Serene, Gender-Neutral Nursery for a Surprise Baby

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A Project For

Jack

Age

4 months

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Description

We waited to be surprised by the gender of our baby boy. That made it tough to come up with a design that was truly gender neutral. So I chose a warm grey paint for the walls and neutral furniture and then brought in pops of mustard yellow and turquoise. I thought it would be interesting and fun for a little one if I hung art that consisted of "found objects"-- butterflies and feathers. We also found some great animal prints and an elephant bust to fill the walls.

Design Inspiration

I wanted a calming space that would be gender neutral for a baby  of whom we didn't know the sex. 

Decorating Style

I love the look of traditional and antique pieces, but too much of them in a room feels heavy to me. So I add some modern accents and hope that the traditional pieces can then stand out. 

Project Details

I read every design magazine I can get my hands on. I pored over design blogs and picture after nursery picture, so I found inspiration from a million rooms to come up with a design of my own.  Etsy is my best friend. 

Resources: Paint Color- Benjamin Moore Pashmina, Crib- AP Industries Lollipop Crib, Lantern- Overstock.com, Rug- Dash and Albert Scroll Platinum Wool Hook, Lamp- T.J. Max, Storage Basket- Serena & Lily, Curtain Panels- Ikea, Curtain Rods- Home Depot, Glider- Serena & Lily Presidio Glider, Round Ottoman- Urban Outfitters, Animal Portraits- Berkley Illustrations on Etsy, Throw Pillow- Anthropologie, Bedding & Curtain Embellishment Fabric- Osborne & Little Moravo, and CLarence House Leighton in Sunflower, Sheepskin Rug- Ikea, Dresser- Thrifted, Elephant Bust- Anthropologie, Changing Table Topper- POttery Barn Kids, Framed Butterfly- Bug Under Glass Shop on Etsy, Feather Watercolor- Etsy, Real Feather- found (frames for both are Ikea), Little Girl in Boat Watercolor- Etsy, Frog Picture- Thrifted, Teddy Bear Sketch- homemade gift from a friend, White Laquer Tray- West Elm, Diaper Basket- Target, Ballooning Over Paris Picture- we had it around the house

Favorite Items

I love the elephant bust, the rug, and the animal prints. I think in doing a gender neutral nursery, the art can really make the room since the rest of the decor needs to be subtle. 

Advice

If you're looking for a calm, serene place to be with your little one, lots of soft, light fabrics make a difference, as well as layering (like the sheep skin rug on top of the area rug). Lighting is also a big deal. We put the overhead lantern on a dimmer switch so there is always soft white light in there and it feels so comfortable and soft. Also, don't be afraid to mix finishes of your furnishings. We have a bright white crib, a cream, patina dresser, and a natural wood changing topper. I think the mix ended up looking eclectic and not so stuffy. 

16 Comments

  1. 1

    This is so great! One of my favorite nurseries on this site!   I especially love the bedding and the rug, would you mind sharing where you found both of these?

  2. 2

    Thanks so much! I just added a list of resources. I had the bedding made from fabric that I found and loved. It’s listed above. 

  3. 3
  4. 4

    The patina dresser and the lights are really adorable. Your lovely room is gender neutral but even before reading what you wrote, I already had the feeling it was for a boy. Maybe it’s because of the really cute wall art of animals in coats.

  5. 5

    I love this nursery! Definitely one of my all time favorites! I’m assuming you made the fabric liners in the dresser? I’ve been trying to find a way to do this to my son’s dresser- mind sharing what you used?

  6. 6

    Thank you so much! Such nice complements! 

    @twstdhrt – Yes, I lined the drawers myself. It’s a bit of a process and it takes a big chunk of spare time, but I think the result is worth it (especially in an older dresser with not-so-perfect drawers).

    I detailed the method I used on my blog here: http://dadstshirtdrawer.com/2010/12/15/nursery-progress-chapter-4/

    I forgot to mention it in my article, but once you have all the pieces cut and covered in fabric, use a little line of wood glue to adhere them to the inside of the drawers. 

    Hope that helps!

  7. 7

    Thanks for the link! I’m 29 weeks right now so maybe I’ll take on this DIY endeavor! I was browsing your blog and random question- what kind of camera do you use? All your photos look amazing and great quality.

  8. 8

    I use a Nikon D5000 with a Nikon 35mm F/1.8 lens and I love them both. The lens makes all the difference in the world and the 35mm is pretty reasonably priced (I think around $250 but I got it a few years ago so I can’t remember exactly). 

    All the best with the rest of your pregnancy! Enjoy it. I feel like it went so fast. (Easy to say now that it’s over, right!?)

  9. 9

    I like the colors — dominantly gray and yellow. It has a very calming effect. I also like the details you have added into the room, especially the framed arts scattered on the walls, he elephant head, and the rug.

  10. 10

    STOP. Anyone who does not vote 5 stars for this is INSANE. You did an amazing job. I want to live in this room. FABULOUS all around!!!

  11. 11

    I checked out your website and the nursery details are awesome!  Thank you for all the ideas…. oh, and your blog is hilarious.  I have one question, did you sew your own bedding or did you have someone do it for you?  I saw you ordered the fabric, and then poof, it was the crib bedding.  I was wondering if you could elaborate on that… I really would like to pick out my own fabric BUT don’t know how to sew that well… I could always learn.  

  12. 12

    I LOVE this room. It is so stinking adorable. I just might have to copy you.

  13. 13

    I know this is an old thread, but I’m wondering if you have any feedback on how you liked the glider?

  14. 14

    I absolutely love this room, especially the “Ballooning Over Paris” print. I just bought that exact print for my baby’s room.

  15. 15

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