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How to Design a Gender-Neutral Nursery

Looking for fresh ideas for your baby's nursery? We curated a list of ways to focus on design and inspiration over gender.

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baby crib annie_zhak/Getty Images

What Is a Gender-Neutral Nursery?

Today’s parents are often looking to create nurseries that celebrate good design over focusing on their baby’s gender. We reached out to new mom Ayla Lefkowitz, Co-Executive Director at CANVAS Arts Action, a non-profit that offers interactive training programs on gender equity, to hear her thoughts on creating a gender-neutral nursery. “I believe a gender-neutral nursery means not limiting your colors, toys and design to what society tells us is for girls or for boys. The benefit to this is that you don’t assume your child’s interests based on the very limiting boxes that society puts girls and boys into. Instead, give your child the freedom to play, wear and like whatever their heart desires,” said Lefkowitz.

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Black and White Are Just Right

Black and white are said to stimulate your baby’s brain, and they happen to be very modern, adaptable colors to decorate with, too. Have fun with panda storage binsblack-and-white artwork and other monochromatic touches.

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Nurture With Nature

There are myriad ways to make your child’s room eco-friendly. Whether you choose furnishings made with eco-friendly materials; add trendy plants, such as succulents; or choose nature-themed bedding; your child can absorb the broader lesson of respect for their environment from the get-go. One easy project to help: Plant succulents in pretty recycled glass jars.

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Stock Creative Toys

Consider toys to stimulate kids in general, regardless of gender. Think: Stuffed animals, teething toys, puzzles, books and blocks— anything that inspires creativity and learning.

These DIY toy storage bins work anywhere from the nursery to the garage!

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yellow nurserypoligonchik/Getty Images

Select From a Rainbow of Colors

“You can paint the room green, yellow and pink, have whales, butterflies and monkeys on her bed sheets and curtains, and have toys that teach your daughter about fire trucks and baking,” says Lefkowitz who painted her daughter’s room yellow because she feels it matches with a lot of different colors and designs and feels hopeful and bright.

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Make Your Own Pattern

All children benefit from the beautiful ways in which parents show their love. Why not add to the snuggles and midnight feedings a sweet pattern that comes from your heart? Design and print your own one-of-a-kind fabric and wallpaper, effectively surrounding them with your warm, fuzzy feelings, in visual form.

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Go Wild!

Animal themes are trending now and offer a variety of options perfect for nursery decor for all genders. Go wild and create a jungle-themed room, complete with a DIY stuffed-animal circus train, or simply add a leopard-print blanket or hang an animal print in a neutral nursery.

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Murals Are Magical

Whether you hand-paint a scene on your baby’s nursery wall or use stickers or decals, murals can create a magical backdrop that sparks imagination.

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Inspire Sweet Dreams

Create an ethereal environment featuring clouds, skies and/or stars to gently orient your baby into the world around them. Add elements like a celestial mobile, star-themed lighting and artwork to set the mood.

When your child is older, they might like one of these dream playhouses.

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Choose Comfort

You’ll be spending a great deal of time in this nursery cuddling, changing and feeding, so make sure you feel comfortable here, too. Organize necessities within easy adult reach, make sure the changing station feels natural for you (and, of course, safe for your baby) and select a seat to rock your world. Consider creating a relaxing reading nook for you and your child.

Watch this ingenious DIY Murphy Bed/Desk in action:

Stacey Marcus
Freelance lifestyle and travel writer for over 20 top regional and national outlets including Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Bride & Groom Magazine, Destination I Do, Northshore Magazine, Ocean Home Magazine, , Southern Bride Magazine and others

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