Designer Nurseries Shift Into High Gear by Going Neutral

We know the idea of designing a nursery is exciting, not to mention a fantastic excuse to do a little shopping! But before you grab that can of pink paint or hit the aisles for every baseball-themed item you can find, why not do something a bit different? Gender-neutral nurseries offer all the cuteness you crave. Think gender-neutral sounds boring? Think again. Check out these fabulous rooms to create energy and whimsy for baby, plus a little serenity just for you.

Here's an excellent example of how to use a theme without overdoing it. Counting sheep is no fun unless you're in this adorable nursery. The black swirl pattern of the sheep's wool in the artwork over the crib gets repeated in the crib bumper and chair fabric. The tree branches in the bottom photo mimic the swirl as well. Sure, there are sheep -- in the mobile, on the wall, and in the crib -- but they're not so in-your-face as to shout "sheep"! We also love the buttercup checked paint and white sheers and cornices to soften the look.

This next room by designer Angie Hranowsky uses a more muted yellow and pairs it with a soft turquoise blue. See? Blue isn't just for boys. This nursery establishes unity with color and repeated banding in the beautiful roman shades, pillow trims, and chair border. The large, white, plush area rug anchors the room while also creating softness. And who doesn't love the idea of a day bed in a nursery? Hey, parents need to snooze on occasion! Don't be afraid to mix and match your furniture. There's no rule saying you need to buy a set.

Little Crown Interiors took a beach theme to a sophisticated level in a nursery that uses orange for a pop of vibrancy. We like the idea of establishing a theme with accessories. Fun shovels hang as wall art and a starfish pillow accents an oversized chair. If you tire of the theme, simply re-accessorize. (Yay for more shopping!) Another idea we love? Placing a changing pad on top of a dresser. No need to purchase a separate changing table you'll use for a short time -- at least until that little one gets feisty!

When it came time for designer Mark Cutler to create a space for his daughter, he went all out. Okay, so you know this one is for a girl, but we think it'd work great for a boy, too. Cutler used wallpaper in moderation, literally framing it with orange on one wall to create the impression of art behind the crib, and then using it again on just one wall. The paint and drapes create visual breaks amidst the variety of fun patterns.

So, are you getting ready to design your kids' room? Share with us. We'd love to hear what great things you have planned.

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