Beyond a nursery theme and paint colors, there are some big decisions to make about your baby’s room decor. The layout of the nursery will depend on many factors including the shape and size of the room. You will also want to take your personal aesthetic and anticipated routine into consideration. 

One helpful rule of thumb when planning a child’s room: Designate distinct “stations” around the room (sleep, play, changing, reading, etc). The beauty of this basic breakdown is that it still leaves lots of options for organization, orientation, and overall vibe. Here, we take a deep dive into the most convenient ways to arrange your baby’s furniture. From traditional ideas to more surprising, these nursery layouts will help bring form, function, and flow to your baby’s room.

Nursery Layout #1: Crib Next to Rocking Chair

 A baby nursery layout with a rocking chair next to the crib

Photo: Etsy/AlexasThirdEye

This is a great layout makes those pre-nap and middle-of-the-night feeds a little easier once your little one moves into the crib. You can rock them to sleep in the chair and tenderly place them in the crib without much shuffling in between.

Placing the crib and chair next to each other also creates visual balance with two softer spaces side-by-side, across from the dresser / change station. If going with this layout, the rocking chair should be in a corner with the crib against the adjacent wall—preferably a wall that does not have a window in it for maximum sleep. 

Nursery Layout #2: Dresser in the Closet 

A nursery layout with the dresser in the closet 

Photo: In Honor of Design

It’s one of those hacks that, once discovered, will have you wondering why you hadn’t thought of it yet! Baby clothes are so teeny, they don’t need all that extra closet space beneath them. Placing your baby’s dresser in the closet maximizes the space in the rest of the room and keeps all of Baby’s wardrobe in one spot. 

The layout doesn’t necessarily make it impossible to change your baby on top of the dresser, but it might depending on ceiling height and how deep the closet is. Consider placing a changing station right next to the closet in this case, this way diapering leads right to dressing without you needing to move much at all.  

Nursery Layout #3:  Crib Opposite Rocking Chair

A nursery layout with a rocking chair opposite the crib 

Photo: A Lo Profile

A fresh and functional way to arrange nursery furniture is with the rocking chair across from the crib. This adds weight to corners and keeps the eye moving while allowing you to fit everything in, even if the walls are too short to have these two important pieces side-by-side. 

Smaller rooms and larger rooms alike can benefit from this layout. Fill the space in between with a large throw rug to keep the whole room feeling connected, and consider adding a low table next to the chair for resting books or a glass of water during evening cuddles. 

Nursery Layout #4: Corner Crib

 A nursery layout with a crib in the corner

Photo: Could I Have That

For an extra-cozy nursery layout, tuck the crib into a corner. This arrangement helps keep light away from your lovebug’s sleep space and clearly delineates which area of the room is for play and which area is for rest. There are two ways to pull off this look: you can either place the crib flush with both walls pushed into the corner, or you can put it at an angle in the corner to play with lines and add interest.  

This layout is perfect in a smaller nursery since it eliminates negative or unused space on either end of the crib. However, you can place the crib in a corner of a larger nursery as well. As long as you have plenty of other furniture and accessories to fill up the room, this orientation will look just as beautiful in a more spacious nursery, too.

Nursery Layout #5: Center Crib 

 A nursery layout with the crib in the center of the room

Photo: Project Nursery

This is a unique layout—and a fun way to shift perspective while setting up Baby’s room. At first, it may seem that placing the crib in the middle of the room will eat up too much space or make the room look smaller, but that’s not actually what happens with this setup. 

Instead, putting the crib in the center of the nursery makes it a cinch to create your other “stations” throughout the room. A playing corner, a reading nook, and a changing area all have more space allotted to them when you are not giving any wall space to the crib. Especially if you have a colorful or special-looking crib and want to show it off, this unconventional setup could be the one for your family.

Nursery Layout #6: Crib Next to Changing Station

A nursery layout with the crib next to the changing station 

Photo: David Casas for Little Crown Interiors

Sometimes the flow of your activities in the nursery should dictate your room setup. If it feels simplest to be able to change Baby’s diapers directly on their way into and out of the crib, this layout lends easily to that routine. Further, it’s a perfect way to find a nook for a diaper changing table that is not also a dresser; this smaller but necessary furniture piece often gets lost in the shuffle. 

To achieve the look, place the crib lengthwise against, or jutting out from, the center of one wall. Use the wallspace next to it or in the nearest corner for the change station, whether that’s a small changing table or a dresser with table-top changing pad. 

Nursery Layout #7: Mirror Image

 A symmetrical baby nursery layout with two cribs

Photo: Finnian’s Moon Interiors

If you’re expecting twins, or using double furniture pieces in the baby’s room (like two of the same bookcases or a pair of small tables or dressers), a symmetrical nursery is within reach! Our brains love symmetry, probably because it exists often in nature (butterflies, flowers), and there is a calmness and sense of order in the balance therein. 

With two cribs, orient them coming out from the wall or against it, and split the room with the midpoint between marked by another important piece of furniture, like the dresser. Use this same method with any two pieces of furniture that are similar in shape and size. Once symmetry has been created with “twinning” furniture pieces, you can break loose from it on the walls without losing balance.

More Nursery Design Ideas:

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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