Nursery Decor That Serves a Purpose

Nursery Decor That Serves a Purpose

Esther Garfield

Last Updated: October 7, 2016
Hampers, mobiles, nightlights, tissue boxes, growth charts and more! Check out these 15 beautiful decor options that are also useful!Nursery Decor That Serves a Purpose

Decorating the nursery can be one of the most fun projects when you’re expecting, but it can also be a challenge if you’re overwhelmed with all the things you need to purchase. If you can find beautiful decor options that also serve a useful purpose and choose the most beautiful versions of the things you need, you’re bound to love the space you create.


I try to include a hamper in every nursery I design. There are wonderful laundry baskets and hampers out there to suit every style of nursery and they are large enough to make a great decorative statement for less than the cost of a piece of furniture. Even if you don’t use your hamper for laundry, they make great places to store stuffed animals and other plush toys!

Color Block Basket - $115.00

Color Block Basket

All the baskets from Ferm Living are perfect in the modern home, but the new Color Block Basket is beautiful in coral and gray. The hamper is made of organic cotton and the leather handles are an extra special detail.

Striped La Jolla Basket - $168.00

Striped La Jolla Basket

The Striped La Jolla Baskets are my favorite woven baskets to use as hampers. They come in four color options and in three sizes, though I recommend the largest size if you have space for it as it will be the most functional. The baskets are handwoven of recycled plastic and seagrass to create a natural and eco-friendly texture.

Give a Hoot Owl Hamper - $99.00

Give a Hoot Owl Hamper

The most decorative hamper option is the incredible Give a Hoot Owl Hamper from The Land of Nod. This handmade rattan hamper includes a tidy lid as well as a removable liner that can be laundered. This fantastic owl hamper really makes a fun statement.

Tissue Box

I like to have a box of tissues in every room of the house because you never know when you’ll need one or when your children’s sniffling is going to drive you batty. You’re going to spend a lot of time in the nursery so it can’t hurt to have a box of tissues on hand for either yourself or your little one, and it’s even better if the box looks cute and adds to the style of the room at the same time.

Umbra Casa Tissue Box Cover - $6.00

Umbra Casa Tissue Box Cover

The most simple and affordable option is the Umbra Casa Tissue Box Cover. This cute house-shaped design comes in four colors. The cover fits your standard square tissue boxes. It’s just more fun when tissues come out of the chimney.

Rocket Night Sky Tissue Box Holder Product - $29.95

Rocket Night Sky Tissue Box Holder Product

The most unique tissue holder I’ve ever found is the Rocket Night Sky Tissue Box Holder from Romboxt. How incredible is this space age design?! If this motif doesn’t work in your space, Romboxt also makes a Ballerina that you might prefer.

Whale Tissue Box Cover - $44.00

Whale Tissue Box Cover

The Whale Tissue Box Cover from Sparkly Pony was the first tissue cover that convinced me I needed to upgrade my ordinary box. This cover is adorable with tissues bursting out of the whale’s blowhole.


Mobiles can be much more than just decorative items that sway in the breeze. There are many lovely mobiles that include other features like light or music to make them a more functional part of the nursery.

Moonlight & Melodies Projection Mobile - $65.00

Moonlight & Melodies Projection Mobile

From Skip Hop, the Moonlight & Melodies Projection Mobile looks great in the modern nursery but it does so much more. The mobile features glowing, rotating leaves, projects stars onto the ceiling and plays four soothing melodies as well as four nature sounds. It also includes a remote so you can control the features without having to enter the nursery.

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile - $21.00

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile

The Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile is well known for its high-contrast interchangeable graphic cards that are designed to stimulate visual development. The cards can be switched around and you can adjust the height of the mobile as baby grows and develops. The best part is that the bold, black and white designs look perfect in the modern nursery.

Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile - $35.00

Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile

The Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile has a lot going on to capture and hold baby’s attention. With black and white high contrast spirals and smiling plush characters, the mobile rotates and plays calming classical music. When your little one is old enough to sit up, you can remove the arm and continue to use the music box section on its own.

Growth Chart

Even art can serve a dual purpose. Growth charts are beautiful picks for filling awkward empty spaces and they can become treasured mementos as your children grow. Growth charts come in all different styles and forms and you can find one that suits your nursery and will be loved and used for years to come.

Petit Collage Paper Growth Charts - $20.00

Petit Collage Paper Growth Charts

Petit Collage Paper Growth Charts are sweet, colorful and are available in five different designs. They come with stickers to add notes and metal grommets for easy hanging. When the design of this growth chart no longer suits your child’s space, you can fold it up and save it in your their memory box. $20

Pottery Barn Kids Personalized Growth Chart - $99.00

Pottery Barn Kids Personalized Growth Chart

The yardstick design of the Pottery Barn Kids Personalized Growth Chart is a simple, classic look. The growth charts are available in nine different colors so you’re bound to find one that will work perfectly for your child’s space. These are easy to hang with a metal slot in the back.

Growing Like a Weed Growth Chart - $42.00

Growing Like a Weed Growth Chart

Wall decals are another great growth chart option. I recommend the Growing Like a Weed Growth Chart from Wee Gallery. It includes handwritten number stickers to mark each year.


I can’t fall asleep without complete darkness, but children tend to find a bit of light comforting during their bedtime hours. While there are plenty of purely functional nightlights, there’s no reason not to choose one that can add some fun and style to your child’s space at the same time.

Twilight Sunshine Owl™ - Blue - $19.95

Twilight Sunshine Owl™ - Blue

From the sleep experts at Cloud B, the Twilight Sunshine Owl is perfectly adorable on a shelf, side table or nightstand. It projects a starry sky in your choice of blue, green or red and can cycle through all three colors automatically. This battery powered nightlight is perfectly portable and can come along on all your travels.

Jonathan Adler Jr. animal nightlights - $48.00

Jonathan Adler Jr. animal nightlights

For a stylish, designer option, choose any of the Jonathan Adler Jr. animal nightlights like this Lion Nightlight. The porcelain lion, giraffe, elephant and owl emit a soft, warm glow and are as chic as it gets.

Boon Glo - $69.99

Boon Glo

The modern, sculptural Boon Glo is unlike any other nightlight. With three removable multi colored balls, you can safely bring the glo balls into bed.

The best nursery decor can be completely functional and your nursery necessities can be beautiful as well. When they do double-duty, you always have the best of both worlds.

Esther Garfield started her obsession with modern baby furnishings and decor while expecting her first child. In 2005, this obsession turned into the Buy Modern Baby product guide, and she launched the corresponding blog in 2010. From her base in South Florida, Esther keeps a close eye on the world of baby products and modern design while keeping an even closer eye on her two growing boys. When she’s not blogging or keeping up with social media, you can find Esther at the pool, reading to the kids, or traveling with her family. Read more here.