Congratulations, you’re expecting! While gender reveal parties are popular these days (with good reason), not everyone wants to know the gender of the baby before giving birth. A surprise is fun, but one other big question remains: how will you decorate? When building a nursery, whether it’s neutral or very colorful, I always begin with the theme. This serves as the anchor to the room and helps me discern what should or shouldn’t be part of the design. From there, I choose accents that will support the design of the room.
The good news is, you don’t have to know the gender of your baby to decorate a gorgeous nursery! I’ve collected some of my favorite neutral nursery ideas for you below.
Go with Gray for a Neutral Nursery
One neutral nursery idea is to keep the room mostly serene with a calming gray color and incorporate pops of green or yellow (or a combination of both). Gray is a perfect neutral, and is very on-trend right now. It’s warm and inviting and will be the perfect complement to any color. The color green brings about thoughts of spring and new life – perfect for a new baby! Green is fresh, and can be very calming in the right shade. For a nursery, a pastel green would be perfect.
Another great neutral color to combine with a gray nursery is yellow. It’s fresh like green, but immediately brings about sunny thoughts that are cheery and full of joy. And isn’t that the very essence of a new baby: happy and joyful?
California-Inspired Nursery Ideas
One chic idea for a gender-neutral nursery is to go bright and airy, almost California-inspired. Think breezy, gauzy curtains (with blackout shades too, of course!) and lots of light colors. Decorate with neutral linens for bedding, upholstery, and so on. You can keep this room gender neutral by including all colors, even pink and blue, by keeping them light and pastel. White is a great accent color with linen to keep things generic, too.
Light tone-on-tone patterns can break up the room visually while keeping things fresh. Add in accents of light wood, on the baby’s crib or your glider for instance, to add visual interest.
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I’m not suggesting you keep your baby out in the elements! Bring the outside in with a galaxy-themed gender neutral nursery. A night sky mural behind the baby’s crib, leading up the ceiling, will draw your eye and give the baby plenty to look at as they explore the world around them. Add some interest for your baby with a slowly-turning mobile with stars and moons playing a lullaby. They’ll be off to sweet dreams in no time.
But the galaxy isn’t just the stars! Play up the idea of the bright, sunny sky by hanging suncatchers in your nursery windows. You can mimic puffy clouds with floating shelves to hold your baby’s growing library or toys. Incorporate the sun itself with lots of yellow accents. Like I said earlier, the color yellow brings cheer and joy – much like the sun!
Animal themes are a tried-and-true option for nursery décor. While you could stick with a classic barnyard motif, an animal-themed neutral nursery idea can absolutely be updated for 2020. Take your nursery from your house to the jungle with bright toucans, tall giraffes, and a friendly elephant or two throughout the room. Throw in some complementary animal prints in the form of a rug or a blanket for your rocking chair to keep you warm during midnight feedings.
You can also go underground…or under the sea, I should say! Sea creatures are a great theme for a nursery and are very gender-neutral. You can have a whale of a good time selecting art and bedding to fit this theme.
If you’re having trouble picking a direction for your animal-themed gender neutral nursery, I suggest you find one inspiration point, like a stuffed animal you love. Use that animal as the inspiration for the whole room! You could use a little or a lot – very simple with a few accents or go “hog wild,” so to speak, and add lots of accessories into your nursery.
Navy & White Nursery Ideas
A navy or blue themed nursery might seem to trend toward boys, but with the right touch, it can be a neutral nursery idea in any home! Navy is a classic nautical color, but by focusing more on white and natural elements you can make this an elegant nursery for any baby.
There are plenty of places in a nursery to introduce textures like jute or sisal. Store changing table essentials in jute baskets. Bins and baskets of various sizes can easily store toys and books on the floor for baby while also making it easy for parents to clean up. You can also carry the nautical theme through with your window treatments by adding rope trim or tiebacks. Just make sure anything rope-like stays out of reach of the baby!
Natural elements like light wood furniture, or even driftwood on the walls, are a great addition to a nautical themed nursery. If the sea is a special place for your family, add a personal touch with a jar of sand from your favorite beach or a homemade piece of art with collected sea glass. Again, just make sure this all stays out of the reach of curious little ones.
Back to Nature Nursery
A love of the outdoors is certainly gender neutral and so is a nursery that reflects it. Think of a botanical garden and all the colors found there. You can start with an forest green base and go with bold primary colors like red or violet or play up blues and pastels.
Because your baby will get older and outgrow their nursery, a removable wallpaper is a great way to carry on the theme without making anything permanent. A light wallpaper with mountains, or the trunk of birch trees, would make a great wall treatment for a gender neutral nursery. For further decoration, frame posters or prints from your favorite national parks. If you’re lucky enough to live near a national park, those posters would be a great “local” choice!
Of course if you’re celebrating nature, you should make your nursery sustainable! Shelves or a bookshelf (properly secured!) made of reclaimed wood honors nature while being sustainable. Materials like cotton and linen are great textile options for furniture and curtains. Accents of leather throughout will add an earthy feel, too.
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