How to Design Gender Neutral Nurseries
Nearly every parent that hires you to design a baby nursery will have an idea of how they’d like it to look. More parents are choosing nurseries that look like they would suit a little boy and a little girl. Parents like gender neutral rooms for many different reasons. Some people:
- Want to keep the baby’s gender a surprise until it’s born
- Design nurseries during the adoption process, before they know the gender of the baby they’ll adopt
- Want the nursery to suit future babies too
- Choose gender neutrality on purpose so their kids don’t have to feel too girly or too boyish if they don’t want to.
Your goal will be to detach the idea of a baby nursery from the stereotype that “blue is for boys” and “pink is for girls”. There are many other ways to coordinate a gorgeous space for bedtime, nap time, and changing time without designing specifically with boys or girls in mind.
Here are seven tips for designing stylish gender neutral nurseries that will appeal to anyone!
1. Shapes and patterns
Shapes, patterns, and lines can be just as cute and decorative as colors and characters. If you balance pretty, ornate designs (which appear more feminine) with simple, streamlined ones (which appear more masculine), you’ll create a comfortable, neutral atmosphere. Consider shapes like stars or geometric patterns and determine how feminine, masculine, or neutral you make them look with the colors you use.
Incorporating human characters from books or movies can be difficult in a gender neutral room because most people have a visible gender. For example, if you design a room that is Dora the Explorer themed, people will assume that the room belongs to a little girl. If you want to include living characters to liven up the space, get wall stickers, paintings, figurines, or plush toys shaped like animals instead. These bring life to the décor without gearing the atmosphere toward either boys or girls, and they’re also adorable.
3. Boys and girls
Designing a gender neutral space doesn’t mean that you have to avoid clear gender markers at all costs! Why not make the room friendly for boys and girls by including things that both groups might like? Feature a combination of colors that are stereotypically “boy colors” and “girl colors” or balance pictures of sports gear with ballet shoes. Making sure femininity and masculinity are both included in the room can be just as effective for creating a gender neutral space as leaving them out. Visitors walking into the room will understand that the space is meant for any baby.
4. Adventure themes
One of the best strategies for a gender neutral nursery is to concentrate on theme rather than purposely including or avoiding gender. To choose a theme, think about things like the adventures all little kids would love to go on. Decorating the room to look as though you’re in space, in the jungle, or under the sea creates a fun atmosphere. Of course, it’s true that some little girls would love a hockey themed room and some little boys would love a room full of flowers, but your goal is to balance the theme somewhere in the middle. Nature and space are just a couple great options for hitting that balance.
5. Stylistic details
If themes and characters aren’t your clients’ thing, build the gender neutral atmosphere in the small details. Try to strike a balance between things that are decorative and things that are functional. Fancy furniture with ornate details tends to look feminine, while functional furniture with a more streamlined look appears more masculine. In a nursery, you’ll need to balance practicality with comforting décor, and details like furniture and lighting are the perfect tool for that.
6. Learning themes
Like adventure themes, décor that concentrates on fun learning makes for the perfect gender neutral atmosphere. Whether your clients’ bring the new baby home in a pink or blue blanket, they’ll feel comfortable and happy in a room full of letters, numbers, crayons, and other fun learning themes. Later on, your clients’ can even turn that nursery into a bedroom or play room with the same theme because it’s appropriate for a range of ages.
7. Food themes
Everyone loves food! No matter the gender of your clients’ baby, cartoon fruits and vegetables in the form of stickers and stuffed toys bring character and color to the room without getting too gender-specific. Take the style of the theme in different directions by considering brightly colored cartoon character fruits with friendly smiles or rustic farm veggies in more subdued, vintage-looking hues.
Don’t let the idea of gender neutrality intimidate you. Whether your clients are choosing a neutral style because it’s trendy or because they’re waiting until they meet their bundle of joy, you should be able to give them a gorgeous space. Design with all babies in mind, rather than just little girls or little boys, and find creative ways to include all the classic elements of a nursery without getting gender-specific.