skip to main content

World of Little Interiors

Ariel Okin's Nursery Tips

Founder of her eponymous full service design firm in New York City, Ariel Okin shares beautiful photos of her daughter's swoon-worthy nursery—and a few expert tips to help you design your own!
Seth Caplan
Written By
Ariel Okin

Start With The Color Palette

Choose a color palette for your child's room before purchasing anything—with the array of different primary colors and pastels out there for nurseries and kids rooms, it can be confusing what shades go together. Stick to a palette of 2-3 hues layered with neutrals and you'll find it easy to create a beautiful nursery scheme that's soft on the eyes.

Think Long Term

Durable and sustainable materials are so important in nurseries—always use performance grade fabrics on seating for the inevitable projectile spit up. Easy to clean rugs are also a must; 100% wool is best for stain removal, especially for a dirty diaper that falls to the ground (guilty). Similarly, sustainable and green-friendly nursery products should be on your radar. I chose ducduc furniture for my daughter's nursery because all the products are made with non-toxic, water-based low-VOC finishes, and sustainably harvested hardwoods (no MDF or particle board.) Low VOC paints like Farrow & Ball, Clare Paints or Benjamin Moore's Aura collection are also smart choices for nurseries. Organic cotton bedding, like that from Burt's Bees, Pehr, etc. can be a comforting choice, knowing your baby's sheets are chemical free. And a motorized blackout shade is also a nice addition for nighttime and naptime, if you want to invest in it!

Invest In A Few Heirloom Pieces

Artwork and thoughtful heirloom pieces, like a beautiful blanket, are thoughtful hand me downs for baby to keep throughout their life. The custom alphabet watercolor that I commissioned from The Letter Nest fits into my daughter's nursery theme with Chinoiserie elements and is hand painted—Sally is so lovely to work with, too! Maisonette now offers that alphabet style on their site, which is exciting!

Go For Pretty and Practical

Form meets function in a beautiful etagere: storage pieces that do double duty as both a gorgeous conversation piece and a vehicle for organization go a long way in nurseries and kid's rooms. Baskets for everything—it's the secret sauce!

Ariel Okin is the founder of her eponymous firm, Ariel Okin Interiors, a full service interior design firm in New York City. She is a contributing writer to, Architectural Digest and Domino Magazine, You can follow her on instagram @arielokin.