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Serene, Gender-Neutral Nursery for a Surprise Baby


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-, 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. 


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. 

6 Modern and gorgeous nursery room design ideas

Friday 6th of June 2014

[…] are full of amazing attributes that are sure to inspire new parents everywhere.{picture sources:1,2,3,4,5 and […]

Michelle Swart

Sunday 30th of September 2012

What size are the esty animal illustrations? Did you go with the 5x7 or 8x10? Thanks!


Monday 9th of April 2012

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


Monday 19th of March 2012

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

Tuesday 26th of July 2011

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