Color Tips for Gender Neutral Children's Decor

Color Tips for Gender Neutral Children's Decor

Dabney Frake
Mar 19, 2013

There are good reasons to go gender neutral for your child's room. There's the practical: You have a boy and a girl sharing one room and you want to avoid WWIII. You don't want to redecorate again when child #2 comes along (let alone #3, #4....). Or, you're waiting until the actual birth to reveal your babe's sex. There's also the philosophical: You want your child to decide what they like, without preconceived notions of what's considered appropriate for girls versus boys. 

Here are several approaches to color that make rooms work for either sex. 

Use soft muted tones, like grey and beige, instead of the standard blue and pink. To avoid boring, layer in lots of texture and natural materials like wood furniture, soft curtains, fluffy pillows and rugs.

  1. An animal themed nursery by designers Sissy & Marley
  2. A modern Scandinavian-style room in Berlin, as seen on Desire to Inspire
  3. Jenni Kayne designed this laid back playroom in her own home in Los Angeles. 
  4. Jillian's striped walls and rag rug read comfortable and worn, in a good way, in this nursery from The Virginia House. 
  5. Lena Corwin created a simple and uncluttered nursery in Brooklyn.
Primary colors make for lively children's rooms, without the normal gender associations. Control the color doses, and preserve your sanity, with basic white or black walls as the backdrop.

  1. This playroom from Family Living is bright and fun.
  2. Tons of pillows and toys provide the decoration in this otherwise basic black and white room from Design*Sponge. 
  3. The yellow bed is all the color this beautiful room from Koulun Lattia Narisee needs.
  4. An Eames Hang it All and lighting cords are welcome pops of color in Suki's Helsinki home, as seen on Varpunen. 
  5. This room from Homelife nicely balances vibrant color with its black chalkboard wall.
Balance warm and cool hues across the board. There's no reason why a kid can't have both.

  1. This nursery from Lonny incorporates shades of both blue and pink, making it work for any child.
  2. A modern take on a child's room with non-traditional hot pink and teal, from Katie Lydon Interiors. 
  3. Morgan chose coral and navy in this super stylish room for the Animal Print Shop project, as seen on The Brick House. 
  4. A cool green and warm orange room avoids the whole pink and blue trap entirely.
  5. Although this orange and aqua room from Anyon Interior Design was created for a boy, it works equally for a girl.
No one color dominates these next rooms, rather there's a fearless mix of artwork, textiles and surfaces that introduce multiple hues and textures. They are interesting and they work.

  1. Alexandra Angle's multiple colors, patterns and style are eclectic and unexpected. 
  2. Blue floral curtains, red trellis sheets, and blue squares all combine nicely in this Manhattan loft, as seen in Martha Stewart. 
  3. Fabric and artwork choices keep them guessing in this nursery from Design Crisis. 
  4. Floral wallpaper, acid green light, blue cabinet, and purple mirror combine to make this room from Hus & Hem. Why not?
  5. There's a lot to see and like in this Scandinavian room, as seen on Divaani. 

(Images: as linked above)

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