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Decorating a gender-neutral nursery

Selena Dehne is a marketing and public relations manager for JIST Publishing, freelance writer and life-long Hoosier. She covers home, entertaining, and holiday topics for SheKnows.com and FabulousLiving.com. Selena has also published do...

Nursery décor

If you don’t know the sex of the baby you’re expecting, decorating a nursery for him or her can be tricky. To achieve the inspiration you’ll need to create a stunning nursery that anyone -- boy or girl -- will love, check out the following tips.

Gender Neutral Nursery

1Pick a color scheme for the nursery's essential elements

Furniture, bedding, paint, window treatments -- these are the fundamental elements your nursery will need before the baby is born. If you don't know the sex of your baby, selecting these items can be tricky. When working with clients in such a situation, Sherri Blum, a nursery designer and owner of Jack and Jill Interiors and Sherri Blum Designs, offers this advice:

"Select one or two non-gender-specific colors that will carry the main elements of the room prior to the birth of the baby. Save a few less expensive accessories for after the child's birth. Those accessories can then be gender-specific and focus on a more masculine or feminine color that coordinates well with the basic colors already presented in the room. These gender-specific, last-minute accessories could be lamp shades, area rugs, artwork, curtain tie-backs, photo frames and more."

2Go gray!

Green and yellow are the colors most commonly associated with gender-neutral nurseries, but gray is becoming an increasingly popular option as well.

Blum says, "You can use a warmer gray hue such as Benjamin Moore's Light Pewter on the walls of your nursery and select bedding in neutral colors of gray and white, or even mix in yellow, green or a soft pumpkin orange in the bedding fabric."

3Adorn the nursery with a mural

If you're thinking about having a mural painted in the nursery, pick something that will remain relevant as your baby ages and changes interests. "I recommend an outdoor scene such as a simple tree or even a countryside scene with blue skies, grass and trees," says Blum. She explains that this kind of mural can work with a variety of themes if you simply change the wall hangings, toss pillows and accessories around it. "A tree or countryside mural can take a girl through such themes as princess and castles, horses, butterflies, floral and cottage garden. A boy can transition through themes such as farm animals, transportation, knights and castles, fishing and camping."

4Buy a canvas or wall decals

Hiring a muralist can be an expensive investment. If you're looking for a budget-friendly alternative, consider a canvas wall hanging. Blum, who has her own line of wall hangings, says, "These portable canvases provide great impact in a nursery. They can quickly add or change the theme of the room without breaking the bank or involving the need to paint over a wall mural to change a theme."

Jennifer Scully, an interior designer based in Long Island, New York, recommends decorating the walls with vinyl decals. "They stay in place until you want to move them. You can reposition them over and over again without any damage to your walls. You can change the theme of the nursery as often as you like for just a few dollars," she explains.

5Keep in mind who will notice the nursery décor most

Decorate for you, not just the baby. According to Blum, "Your baby doesn't care about themes or style, so you should decorate your nursery to please yourself and to reflect your particular style. You'll be spending many hours in this room, so make sure you are happy with the colors and style of the room, while ensuring a serene, warm and safe environment for your baby."

Photo credit: Designer Sherri Blum, Jack and Jill Interiors, and photographers Kevin and Sandy Gardner, Gardner Photography.

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