Adding Magic to Your Nursery

11 little additions for infusing your nursery with big magic.

I think every mother hopes to evoke a sense of wonder for their children. Being a mother has unveiled my eyes again to the delight of simple things; and coupled with the joy of seeing my daughters’ faces light up, I’ve wanted to do whatever possible to cultivate their imagination and thirst for magic.

One easy way to do this is to bring magic into the nursery, a space where your child will wake up every morning, play during the days, and drift off into dreamland at night. It’s the perfect spot to start cultivating magic in your home, and here are 11 simple additions to make it happen.

1. Special lanterns and light fixtures. Lighting makes a difference in any space, but in a dreamy nursery, you want to create an especially soft glow, like this piña colada lamp from Goodnight Light. You can create a unique chandelier, not only for the right lighting, but also as a magical art piece. These DIY jelly fish lighting ideas are especially dreamy. 

2. Twinkle lights. In my experience, twinkle lights make everything more magical. Stringing up a yellowish-glow in a creative way is the best night light and makes the space seem more special.

3. Projectors. Something exciting happens at night, and spaces can transform. I love the idea of projectors to enhance that feeling — stars sprinkled all over the ceiling, or a brilliant rainbow, like this one from Urban Outfitters, moving from one side of the room to the other.

4. Mirrors. Sometimes a little one’s first friend is herself. My girls loved to crawl up to mirrors and say hello. Imagine a whole wall of mirrors at different heights — a bunch of friends. Anthropologie has a bunch of vintage-looking mirrors that can make a very beautiful, retro collage. I also like the idea of using mirrors with lights for a bigger, more magical effect.

5. Play stations. The aesthetics of a space can really encourage how it is used, and I think this is especially true for play areas. Setting up designated stations for specific play will encourage the creative juices and spark imagination. Land of Nod has a great easel and many other cool options, like this cubby cube paper holder for storage, in the arts & crafts section. 

6. Maps. In our family, magic and wanderlust are very closely related, and so we have always used maps in our nursery decor. A large map across the wall is a great way for baby to grow up talking about all the places there are to see; but use maps for subtle touches, like a mobile or a corkboard for photos, too.

7. Bubble machine. Some moms probably aren’t crazy about bubbles in the house, but even as a grown woman, I find a bubble machine to be breathtaking. Maybe not a permanent fixture; but if your nursery has easy-to-clean floors, it could be so fun to incorporate some bubble play.

8. Wallpaper and murals. This is a great way to add bright colors, themes, and creativity to a room without a lot of extra effort. Let your kid sleep and play in outer space, under the sea, or in a forest full of fairies. Chasing Paper, Anewall and Anthropologie all have colorful, creative options for your little one’s universe. This Wish Upon a Star wallpaper, for example, stole our heart. 

9. Forts. There are all sorts of ways to incorporate a secret hideout in your child’s room–under a bunk bed; a tent in the corner; or an entire structure, if you’re feeling ambitious.

10. Climbing. If you have an active child, it could be fun to include some physical interaction with the decor. A climbing wall up the side of a bed — and maybe a slide down–means playground time, even when it’s raining outside.

11. Creative storage. When the shelves and boxes are fun, even cleaning up can be magical (almost as good as Mary Poppins snapping her fingers to get the job done!). This Babyletto tree bookcase, for example, is a super cute and original way to hold all of your little one’s book collection. 

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Sarah Ann Noel

Sarah Ann Noel

Sarah Ann Noel is the wife of Trevor, the mother of Iris and Edith, and a freelance writer in Brooklyn. A prodigious over-thinker and an exhaustive over-feeler, Sarah loves to write essays about life and the things that move her—primarily lessons in love and hope and finding what’s good in the world. She is currently working on her first book, fueled by a hefty amount of caffeine. Read more at sarahannnoel.com.

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