Nameberry Style: Mermaids in the Nursery

This week’s Nameberry Style column by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of The Itsy Factor and You Can’t Call It It, looks at the freshest new nursery theme: mermaids.

Is anyone sick of owls yet?

It’s definitely smart to come up with an original theme, or at the very least a color palette, when designing a nursery.  A theme makes for a cohesive look and feel and also frees up precious brain space for other, more important baby-related decisions – like, yeah, names.

As themes go, owls made a lot of sense – for about three minutes.  Unlike bunnies or bears, owls are quirky animals, neither too passive (read: girly) or macho.  Plus, they symbolize wisdom, an eminently desirable role model quality for any child.

Yet design companies world over have honed in on owls as the second coming of nurseries.  Don’t get me wrong, I love owls as much as the next gal, but really, they’re starting to breed like rabbits.

My nomination for a substitute theme: Mermaids — in a cheerful palette of aqua and orange.   Yes, mermaids.  Not the Disneyfied Ariel kind, who usually manifest in polyester and plastic, but a more homespun, natural fiber kind of mermaid.

For a little boy you could always start with the same bedding but switch out mermaids for fish, pirates, or seahorses.  Up for the challenge?   Guaranteed these items will not have you hooting or humming “Under the Sea.”

1.     Flensted Mobile

2.     Blabla Kids Dream Ring

3.     Sea of Love Print by Suzy Ultman

4.     Coral the Mermaid by Blabla

5.     Plush Doll from Softies by Rachel

6.     Mermaid Bunting by The Miniature Knit Shop

7.     Argington Fish and Pebbles Organic Crib Set



Did you assemble a baby’s room around a theme, or just choose things you liked?


If you love the dream ring as much as I do, try your luck at winning over at The Itsy Factor where we’re hosting a giveaway!



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23 Responses to “Nameberry Style: Mermaids in the Nursery”

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Mary Says:

June 24th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I’ve been seeing a lot of mermaid-y items and things around for awhile now, so I guess it’s time for nurseries to join in that parade. I think it’s a great idea, and I love that mermaid tailed onesie!

LyndsayJenness Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 12:54 am

OMFG!!! That bunting is THE greatest baby item I have ever seen- EVER! Sheer amazingness!!! Gah!

Olivia Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 5:44 am

This is a bit off topic, but this blog really does remind me of a little girl I used to know named Narissa (meaning ‘sea nymph), who’s bedroom was decorated with mermaids. I thought that was just the sweetest thing!

Anyway, thanks for posting!

Lola Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 8:22 am

Josie has Coral the Blabla mermaid, she’s adorable! Mermaids do seem to be the next big thing, don’t they? J’s nursery was the-dye sky blue, coral pink & purple. Beyond that, it was just stuff we liked. In fact, she liked the colors of the walls so much, they still stand as they are. What sort of theme would be good for a 7 year old? Anyone have any ideas? 🙂

babynamesrule Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 9:24 am

I am in love with this. That bunting bag is ADORABLE! I never considered mermaids…kudos!

klcalder2 Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 9:26 am

I love the mobile and the painting of the 2 mermaids. It’s adorable! I think that anything under the sea is a bit underdone these days. A lot of parents I know go modern or stick with one animal for a theme. We did a woods theme for our kids (boy/girl). However, whenever Bella gets her own room, I’d love to create a theme off of that picture!

Kikimama4 Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 9:27 am

I thought of this theme years ago, but I had a boy instead. There goes my cool idea if had a girl 🙁

pam Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 9:35 am

I should have included this with Elisabeth’s post, but here’s a blog Abby Sandel wrote a few months ago on mermaid names:

SarahVictoria Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

The colors in the mermaid picture is fine for boys, yet I think of mermaids and fairies in the same category (girly). Sea horses and Turtles could work for either gender. I do recall a lot of under the sea baby items from fisher price several years ago. One friend who had a girl wanted blue and yellow in her room. This theme would be perfect for someone who likes those colors. No, I’m not sick of owls yet. I think they are great for a baby born during the Fall.

