Would you believe me if I said I *almost* considered having another kid after seeing these two black and white nursery photos? Well, believe it. It made me long for those precious new-mom moments, that sweet, baby smell, and even those sleep-deprived nights listening to lullabies playing in the background, inviting me to a nap I can’t actually take. These beautiful, bold-yet-soft nursery looks gave me a major FOMO moment—like, OMG, I should have DEFINITELY gone with this theme for my babies!
While the said nursery photos didn’t quite get me over the line for having another kid, they did inspire me to write this post. How do you get a perfect black and white nursery look? Here’s my step-by-step guide.
Rule #1: Pick the right black and white rug.
A rug is a major statement piece. And in the nursery where parents spend months daydreaming and Pinteresting about pulling a theme together, this is even more the case.
To make this theme work, start with a rug that pulls the room together, introduces the black and white theme, and has a pattern that is repetitive yet soft enough to not overpower. This allows you to play with the wall decor and accents, without designating the room immediately to be tied to just one theme (hello, zebra).
Does the rug need to be specifically a nursery designated rug? Absolutely not! Actually, the less kid-like, the better. Check out all of Ruggable’s black and white rugs, as well as tips on how to style them.
Rule #2: Plants. Need I say more?
It’s 2020 and plants are IN. But seriously, these are a key addition to any black and white nursery. I am definitely one of those moms who see photos of nurseries on Instagram and think, who in the WORLD would put a plant in a room with a baby? Now that I revisit these photos, I see that a sweet little plant softens up the harshness of black and white and looks beautiful with an otherwise very bold color scheme.
Mom hack tip: I would opt for a small plant or two on a shelf. A plant on the nursery floor sounds like a mud pie, or mud pile, will be in your future.
Rule #3: Round it out.
A striking similarity I noticed in both of these photos is a round element. One had a round mirror, the other had a circular table and basket. With the furniture, rugs, shelves, and bookcases all being so, well, square, a little roundness softens the harsh edges and “rounds” the nursery out.
Rule #4: Add natural sprinkles.
To break the bold contrast of black and white, bring in just the slightest bit of light earthy tones. In both nursery photos, you see these subtle natural tones coming in whether on the bottom of the dresser, around the mirror, on the planters, or on the wall decor. The natural hues are easy to miss, but they are there, quietly adding calm to the room.
Rule #5: Keep the furniture in the same color family.
The furniture in your nursery is meant for two things: storage and sleep! If you can get these items in check, it helps inject at least a bit of calmness into the chaos of parenting. While you can’t control sleep and organization every day, keeping the furniture colors in sync helps create visual calm.
For your furniture, pair your blacks and whites with greys, creams, or those natural, light wood tones. These colors blend in nicely with the rug, plants, and subtle natural elements of the room.
Rule 6: Keep the walls plain.
With the rug, furniture, and all that baby stuff that you actually need in a nursery (i.e. a changing table, a blanket, a diaper pail, and the list goes on), a little white space is a nice relief for the eye. Keep the walls pretty plain, with just a few accent pieces or shelving hung around the room.
Rule #7: Add just a hint of baby.
Now you have your sophisticated black and white rug, your plants, and your neutral-toned furniture. Is this even a nursery? The crib and changing tables will definitely give it away, but a little bit of kid-oriented accents will give the room that little extra baby nudge.
While you could go with any accent piece, adorable animals are always a great idea. Luckily, there are a handful of cute black and white animals gifted to us by nature. I’m talking to you, pandas, penguins, and zebras. But even those that aren’t black and white can be found represented on Etsy prints in blacks, whites, greys or even more colorful tones.
And that’s it! Take a shot at designing your perfect black and white nursery, and let us know how it comes out.