Make your child's bedroom beautiful with these useful and practical ways to create a scheme all children will love
Going gender-neutral is a practical decorating choice for a nursery, or for when a boy and girl are sharing a room.
Here are our favourite gender-neutral designs to get you started.
1. Pick a palette of black and white
If you’re preparing the nest for an imminent new arrival and have avoided the temptation to find out the sex of the baby, go for a monochrome scheme that will work equally well for either sex. With clever use of paint, prints and accessories you will be able to create a room you’ll feel proud to bring your baby home to. These Lego storage cubes are not only stylish, but extremely practical. Great for a modern space, they look good as standalone pieces or stacked one on top of the other. This contemporary look will work for your child for years to come and can be easily updated as your child grows.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Whitman Hand-Woven Black/White Area Rug, £62.99, Safavieh at Wayfair
2. Be playful and fun
Choose a plain backdrop for displaying bright, modern artwork and unusual furniture. Keep your child stimulated with a teepee tent made from white cotton and wooden sticks. This creative little hideaway will provide a cosy retreat to while away the day. Fill it with colourful cushions and toys so they will never be bored. Pair with a white cot, accessories in primary colours and soft, sheer muslin curtains for an understated nursery that you and your child will be happy to spend time in.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Pure White Teepee, £105 Little Nomad at Not On The High Street
3. Work with vintage
Add an element of old-school nostalgia to a child’s room. Not only will a host of primary colours excite your little one, but a map of the world will also stimulate their curiosity for life. Here, brightly coloured lockers provide heaps of colour-coded storage space, while decorative letters, spelling out their initials, give this space a personal touch. Finish of this creative scheme with a cane chair and throw – great for a spot of cosy reading.
4. Dare to be different
Create a look that is bursting with fun and originality by mixing old and new. This child’s room is a masterclass in how to mix colours, styles and patterns effectively. Touches of fire engine red add glorious contrast to this otherwise primarily monochrome scheme, while a very modern bunk bed has been layered with patchwork cushions that ooze ethnic style. Complete the look with a set of vintage trunks and harmonising textiles for a unisex look that will still be relevant in years to come.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Handmade Personalised Letter, £3.25 each, Altered Chic at Not On The High Street
5. Add individuality
When decorating a child’s room, think outside the box or, in this case, the treehouse. Choose one theme and run with it. Start with a standout and, more importantly, sturdy piece of furniture and work around it. Great for rooms with high ceilings, this treehouse bed is the ultimate show-stopper. The alcove behind the bed has been papered with a montage of wildly exotic prints, which are all in-keeping with the jungle vibe. As this space is all about individuality, mix it up with a modern geometric rug and a glamorous metallic pouf.
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Buy now: Kids Tree House Single Cabin Bed, £1,290, Cuckooland
6. Include your favourite colours (and theirs)
Pick two or three of your favourite colours and work them, in subtle hits, into your scheme. Yellow is the most common gender neutral colour around, but don’t engulf your space with just one colour. Just remember, the colour wheel is only for guidance, it shouldn’t hamper your personality, or dictact your scheme. A child’s room is the best chance to be as creative and daring as you like and sometimes the most successful schemes happen by accident. Gingham bunting can also be strung up high, out of reach of little hands, to bring a touch of character and charm.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Kids Pink Wooden Guitar, £14.99, Toys R Us
7. Think big
Create an interesting feature wall that will excite curiosities. A world map can work particularly well in a child’s room, acting as both an educational aid and colourful décor. Track down a good-quality mural company that can create a bespoke design to perfectly fit your entire wall. Practical flooring and furniture are excellent options in a child’s room. The dark grey carpet will disguise stains, while a hardy chest of drawers has great storage potential.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Antique Aged Map Wall Mural, £36 per m sq, Murals Wallpaper
8. Opt for white-on-white
If you are stuck on where to start when designing a child’s room, go for a foolproof all-white scheme. It is the ideal base to build upon with colourful accessories and furniture, which can easily be changed as your child’s personality and tastes develop. Layer the room with modern artwork and quirky curios to bring a touch of fun to an otherwise cooler scheme.
9. Keep it simple and gender-neutral
Use contemporary ideas to decorate a room in a listed period house. Nothing says neutral more so than a cream scheme, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be so vanilla. Hand-blocked wallpaper with a quirky alphabet design works perfectly alongside the striking original features, which are the real stars of the show in this room. If your space is verging on the small side, then it is best to keep furniture to a mimimum. A painted chest of drawers, wicker baskets, chequered blinds and a plantation-style armchair are beautiful additions to this traditional room.
10. Theme a corner
Reserve a special place in a child’s bedroom for reading. Bring in a bookcase – this one allows the books to be displayed face-on so they’re more attractive to children – scatter cushions and versatile storage. Try and plan your reading space so it’s as near to a window as possible so little eyes will have maximum light at story time. Perk up a white room with coloured accessories and mark out the reading zone with a jolly string of bunting.
What colour will you be decorating your gender-neutral nursery?