• How to decorate a nursery in a gender-neutral style

    There was a time when nursery design was strictly dictated by the gender of the baby who was to sleep there. Rooms for baby girls were awash in delicate pink and adorned with lace curtains and bows. Baby boys slept in pale blue nurseries embellished with teddy bears, dinosaurs and race cars.
    Times have changed, however, and modern parents have a wide range of colours, themes and textures from which to choose. Unique possibilities for gender-neutral nursery design abound. From selecting a bold colour for the nursery walls to finding an exciting print in childrens Roman blinds, there are many ways to create an attractive, gender-neutral environment.
    Colour choice is one of the most important considerations in the creation of a gender-neutral nursery. Sophisticated combinations such as red and sage green or brown and pale blue are suitable for both girls and boys and will wear well as the child gets older. Neutral palettes featuring tans, whites and creams create a light and clean impression that will complement any home decor. Contrasting bright colours are suitable for both genders and serve to stimulate the baby’s developing brain.
    Some parents who find bright colours overwhelming on the nursery walls might select a window covering in a bold print to brighten up a neutral palette. Childrens Roman blinds come in a variety of colours and bold patterns, and their room-darkening qualities are conducive to peaceful sleep. Plaids, stripes and bold colours will maintain their charm to the toddler years and beyond.
    There is an almost endless variety of themes from which to choose for a gender-neutral nursery. More parents are looking beyond the traditional princess theme for girls and sports prints for boys. Those with an artistic flair might consider painting a mural on one of the nursery walls. Themes featuring activities important to the family or highlighting an ethnic heritage will be meaningful to the child as he or she gets older.
    Characters from nursery rhymes and books work well in any baby’s room, regardless of gender. The Gingerbread Man, Humpty Dumpty and Curious George are all fun choices. Libraries and book stores serve as good sources of inspiration. Hanging art prints and posters featuring characters is an easy way to build on the room’s theme. Animals and nature themes are also good choices and may be incorporated into window treatments, bedding, artwork, lampshades and murals.
    Fabric choices for the nursery can also be kept gender-neutral. Lace has traditionally been associated with girls, while corduroy and flannel have masculine connotations. Simple, gender-neutral fabrics such as fleece and cotton are attractive, comfortable and functional. Parents should always consider ease of cleaning when selecting fabrics for the baby’s room. When it comes to patterns, polka dots, stripes and geometric prints all work well.
    Gender-neutral nurseries are hip, practical and present a great opportunity to create a fun and stimulating environment for the new baby. Since a good deal of the baby’s time will be spent there, the nursery should be a comfortable and attractive haven for both baby and parent.

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