How to Make a Mood Board for the Nursery

Get 7 Steps Closer to Your Dream Baby Room

Mood board for a boy's nursery

The Morses


New to the decorating game? Creating an inspiration board, known as a mood board, is a great way to get your new nursery project rolling.

Mood boards help people to refine their ideas and narrow their design choices before they ever start decorating—a process that can save time, money and energy in the long run. They’re also fun to make and share.

Wondering how to make a mood board for your nursery? Just follow these simple steps.

Get Inspired

If you’re looking for nursery inspiration, Pinterest is the place to start. Create a dedicated nursery board for your ideas, and get pinning. Begin with broad concepts, but don’t forget to pin the little things that make your heart melt. Remember: A single accessory can be the starting point for an entire nursery design.

Have Fun

You’re building an inspiration bank, not a nursery. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it or if you’ll never end up using it. This is not the moment to be practical. Just pin what you love.

Narrow Your Options

Drowning in inspiration images? Settling on a color, style, and/or theme is the quickest way to give your design focus. Start by identifying a decorating style you love. Chances are you already have a good idea of what turns you on. Not sure what you like? Return to your inspiration images, and go with your gut. You’ll know it when you see it.

Once you’ve selected the style, think about what colors and themes work best within your style’s parameters. Love shabby chic? Think pastels and nature themes. Prefer a clean and modern space? Consider a geometric motif. Decorating rules are made to be broken, but sticking to a specific template can help you refine your concept.

Get Focused

Now that you’re starting to get a feel for your design, it’s time to find the pieces to pull it all together. Go back to your inspiration images and rule out anything that doesn’t work with your chosen style, theme, and/or palette. If you’re still missing key elements, keep digging. Here’s a sample list of what you might need to pull your mood board together:

  • Key pieces of furniture, like the crib, rocker, and changing station
  • Photos or textile samples of bedding, curtains, etc.
  • Paint chips or swatches
  • Light fixtures
  • Statement pieces, artwork, and any must-have accessories you love
  • Ideas and inspiration images for your focal point
  • Inspiration photos of any other brilliant design idea you’d like to copy, such as a cozy reading nook or clever storage hack

Resist the Urge to Nail Down Every Detail

A mood board should give you a good feel for your design; it should not serve as a shopping list. If you can’t find the right rocker for your budget, choose an inspiration image you love and look for something similar when you are actually shopping.

Choose Your Tools

Ready to start building your mood board? First, you’ll need to decide on a medium. Interior designers generally prefer physical boards, which give more accurate depictions of color and texture. (Think cut and paste/pin.) But digital boards, which can be easily rearranged and shared, are also a great option. Not so handy with Photoshop? Try using one of these simple tools

Put It All Together

When coordinating your inspiration images, start with textiles. Pinning bedding and other soft items down early allows you to fine-tune your palette, allowing you to pick the perfect shade of paint to match your must-have items.

Once, you’ve gotten color out of the way, concentrate on coordinating patterns and creating variations in texture. Then move on to furnishings. If you need help mixing and matching individual furniture pieces, check out this handy guide. Finally, don’t forget to include a few of your favorite mood-setting accessories. After all, when it comes to nurseries, adorable is in the details.