These Are The Most Popular Nursery Themes & Colors Of 2021

Move over, black & white.

Designing your baby’s room is one of the most joyful parts of pregnancy. Everything from who your baby will look like to sometimes even their name and sex feels so mysterious during those nine months, and designing a space you love just for them (and honestly, for you too) is a way to picture your little one in the world. If you’re in the process of planning your baby’s room (or if you just like to be in-the-know because nurseries are so dang cute) then check out these popular nursery themes, colors, and design elements for 2021.

I spoke with Etsy Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, and Naomi Coe, founder of Little Crown Interiors and author of Your Perfect Nursery: A Step-By-Step Guide For Creating The Nursery Of Your Dreams, about their predictions for popular nursery themes. If you’re wary of ideas that seem trendy or super current, try them out in a small way that lets you change it up as your baby grows. “You can layer them in using decor and accessories that are easy to replace in coming years. That way you can avoid going overboard with a trend or theme, and also avoid spending a ton of money on something you might get sick of in a few years,” Coe says. “The nursery is the perfect place to experiment!”

Outer Space

Outer space decor is about to create some out of this world nurseries. “I predicted that outer space motifs would be a huge kids trend in 2021 – from room decor to clothing, and everything in-between – and parents prepping or revamping their nurseries this year have definitely caught on,” Isom Johnson tells Romper. “At Etsy, we’ve seen a 77% increase in searches for space-themed wallpaper and a 24% increase in searches for moon-shaped shelves in the last three months [in comparison to last year at the same time].”


Lions, and tigers, and bears oh my; safari themes have arrived. “An emerging trend I’m seeing on the rise is safari nursery decor,” Isom Johnson tells Romper. There’s been a 46% increase in searches for safari-themed baby mobiles in the last three months compared to the same time last year, she says, which she foresees continuing to grow in popularity through 2022.

If you want to try this trend without going the wallpaper route, try a safari-theme rug, some framed pictures of animals, a cute mobile, or crib bedding.

Removable Wallpaper

Removable wallpaper in the nursery is a trend that’s been around for awhile, but it doesn’t show signs of going out any time soon. “Every year, there are more and more wallpaper companies that make removable wallpaper, and my clients are loving it,” Coe tells Romper. “With so much emphasis on the home coming out of Covid, removable wallpaper is a fairly inexpensive and easy way to really have some fun with a design, but without the commitment of regular wallpaper,” she adds.

Removable wallpaper is a good option too if you’re opting for a trendier motif or something that looks young because it can be cleanly removed down the line without wrecking the walls.

Soft, Layered Texture

Soft neutrals and cozy, textured elements seem to have replaced geometric prints and black and white motifs, at least for now. “2021 seems to be all about coziness and texture. I’ve been getting a lot more requests for nurseries with woven accents,” Coe tells Romper. I love how the painted arch above creates soft, layered dimension. To add comfy, inviting texture, try a glider or pillows in a boucle fabric (which is also big right now), woven wall hangings, a fuzzy mobile, or a shaggy, kid-friendly rug.


Butterfly decor in baby nurseries may be the next big thing. Coe says she’s been getting a lot of requests for butterfly nurseries, and Pinterest Trend Tracker shows searches for “butterfly nursery” are steadily on the rise. This is a theme that could go bold with a wallpaper or a mural, or stay understated with a mobile or a few decals.

Lavender, Mauve, & Blush Walls

Neutrals don’t always have to mean white, beige, and gray. “Neutrals and light wood tones have been very popular this year,” Coe tells Romper. “Whereas the past few years have been more about bright crisp whites, more people are choosing to warm things up a bit with soft layered neutrals instead. I’ve also been using more lavender and mauve tones, but the blush trend is still going strong!”

Choosing a paint color for the nursery can be tricky, and don’t be afraid to buy several sample sizes and try each color on the wall (which is almost always more accurate than the paint chips). Check the colors at different times of day too, including nighttime, when you’ll be in the nursery, oh you know, a lot.

Sculptural Shapes

The art deco influence has been popping up in everything from sculptural candles to rounded furniture, so it makes sense that it would make its way into baby nurseries too. “In general, most nursery clients seem to be moving away from ultra modern and are instead looking to achieve that comforting appeal with layers of soft texture and sculptural shapes,” Coe tells Romper.

This 1920s-inspired glamorous and sometimes bold look translates into nurseries in the form of oval cribs, sculptural gliders, gilded accents, or arched mirrors and shelves. Instead of leaning fully into the theme, you could take aspects, like the rounded rocker and luxe table in the photo above (captured by David Casas and designed by Little Crown Interiors).

Nature & Greenery


Plants are a beautiful way to add a bit of the outdoors into your baby’s nursery. “I’ve been getting a lot more requests for nurseries with touches of nature and greenery,” Coe tells Romper.

You could get a house plant for their room, though a hanging or a faux plant is probably best if you want to avoid dirt getting all over the floor the second your baby becomes mobile. You can also opt for a leafy wallpaper, floral touches, or nature-inspired art.

If you’re hoping to create a kid’s bedroom that feels timeless and inviting, “I suggest opting for nursery decor that easily transitions into their child’s toddler years, and beyond,” Isom Johnson tells Romper. “Try natural wood accents, a chic play mat or kid-friendly boho rug, muted shades instead of a bold color scheme, and adaptable furniture that ages with their children.”