Gender Neutral Nursery Styling
By Ty Schmidt
(Guest Contributor from Modernize.com)
It has happened to me twice now. There I stood, in all sorts of six-months-pregnant glory, melting into a pile of hormones and tears as I faced what can only be described as the wall of fame at Babies R Us. If you’ve ever been to Babies, or a similar superstore source of all things baby, you know it well.
The bedding section. It’s a sight to be seen that can honestly be a bit overwhelming to the first (or second or third) time mom. Especially when you’re like me and you have a perfect image in your mind of exactly what you want your precious baby’s nursery to look like.
It was kind of like all the power of the so-called nesting instinct was focused with laser-like precision on this single most important thing: the nursery. That image of perfection is different for everyone (and changed for me multiple times throughout my ordeal of a selection process), and can be either complicated or simplified if you decide to keep things gender neutral.
The least I can do after my (very real and emotional) struggle is offer some ideas based on what I found as I browsed for what I believed was the ideal nursery décor. Here are a few of the ideas I considered during my journey:
Eclectic and colorful. When you decide not to find out the sex of the baby (or you know and still opt for gender neutral selections), it opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of décor and the overall look of your nursery. Sure, boys and girls are no longer held as tightly to the pink and blue stereotypes, but there is something to be said with the fun you can have with color and craftiness in a gender neutral room.
Modern and chic. Using simple furniture with a consistent color pallet, like yellow and grey, creates a calming, chic and modern feel to a baby’s room. Choose one element, like a piece of furniture or art, as the focal point in the nursery. Keep it simple from there by choosing similar colors and features to integrate throughout the rest of the space.
Arts and crafts. This idea is particularly awesome if you or a friend or family member is especially crafty and you have a specific look or theme in mind to build upon. Owls and elephants often make appearances in gender neutral bedding and blanket options. Embrace these concepts with a statement piece, like a tree or other element that ties into the theme, on one of the walls in the room.
Elegant and close by. I’m not one to launch a debate on co-sleeping, as I respect a parent’s right to choose how and where they would prefer their child to sleep. If that happens to not be in a separate room but rather with you in your master bedroom, that is your choice as a parent. Not only that, but there are ways to elegantly integrate elements of a nursery into your master suite, by choosing similar pieces of furniture that fit the general style and feel of the existing space.
Crisp and classic. It may seem counterintuitive when your child grows into what I call the toddler tornado, but choosing a simple design with strip-down colors (it doesn’t get simpler than basic white) is a great way to take a lot of the complications out of the equation. Keeping it simple and basic will create a crisp, clean feel in the room, which can be a sight for sore (overtired) eyes during those late night wakeup calls that have a way of happening at least every now and then.
Themed goodness. Choosing a theme is where I hit the biggest road block when selecting pieces for my gender neutral nursery. There are entirely too many jungle themed gender neutral options I felt were too impersonal for my baby. Nor did I care for everything to be green or yellow. Ultimately I chose a reasonably priced set that included the items within a set I was seeking, but that’s not for everyone either. Be wary of sets that include what you deem unnecessary items (like a 9-piece set that includes three “wall hangings” that look more like cheap plastic postage stamps.
Ultimately, I know that breaking down into a million emotional pieces in a public place is entirely unnecessary. Yet it was important to me to have the perfect setup. But even more important was knowing the space, regardless of how it is or isn’t decorated, will soon be home to one of the very most precious things in your life. Trust me – that outshines the importance of having the matching diaper stacker any day of the week.
For more design ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.