You don’t have to wait until the baby is born to start decorating that nursery – even if you’ve asked the doctor to keep the forthcoming child’s gender a secret. A gender-neutral nursery allows even more room for creativity when it comes to decor; the only limits are your own imagination. Here are six adorable inspiration rooms and ideas to help get those creative juices flowing.
1. Rainbow Polka Dots
Even if you opt for all-white walls, you don’t have to skimp on color. These rainbow polka dots add a colorful touch to the baby’s bedroom, without requiring a complete wall-to-wall revamp. Use the dot colors as cues for other accent decor for the room, such as the mobile over the crib or a child-sized table and chair set.
If you live in an an apartment or aren’t in the mood to paint a bunch of random circles on the wall, no problem! These giant colorful dots are also available as removable, repositionable wall decals.
2. Whimsical Woodland Inspiration
Every day can be a creative, nature-inspired adventure in this whimsical woodland nursery. Paint one wall with layered silhouettes of hills and trees (it’s much easier than it looks) by painting one color/layer at a time. Freehand the design first in chalk, then simply follow the chalkline and fill the sky and land areas in with your chosen paint colors.
Everything is a source of inspiration and wonder for a young child – especially something as amazing as these hot air balloons carrying stuffed animals across the cloud-dotted “sky.” Make the balloons by painting stripes on inexpensive Chinese paper lanterns. Use twine to attach thrift-store wicker baskets to the balloons. For the clouds, use cotton batting.
Use the woods – and woodland creatures – as inspiration for the rest of the room’s decor. Owl throw pillows look adorable on an armchair, and stuffed animals can be used as decor around the room and as toys once the baby gets a little older.
3. Undersea Adventures
An aquatic adventure theme works really well in a nursery and is clever enough to keep a child’s interest as he or she grows. A light sky blue for the “water” wall color adds a peaceful and yet cheery touch. Instead of painting the full height of each wall in blue, paint another accent color on top, above the waves. This inspiration room uses green, which works surprisingly well.
Paint a few fish, mermaids, seahorses and other sea creatures on the wall under water if you like, or make your own ocean-themed felt wall art featuring fish, seaweed and sea turtles for added fun. If you prefer, you can even focus on one type of sea creatures, such as whales, for much of the room’s decor.
Use beachy colors such as blue, green and sand for the fabrics or throw rugs in the room. Finish the space with light-up starfish lamps or night lights, fish- or turtle-shaped pillows and even a toy boat or two to decorate a shelf high up on the wall. To personalize the space, spell out the baby’s name in bubbles (or starfish) on the wall.
4. Personalized Space
If you’re not the type to go all-out with a complete room theme or fancy painting techniques, no worries. Pick a couple of main colors for the room, such as soft greens and yellows. In this inspiration room, light yellow walls create a warm, cheery environment without being too bold or bright. Incorporate an equally soft green for the drapes and as accents for wall art or the fabric-lined baskets stashed within the changing table.
Once you’ve chosen a name for your new bundle of joy, incorporate it into the room’s decor. Purchase cardboard letters from a craft store (or make your own) to spell out the little one’s name on the wall, or display the letters on a high shelf. Add a few other gender-neutral but totally cute accents such as simple caterpillar or apple outline-style art on the walls.
5. A Circus of Color
Vivid colors and animals galore come together for a circus-inspired nursery that isn’t too over the (big) top. Giraffe and elephants abound in this ever-so-playful nursery. A long storage bench with a cushion on top provides a seat on top for adults, while fabric storage bins beneath house some of the baby’s belongings. Decorate the bins with vintage circus-style numbers that can also help your little one learn how to count. An awkward sloped wall provides the perfect space for a library, outfitted with narrow shelves and an abundance animal-themed books.
Even a circus-themed room doesn’t have to be all child’s play. Fabrics in colorful stripes or even chevrons look right at home on upholstery fabric, on drawer fronts or even a lampshade.
6. The Dr. Seuss Nursery
Dr. Seuss books are not only classic and cute, but they helped many of us learn to read. The images are also full of color and a creative energy that just begs to be part of a young child’s room. Share that imaginative spirit with your young one with a Dr. Seuss-themed nursery. To create the look, use an opaque projector to project images from the book on items such as the walls or furniture. Trace the items first with chalk, or go directly for a paint pen to create the outlines as you work. Fill in the creative creatures with the appropriate colors of acrylic craft paint. Once the paint dries, use paint pens or Sharpies to enhance their outlines and details.