Zinkyowl Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Well I don’t think owls are over done… But maybe I just love them too much! (Just look at my username!)

Stefanie Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I love mermaids! I have a small collection including a mermaid tattoo!

Trustedwriter Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Aww, I love owls!! I wanted an owl nursery (in my dreams), but the problem is I don’t like the cutesy owls that are so common. I wanted a gentle barn-owl color palette (good neutrals for boy or girl!), antique owl prints from nature books hung on the walls, etc. For example, this woud have been perfect –

But that’s just not the style you can find out there! Sigh. As it happened, we didn’t actually have a free second bedroom for the baby until after he was born, and now the gentle barn owl color theme is just not boyish enough for me. 🙂 I’m going with a more general woodlands theme now, but especially moose. 🙂

I agree with SarahVictoria…mermaids are too girly for a boy’s nursery. Under the sea, sure, though.

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Glad you like this idea!

SarahVictoria, there is another print in those colors:
I just noticed his hat is a boat! I love that!

I definitely agree that mermaids is too girly for boys and wouldn’t suggest otherwise! I thought of this as a kind of counterpoint to my pirates post.

@Olivia, that’s so cool that you know a baby Nerissa who had this theme in her nursery! For those of you going off Abby’s list that Pam linked to, I hope you use it. 🙂

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Don’t forget to enter the Blabla mobile giveaway! You can enter until Monday morning:

withinreason Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Oh no! I thought I was being so original with my theme…it all started when I found a vintage Norcrest baby mermaid wall hanging. I have held off on hanging up mermaid (in case of baby being a boy), but I went with an “under the sea theme” including:

A grouping of circular mirrors mimicking bubbles on the wall
A family of vintage sea horses near the bubbles
I am getting a “fish scale” stencil for part of the wall
I hand drew a baby octopus and baby whale and framed them
I also bought a lamp with clear acrylic circles stacked on one another (again, mimicking bubbles!)

It is so much fun putting together a vintage under the sea themed nursery, since I get to individually shop for each of the pieces!

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Withinreason that sounds so amazing! I love the individuality of vintage pieces. Would love to catch up to you again when your room is complete. Email me if you’re willing to share: elisabeth {at}

MissAlice Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I seriously laughed SO hard when I saw this blog. My nephew is 6 and has been in *love* with mermaids for probably 3 years now. He would seriously flip his lid for a mermaid room lol. His dad is less than pleased with his sons love of mermaids @@ which I think is kinda silly to say the least. He did get a really cool pirate themed room though, with ocean influences that he loves. And dont tell his dad, but there are some ocean themed wall stickers that include a mermaid which he will be getting as well 😛 Its such a cute room design which he loves.

Eaglefoot23 Says:

June 26th, 2011 at 9:00 am

I recently saw the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, “On Stranger Tides”. Let’s just say these mermaids were not very kid friendly. I will never look at mermaids the same again.

withinreason Says:

June 26th, 2011 at 11:57 am

Elisabeth I will definitely share pics once I am finished with the room! If baby cooperates, we will know next Thursday if we are having a boy or girl, so I am the edge of my seat and ready to finish the room!

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

June 26th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I just wanted to say that I do hope I didn’t step on anyone’s toes too much when I complained of the ever-present owl! Of course they are darling, but working in a baby store I’m just ready to see new ideas breathed into the nursery.

What would you like to see for the next nursery roundup?

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

June 26th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

@MissAlice, that’s great that you encourage your nephews love of mermaids! We cannot help where the heart lies…

@Eaglefoot23, I actually haven’t seen the film yet. Scary mermaids? How awful!

@withinreason, I look forward to it!

They Posted These So I Don’t Have To | blog Says:

July 1st, 2011 at 1:40 pm

[…] I found this adorable Mermaid Nursery on the itsy factor and you can find more about it on Nameberry. […]

bootsy Says:

July 2nd, 2011 at 3:42 pm

This is such a precious idea. the #5 doll kind of reminds me of the movie Ponyo, which would also go well with the theme (not as inherently girly as The Little Mermaid).

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