Top 10 essentials for a fabulous and functional nursery

Can a nursery be supremely stylish and still work as a great sleep and play space? We’ve consulted the experts at Pottery Barn Kids to give us the top tips for striking that perfect balance, and reveal some styling secrets that will make your baby’s nursery a triumph of form and function. 

If you’ve ever set foot in a Pottery Barn Kids store, you’ve no doubt been in awe of the stunning nursery set-ups created by the very talented staff. We’ve managed to pin down super-skilled Pottery Barn Kids Field Visual Manager Ebony Quaid to give us the low-down on creating a visually impressive, yet completely usable space for your bub. Take notes people!


Ebony recommends taking your time to choose the hero piece of your baby’s nursery – the cot. This includes taking precise notes on the dimensions, shape and architectural features of the room before browsing in store.

“As newborns spend around 16 to 20 hours sleeping a day, we believe the most important aspects to consider when choosing your little one’s new cot are safety and quality, as well as versatility and aesthetic appeal. Pottery Barn Kids offers conversion kits that allow your cot to become to a toddler bed or even double size bed as your baby grows.”

Cot tips:

  • Find a theme for the nursery, and make sure the cot fits the overall aesthetic, space and design.
  • The cot is a smart starting point, since much of the activity in a nursery will be centred around it.
  • Plan ahead when arranging furniture close to the cot, to ensure it’s at a safe distance for when your baby starts moving around. Tables, dressers and other items that could be used for leverage should be placed a safe distance away.

pbk reese

Ebony says if you’re partial to the current modern-Scandi style, or a mid-century vibe, go for something like the Reese collection. If you’re after a soft, vintage look, the Blythe (pictured below) is perfect.

pbk blythe


Top of the pops when it comes to choosing linen, according to Ebony, is quality. Your baby will spend many hours sleeping, and of course the bedding will go through hundred of washes.

Our products withstand wear and tear all the while maintaining their beauty, depth in colours and integrity of shape. Organic cotton is becoming more popular, too, due to its soft texture and long-lasting nature, also being free of synthetics and chemicals.”

Bang on trend at the moment is grey linen, with layering in pops of colour. Ebony says pastels and calm colours are also really popular and are easy to accessorise.

pbk linen

Nursery chair

As much as this piece of furniture is for your baby, it’s for you – and therefore Ebony says a nursery chair is almost as important as the cot.

“Comfort is the ultimate factor when buying as you will definitely be spending lots of time in your chair. The size of the chair is critical. Consider the working triangle: cot, chair and changing table. A rocker is an especially great piece of furniture to have in the nursery so you can rock your baby to sleep gently.”

Nursery chair tips

  • Winged sides (like those on the Modern Tufted Wingback Rocker below) to rest the parent’s head when feeding are worth considering when purchasing your nursery chair.
  • An ottoman for keeping your feet up is a nice addition for extra comfort, but only if space permits.

Pottery Barn tufted wingback rocker

Changing table

When thinking about setting up a changing station in your bub’s nursery, longevity is key.

“Opt for a changing table that becomes a dresser,” Ebony recommends. “Easily accessible storage and drawer space is important for nappies, clothes and supplies. Additionally, a changing table with a safety strap also helps to secure your baby during changing times.”

She also suggests considering how the changing table will fit in the nursery when the drawers are open.

pbk change table


“Good storage, smart organisation and efficient use of space are key to creating a nursery that’s easy to use and fun to spend time in,” Ebony says. That means considering what’s safe for your little one, once they’re crawling about in their room.

Storage tips

  • When deciding how to arrange storage shelves and drawers, start from the bottom with soft, safe items, and keep heavier items, such as collections and keepsakes, up higher.
  • Set up shelving and storage buckets so that stimulating toys can be stored at ground level, where they’ll grab your baby’s interest and encourage their curiosity.
  • Items such as canvas totes are functional, soft and are a great way to add colour and style to the nursery.
  • Pottery Barn Kids’ woven silver rope nappy caddy and Elephant Shaped Storage is perfect for additional storage, and adds a touch of elegance in the nursery.

pbk elephant storage

Nursery blanket

This has to be one of the most under-rated nursery essentials – but a soft comforting blanket will become your bub’s bedtime cue, and doubles as a great decorator item. Ebony suggests considering comfort, material and aesthetic appeal that will work with both your nursery and stroller design. “Also consider the current season – breathable materials for warmer months, and soft and snuggly materials for winter.”

pbk blanket


Don’t think a rug is essential in a nursery? Think again! “Your baby will spend a great deal of time on the floor in their first year of their life, so softly textured rugs are essential,” Ebony explains. “Rugs frame the furniture in the room and warm up the space when the weather gets cold. They are also great accessories for adding brightness to your child’s room.”

Rug tips

  • When choosing the rug for your space, consider the size that fits within your nursery.  To find a suitable size, use painter’s tape to layout a mock area of where the rug could be placed.
  • Rugs are a great way to anchor a room once furniture is placed upon it.
  • Soft-to-the-touch rugs like natural loop, chenille and shag rugs are trending.
  • Grey continues to be a consistent favourite for nurseries, however a rug is a great opportunity to add a pop of colour or pattern to a room.

pbk rugs


Toys can most certainly do double duty in a nursery, creating a sense of fun while giving the room a personal touch. “Pottery Barn Kids’ nursery plush rockers are just the right size for the littlest riders and also act as a beautiful statement piece to display in the nursery,” says Ebony. “Simply include a rug and some comfy seating such as Pottery Barn Kids’ Anywhere Chair to create a cute book nook.”

Also, finding that perfect plush comforter may help beat the bedtime battles. Once your baby is old enough to have their favourite toy share their sleep space, bedtime may become a little calmer.

pbk toys


How adorable is this Elephant Plush Play Mat? It’s a gorgeous decorator piece for a nursery, but doubles as the perfect place to practice tummy time – bonus!

pbk playmat


“When it comes to decor, choose items that are not only beautiful to look at but are also functional, too,” advises Ebony. “Mobiles above the cot are both calming and entertaining for your baby, and floating shelving is great way to create a keepsake moment with your baby’s first booties, birth certificate, announcement or heirloom pieces.”

Decor tips

  • A pendant or table lamp is essential for feeding times, while window coverings help to darken the room for naps and bedtime – they are also a beautiful part of the decor and offer a great way to reduce noise and control temperature, especially if you use the blackout curtains.
  • Gold and brass have been very popular nursery choices lately, as well as unique items such as a tulle canopy or cornice with sheer curtains.

pbk decor

(This is a sponsored post for Pottery Barn Kids)

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