Light-blue walls reminiscent of the ocean are favored in beach-themed nurseries.

How to Decorate a Nursery in a Beach Theme

by Kris Gleba

The nine months or so leading up to your baby's arrival is a curious mix of emotions and fluctuating hormones. You can experience love, bliss, fear, self-doubt plus excitement all within the same hour -- let alone within those nine months. Put this frenetic mix of emotion and energy to good use and create a nursery with a theme that not only screams serenity but lets you rest your weary cankles in the metaphorical sand of the beach.

1. Walls

You have several common colors at your disposal when choosing a beach theme. Paint all of the walls sandy tan, cool-water blue or a subdued pebble gray. You could also display these common colors in an uncommon way. The ombre effect is no longer just for hair or fabric, you also can use it in painting. Select an accent wall in your nursery and decide on a single- or multiple-color ombre. Paint the wall either one shade or three, and blend with either a dry paintbrush or sponge. Ocean-water blue works as a single shade while beach-sand tan, cool-water blue and sunset orange works to re-create a beachside sunset.

2. Windows and Flooring

Prior to the baby's arrival, deep clean the flooring. Carpet and any area or throw rugs require shampoos, while a wood floor might require more. Inspect the wood floor and file down any exposed nails, fill in any cracks, plus sand and stain it. Whatever the flooring, lay down several machine-washable orange blankets where your baby can lie and drool to her heart's content. The color is gender neutral, and references ocean coral. When decorating windows, function -- just barely -- overrules style. The shades, curtains or both should block as much outside light as possible. Choose a beige or white light-blocking shade and pair it with curtains that complement the wall treatments. For instance, choose ombre curtains to pair with walls painted solid colors, or vice versa. Repurpose nautical rope as tiebacks to complete the theme. Keep in mind that tiebacks either should be secured to the wall or if not, positioned high enough so your baby cannot reach them. Loose tiebacks can become strangulation hazards.

3. Furnishings

All nurseries require a crib plus places to change the baby and store clothes and other supplies. Look for a crib made of a neutral-color wood or metal, and use the bedding to further the theme. Crib sheets in shades of crisp white or navy blue add a nautical feel. Whitewashed furniture, such as a bureau, bookcase and changing table, lend a rustic beach vibe while bright-yellow or green furniture lends a Caribbean vibe. Add a glider or rocking chair where you can relax with your baby and, if space permits, bring in a twin-size bed. The latter can be used as a guest bed or be a place for you to sleep when your child isn't feeling well. Adorn the chair and bed with decorative throw pillows with fish and seashell designs.

4. Accessories

Beach-theme accessories are varied and available in any price range, but not all are baby friendly. Displaying dried starfish, seashells and pebbles either in easy-to-open containers or no containers at all poses dangerous choking hazards to a baby. However, displaying the dried starfish in shadow boxes secured to the wall, and placing seashells and pebbles in glass jars secured with hook-and-loop closures to the top shelf of bookcases make them a safe part of the decorating scheme. Small, twig-like pieces of driftwood make whimsical garland that can be strung vertically or horizontally, but must hang out of your infant's reach. Create a wall display of framed photos of your family's beach vacations alongside framed beach-theme postcards and posters. Wall decals of fish, mermaids, coral and anchors complete the look.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images