Many parents-to-be choose not to find out the sex of their baby before its birth. Meanwhile, other parents are consciously choosing to move away from the binary gender model and “boy/girl” decorating for their babies. No matter what your reasons, there are tons of options for creating beautiful, gender-neutral spaces for babies and toddlers.
Right now in many Western nations, especially in North America, there’s a significant movement towards gender-neutral styling, even after a child is born. More and more families are moving away from imposing traditional “boy/girl” roles, colors, toys and themes on their children. Instead, many young parents are allowing children to grow independently, and letting them choose and express their personal preferences. When left to choose for themselves, we see that each child is very individual. A boy may like pink, or may prefer to play with dolls, while a girl might choose mechanical toys and blue clothing. “Gender neutral” is no longer just a term that references the time before birth, but also a broader cultural issue.
Below, we’ll offer a few design ideas to get you thinking!
a. Pick a theme.
Instead of modeling your nursery around a gendered color, choose a story or a specific environment: One of our friends chose to center her nursery design around Margaret Wise’s classic story, “Goodnight Moon”. You could also choose a theme like “night sky”, “circus” or “safari”.
This tip is especially useful for parents who are waiting to know the sex of the baby, because lighting helps you create an atmosphere without worrying about color or decorative themes. Create a space that focuses on soft lighting, like lamps and night-lights instead of overhead lighting.
e. Decorate using gender-neutral colors.
Colors like turquoise, yellow and soft orange add brightness without being culturally associated with any particular gender.
If you’re waiting to know the gender of your baby, and are happy to decorate accordingly once the baby is born, then leave some space for those added touches. This approach can also be used for older children when parents want to allow them the freedom to choose whatever colors or accents they want.
Below, we’re sharing some of our favourite gender-neutral nursery ideas.