Whether you want to create a gender-neutral nursery for your little ones to grow up in, or a unisex kids' room suitable for boys and girls, you’ll need to think outside of the mainstream. From colour palettes to furniture designs, stores are chock-full with traditional gendering: pink for girls and blue for boys. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few tips on child-friendly interior design for creating an inclusive space.
Gender neutral nursery: designing for both sexes
Design companies recommend starting with at least a semi-neutral base for your gender-neutral nursery. A palette of greys and whites will give you a blank canvas onto which you can weave personal touches. This also means avoiding jumping straight into a floor-to-ceiling theme. Keep it clean and simple, and let the personality grow and evolve with your new arrival.
If you’re using some statement furniture or hanging pictures on the wall, using a darker shade of paint will help those features pop. High-contrast colours can also help divide a room. For example, you could have a dark-grey or black wall beside the bed, with a white or lighter shade over by the toy box.
If you’d prefer to inject some personality from day one, there are plenty of ways to do so while keeping your commitment to a unisex kids' room. Switching out the greys for a more colourful base using greens, yellows or fresh hues like coral or teal can produce an ambience that’s comfortable and gender neutral.
You can also play with patterns to create interest within the room. Geometric patterned wallpapers and rugs add depth to a space, while stencils and decals are an excellent way to add flourishes to plain surfaces.
When choosing specific motifs to feature in these designs, you can’t go wrong with nature as a theme. Sprucing up the room with figurative flora and fauna, and even a few living plants, adds an organic feel that isn’t overtly gendered.
These don’t have to be used only with special centrepieces, however. It can be just as effective to use a nursery must-have, like a baby monitor or nightlight, that sports one of these themes or motifs. These items command at least as much attention as the larger elements like walls and beds, and will be just as important in ensuring you’ve produced a genuinely gender-neutral nursery. Elements like bedding and lampshades are also a great canvas, as they can be altered easily to reflect changing tastes.
As time goes by, the chances of your little ones accumulating gendered toys and items increases. To avoid them disrupting your carefully curated unisex space, it can pay to have storage solutions ready and waiting. Clearly divided shelving and storage boxes make it much easier to keep the place tidy, and are especially important if you have children sharing a unisex kids' room.
Even when it comes to a complex topic like gender-neutral décor, there can be a straightforward, methodical way to achieve your goal. Start with simple, neutral colours. Spice them up with geometric or organic flourishes, be sure to leave space to store accumulated items and adapt to changing tastes. That way you’ll not only create the ideal room, but be in a great position to keep it that way.