Oh, friends! We’re so excited to finally be able to share Beckett’s little neutral baby animal nursery with you! We had so much fun putting it together! It’s quickly become our new favorite room in the house!
Before we found out whether we were having a boy or a girl, we decided we wanted to create a gender neutral nursery. We hope to continue to grow our family (Did you hear that, Mom?!) so we decided if we were going to invest the time and money to create a space we love, we wanted it to work for a little boy or a little girl. This way, when a new baby comes along, we can move Beckett into a “big boy” room, and use this neutral baby animal nursery for our newest babe.
In the months leading up to Beckett’s arrival, we designated our “date nights” for nursery shopping excursions, and we gotta say, hunting for the perfect pieces together was so much more fun than dinner and a movie! It’s no secret that we’re value shoppers (we share all about our love for consignment clothes here) so we did most of our shopping at local HomeGoods store (they’re not online), and went outlet hunting, too. It definitely takes longer this way, but it always felt like such a score when we found something we loved at such a great price. Plus, it was the hunting around together that made the date nights fun.
Before we started shopping,
Jordan (jussst kidding) AMY spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest for inspiration. It made us feel so thankful for all the other mamas out there on the Internet who shared their nurseries, so we knew we’d eventually share ours to try to do our part in paying it forward!
We’re by no means home bloggers, but we hope these photos might help another expecting mama out there who’s looking for inspiration for a neutral baby animal nursery!
We’ll try to mention where we found things as we go, and also put a full list down at the bottom!
Here were the five goals for our little neutral baby animal nursery:
1. Choose Light-Colored Neutrals & Mix Textures
The photographer-nerds in us love with all things light, bright and airy, so we wanted to choose light-colored neutrals that we could mix and match together. We decided to go with shades of cream, white, gray and beige.
Even though we chose lots of light neutral colors, it was important to us that the nursery didn’t feel boring, so we tried to bring in as many different textures as we could, including a variety of woods, linens, knits and furs.
We also decided early on that we didn’t want a “matching” furniture set for our neutral baby animal nursery. We wanted to mix different colors together. (Matching sets are almost impossible to find at discount stores any way, so the more eclectic the better!)
The first piece we found was the light gray changing table/dresser, so instead of matching the woods, we knew we’d hunt around until we could find a white wooden crib. We LOVE Restoration Hardware Baby, but don’t love exactly their price point, so we took a trip to the RH Outlet after every midwife appointment, which is how we scored both the dresser and the crib. We purchased them months apart from each other, but it was worth hunting! We wanted an area rug and throw pillows with some interesting texture, and we found them all at different HomeGoods locations.
The focal point of the nursery was inspired by an RH Baby catalog photo on Pinterest with the cutest animal prints hanging above the crib. We LOVED the picture, but the prints were $229 dollars A PIECE from RH, meaning if we wanted to put three above the crib, it would be $687 before shipping just for three little pictures! That sounded absurd to the people (us!) who don’t like to pay more than $10 for a shirt, so we did some Googling and found a site dedicated to baby animal prints that sells THE EXACT SAME PRINTS (without frames) for only $25!
We put the baby animal prints on our shower registry and picked out frames from Aaron Brothers during their semi-annual “Buy One, Get One for a Penny” sale, so we were able to pull off that same look for about a sixth of the catalog cost! And since Amy’s mom gave them to us as a shower gift, it was zero cost to us, and one of our favorite touches to the room!
Crib, Changing Table and Drapes: Outlet Store | Frames: Aaron Brothers | Mirror: At Home | Rug & Throw Pillows: HomeGoods
Since none of those shops and products are available where we purchased them, here are links to their full-price counterparts or similar online finds!
2. Add Little Pops of Greenery
Even though most of our neutral baby animal nursery has muted tones and minimal contrast, we just love the way plants make any room come to life and add extra visual interest.
Since we weren’t planning on attempting to keep real plants alive at the same time as attempting to keep our very first newborn alive, we found these great silk ones at TJ Maxx for $5.99! We’re really picky about the tone of greens (#photographerproblems) but these came in the perfect muted green tone to add just enough color and life to our neutral nursery!
We love how these little plants added texture, color and dimension without being distracting or overbearing. We hung four of them above the dresser, and then placed a few on floating shelves as well.
3. Create a Special Place to Read
As former elementary school teachers, we’re both childhood literacy freaks. We LOVED teaching children’s lit to our fourth and fifth graders and used to make our students repeat back phrases like “Readers are leaders!” and “Good readers are good writers!” every single day. It’s never too early to start reading to your little ones, so we wanted a designated space that would make reading together feel extra special. Reading is such a big part of our life (we share our top 12 favorite business books here) that we want a space to communicate that. A place to encourage our children to become lifelong readers, too.
To create our reading corner, we snagged this canopy tent on a major sale at RH Baby and LOVE it!
All of the pillows and poufs you see here we found during our many HomeGoods runs. We got them at AMAZING prices by hunting around and being patient, but if you’re looking for a quicker, more convenient option, here are some similar finds!
4. Soften Things Up With Furry Friends
No neutral baby animal nursery is complete without adding some neutral furry friends! We found that sweet little teddy bear for $4.95 at HomeGoods wearing a NEON STAR TREK t-shirt! We saw his potential, and as soon as we purchased him, cut his neon shirt off! The animals, basket and blanket you see on the left were all shower gifts.
This little pup might be the cutest furry friend in our room! He’s from Cuddle & Kind, a company with a cool mission to get behind (hey, that rhymes!) Every time you purchase a handmade animal from Cuddle & Kind, they give ten meals to children in need.
BONUS TIP: When you find a furry friend you love and he’s on clearance… snuggle him. At checkout.
5. Add Personal Touches
One of our best friends took some beautiful maternity photos for us before Beckett arrived, so we knew we wanted to include one in the nursery, so he could see how much we loved him before he was even born.
Jordan loved reading Curious George as a boy — Is anyone reading this surprised that JORDAN liked the mischievous little monkey?! — so when we saw this perfect neutral monkey in the clearance section of HomeGoods, we knew he was coming home with us!
We also wanted to have a comfy spot for nursing, or reading together as a family, and this cozy sofa was the perfect fit!
We received this adorable personalized print of our two cats, William Wallace and Mr. Carson, from one of our sweet photography students, and we just love it so much! The real cats haven’t decided how they feel about Beckett yet…
And that’s it! Our favorite room in the house! We hope this helps someone else create a nursery they love as much as we love this one!