancy bed skirts or excess pillows. If you must have accessories, go for neutral, minimalist ones that mesh well with the theme of the room.

This minimalist crib bedding from Pottery Barn Kids is a great example of how you can add pops of color to the room without going overboard. It’s neutral enough that it won’t make the room look too babyish and works in minimalist or modern nurseries.

If you’re looking for minimalist crib sheets, then check out these on Amazon. They’re made from organic cotton and fit a standard sized crib perfectly!

6. Rotate toys and books so they’re not everywhere

The draw to a minimalist nursery to begin with is the lack of “stuff” everywhere. Toys and books come with the territory when you have a baby, but they should not make their way into every corner of the room. Make sure you have designated areas for books and toys to help minimize clutter.

closeup of baby laying on side

Just don’t forget that minimalist doesn’t mean boring. Kid are still kids and they need some fun as little ones.

7. Use floating shelves for toy and book storage off the floor

Floating shelves are a great alternative and can be used to store toys or books. Some minimalist nurseries use them in lieu of dressers, and others use them with dressers as extra storage for clothes (or a spot to place boxes of toys).

9. Utilize storage to your advantage

The next thing you need to think about is storage. One of the biggest issues I had with my minimalist nursery was lack of places for baby stuff!  I’m a minimalist at heart, so this was a real struggle, but there are some simple things you can do to solve storage issues:

2 stuffed dolls in a wicker basket
  • Toy bins – like this one that you can place on top of your dresser or in any corner of the room. It adds a nice pop of color and is great for smaller toys. Or try this minimalist version from Crate & Kids
  • Vintage crate shelves – You may have seen these a lot, but they are great for minimalist nurseries and any room in general. (I actually use them on casters in the bottom of my pantry!)
  • Baskets – Use these for extra blankets, toss pillows, or pile your books in them so they all have one place to live.

10. Don’t be afraid to add personal touches

You can also consider adding some personal touches to your minimalist nursery.

blonde mom holding baby on the end of the bed with fern hanging over her

For example, if you have a lot of family photos or artwork that you want your baby to grow up with, find a way to incorporate them into their room.

A good idea is framing prints and hanging them on walls in strategic places like over the crib or changing table so they are always around for your little one to see. This will not only make it feel more homey for everyone but give you an opportunity to bond as well!

11. Good, sleep promoting lighting

You may be wondering what lighting has to do with a minimalist nursery.

Think of it this way: If you have a floor lamp behind your rocker or glider, a lamp on a nightstand, an overhead light, and a nightlight that you plug into a wall, that doesn’t feel very minimalist.

Instead, invest in a lamp or overhead light that has multiple light options or a dimmer feature.  This is the one I have in my minimalist nursery and it works great because you can set it to read light, nightlight or emitting a soft glow. You can also turn off the nightlight completely for darker rooms. That way you save on energy without feeling like you’re missing anything.

Consider using black out curtains to help your baby sleep through the night  (or make a no sew DIY version here)

Blackout curtains are another minimalist nursery must-have because they provide a dark, quiet environment that makes it easier for your little one to sleep.


The most important thing to remember when designing a minimalist nursery is that you don’t have to follow any rules. You can use the guidelines listed here or toss them all out and do something completely different!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’ve rounded up our favorite minimal nurseries from around the internet below so you’ll never run out of ideas.

What’s your take on this trend? Are you a minimalist mama wanting to create a minimalist baby?

Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know how far down the rabbit hole of simplicity with style you want to go!

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