A colour psychologist reveals the colour you should never paint a nursery

It's a matter of shades

If you are expecting, you might have spent the last few months getting the nursery ready for your little one. However, the paint colour you choose could have a bigger impact than you realise on your baby.

Related: Nursery decorating ideas – perfect for your new arrival (opens in new tab)

Colour can impact mood and wellbeing, meaning a well-chosen colour can soothe and comfort your newborn. However, a poorly chosen colour can have the opposite effect. Interior design specialists homeedit.com (opens in new tab) with the help of Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant Lee Chambers (opens in new tab) have revealed the best colours for a nursery.

Homeedit.com surveyed 3,273 parents to uncover the most popular nursery colours in the UK. Lee has waded through the results to reveals the colours we should be sticking to and the shades to avoid for a happy newborn.

The best colours for a nursery

1. Yellow

kids room with yellow chair and white vanity

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb)

Yellow is the most popular colour among parents for a nursery, with 52 per cent voting for the gender neutral shade. If using this colour Lee suggests sticking to a pale yellow, to avoid waterworks from your little one.

'A happy aura comes from a room the colour of the sun, and it can increase focus and motivation,' explains Lee. 'The brighter the yellow, however, the more it stimulates frustration, and in research yellow made babies cry more than any other colour.'

2. Pink

childrens room with colourful vanity and decorative wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb)

This popular bedroom colour received 37 per cent of the votes. Lee explains that pink can be a great colour for a nursery, however, it might be one you'll want to change as your child grows.

'Pink takes some of the benefits of red and takes the edge off the stimulation. It is calming initially and can increase compassion, but over time it can become irritating, leading to a disruptive child.'

3. Purple

childrens room with white cupboard toys and floor lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

This regal shade is surprisingly popular for parents painting baby's nursery. 31 per cent of parents voted for the colour.

'Combining the fire of the red and the relaxed nature of blue. It can create a nice balance, or can be tailored towards more energy or more serenity by changing the shade.'

4. Blue

childrens room with white cupboard and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Olly Gordon)

A popular colour for baby boys, blue has fallen slightly out of favour. However, it still took 29 per cent of the vote and is a serene colour perfect for calming a newborn.

'Blue creates a calming atmosphere that reduces stimulation and helps children to settle,' explains Lee. 'It also invokes a sense of the body cooling, which helps when children fall asleep.'

'It's worth being mindful of the tone, too dark can become almost gloomy and uninspiring. But too pale reduces some of the benefits.'

5. Green

childrens room with green walls toys and wooden baby cot

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Green was named the hot new nursery colour in Gilmore Girls nearly two decades ago, and it seems they might have been onto something. The shade might have only been voted for by 23 per cent of parents, but the colour can soothe and promote concentration.

'With its connotations to growth and the outdoors, it takes some of the happiness from yellow and some of the calming elements of blue,' explains Lee.

'It promotes concentration and soothes the mind, but it doesn't motivate or inspire energy or communication,' he adds about the pitfalls of the shade.

'The psychology of colour is studying the small changes that it can make on humans, but it is a small part of creating a loving environment for your children,' Lee adds. 'Trust your intuition and you won't go far wrong.'

Related: Clever mum creates stunning Scandi nursery using genius IKEA space saving hacks (opens in new tab)

Which colour have you chosen for your little one's nursery?

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.