The best ways of creating a center of attraction in a nursery are borders and murals. You can make beautiful decorations using stencils. Motifs that go well with any theme are easily available. The stencils can be cut to size and reused in the way that suits you best. You can use borders as well as stenciled motifs to decorate the walls instead of putting pictures. You can match the furniture with the walls by putting the same motif on both. A room can also be decorated using stencils of alphabets and numbers and you would thus familiarize the baby with them. The floor of an uncarpeted nursery can also be brightened up with colors.
Murals can create wonders if you are quite enthusiastic. You can create an atmosphere that will be interesting for your little one, even when it gets into 3rd and 4th year. If you have the talent, you could create a scene from a fairy tale on one of the walls. Even beginners can paint cartoon characters to decorate the walls rather than using stickers that cannot be removed easily. Glass paints can be used on windowpanes to create a stained glass effect. The baby would surely be attracted towards this as the Sun filters in through the glass while illuminating the design.
The nursery should not have too many designs, images and paints because it is after all a bedroom. Fresh paint ideas will make the nursery look more appealing even if you do not want to redecorate it fully. The wall could be left plain but door panels, picture and mirror frames will not require much effort to be painted and make the place look baby friendly. It is quite obvious that you would need to use non-toxic paints in the nursery.