Tips For a Photo-ready Nursery

I’m a designer. I’m also a mother. That newborn phase, it’s all consuming. Full of highs and lows. A shower and a warm cup of coffee on any given day feels like a solid win. Bonus points if anyone leaves the house. For seasoned parents, we know this is a fleeting phase. Just one of many that will come and go with the blink of an eye.

To preserve those precious newborn weeks, we invite a photographer into our homes to capture our newest family member. Despite the mere two hours of uninterrupted sleep, we mask the dark circles and wear enthusiastic smiles. We ask our photographer to ignore the piles of laundry, the dirty dishes, and everything else we’ve neglected since bringing home baby. We lead them to the one pristine room in the house—the baby’s nursery.

You’ve likely spent weeks and months planning that perfect nursery, and it shows. And because the only decision you need to make on photo day is whether or not to wear your hair up or down, here are a few design tips to prep the nursery for its close-up.

When I start designing a nursery, I consider the basics—crib, changing table, glider, storage—and then choose a focal point and build the room around it. Often it will be a beautiful rug or piece of art, sometimes it’s a striking wallpaper pattern or a vintage furniture piece painted a new hue. A focal point will inspire the design direction and allow other decisions to naturally fall into place.

modern floral girls nursery

image credit: KayAnna Charles

Next, I like to add soft layers—pillows, blankets, curtains, baskets, etc. The cozy factor helps with exhaustion, I promise. It also gives the space that “lived in” feel.

modern boys nursery

image credit: Courtney Malone Photography

Don’t forget to incorporate some greenery. A live (or faux) plant makes all the difference. If you are worried about baby one day mistaking his/her first solid for a new bud, a non-toxic plant option is a good choice. And there are several to choose from: snake plant, rubber plant, prayer plant, to name a few. Greenville has several great local plant stores who are willing to answer any questions you might have: Savereign in the Village of West Greenville, Urban Digs on the east side, and Roots on Augusta Road.

soft and modern gender neutral nursery

image credit: Courtney Malone Photography

For photo day especially, display some sentimental items for a personal touch—baby’s first lovey or stuffed animal, a pretty layette on a wooden hanger, hand-knit booties atop a stack of soft cotton sleepers, family photos in frames or casually hung with washi tape.

neutral nursery

image credit: Markie Walden Photography

Lastly, spend some time in your baby’s room and look for places to incorporate additional meaningful details—a colorful pom pom garland, a pennant flag with an inspirational message, a personalized piece of art, books with beautiful covers, or a trinket brought back from a far off place.

gender neutral nursery

image credit: Markie Walden Photography

These five tips go a long way. Your baby may not sleep in his or her perfect nursery for months to come, but you will spend a lot of time in it—feeding and rocking, putting away laundry and restocking diapers, staring at the books you’ll one day read together before bedtime. And chances are, you’ll have a smile on your face every time you walk in the room.

All images in this post are original designs by Maxpatch Studio.