6 Gender-Neutral Colors for Your Nursery

By Nikki M

Planning on keeping your baby’s gender a surprise? Perhaps you do know the sex, but can‘t stand a stereotypical girly-girl/burly boy nursery. As far as gender-neutral options go, baby megastores will have you less than enthused with their green and yellow offerings. Surely those eyesores can’t be the only middle ground between froufrou carnation pink and oh-so-drab baby blue?

Fear not, there are plenty of other gorgeous colors you can use! Simply take a quick look at your own wardrobe for inspiration — your most well-loved basics will show you what the real power neutrals are: Crisp, white button-down shirts, classic navy denim jeans, and soft gray cashmere sweaters all make for a lovely color palette that is neither overtly feminine, nor masculine.

Here are some nursery eye-candy to inspire you:

Wonderful White

There’s a reason why white is a favorite of interior designers: It’s fresh, modern, and makes the smallest of spaces look airy and lofty. If the nursery only gets a sliver of natural light, take a note from the Scandinavians (who can go for weeks without the sun!) by painting walls—even floors— a stunningly radiant white to maximize brightness.

Stark white serves as a lovely backdrop for all the colorful toys, books, art, and textiles you’ll be amassing, keeping the place looking clean and uncluttered. It also puts focus on beautiful, warm wood floors and furniture.

While white looks simply phenomenal paired with clean lines and contemporary design, it also lends itself well to a more classic, traditional look as well.

Gorgeous Grays

There’s something that’s just so cozy about gray. It looks so inviting, almost beckoning you to curl up for a leisurely nap with your little one. It also feels luxurious, in a soft and understated way.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a terrible gray. Cool grays with blue undertones are pleasing to the eye and go well with modern styling. Warm grays look lovely with wooden, mid-century pieces. Dark charcoal grays look striking, while lighter shades feel tranquil.

We love to pair grays with bright pops of color: think pale yellow, teal, or our absolute favorite — orange! Wood pieces, black-and-white accents, and even a bit of foliage look stunning against gray.

Never Enough Navy

While a light, sky blue screams “newborn baby BOY”, a rich navy hue does quite the opposite. Stylish, elegant, and exceedingly hip, navy is a gorgeous neutral that looks right at home in a modern nursery.

Take a cue from its name and go for nautical-inspired pops of red, stripes, jute, and brass accents. Stick with a nautical feel rather than theme — avoid any sailboat/anchor prints that could lean a bit boyish.

Navy looks best with minimal, contemporary styling, offset with accent pieces like chevron rugs or baroque pillows. White, gray, and warm wood furniture are absolutely stunning against a deep navy.


Totally Taupe

Beige is a lovely, classic neutral, but unless you go all out, it can look very chintzy and 80’s. We prefer something a bit fresher and up-to-date. Try taupe—essentially beige with a tinge of gray. It’s cozy, elegant, and just as timeless.

Taupe looks amazing with traditional styling — imagine a lovely French armoire, sheer drapes, and a large ornate mirror in a taupe nursery. It’ll look fabulous in a modern setting as well— we love the juxtaposition of an angular rocker, a trendy sheepskin rug, and a bunch of oh-so-hip succulents against a classic taupe wall. Light ash, maple, and oak wood furniture look gorgeous paired with taupe. As for accent colors, we like to stick with other neutrals like whites and grays for a refined look.

Beautiful Browns

We absolutely love the color brown. A brown palette feels earthy, rich, and luxurious. Think grand libraries, posh sitting rooms, and rustic log cabins.  But before you go out and buy gallons of chocolate-hued paint and mocha-colored textiles, we’re specifically talking about wood.

For an exquisitely elegant nursery, draw attention to glossy hardwood floors, beautiful wood furniture, even a striking wood accent wall. For some reason, wood-paneled walls fell out of style, have been deemed dated, even tacky. But we disagree — done right, they look downright marvelous.

Light ash and oak look great with contemporary furniture, minimalist styling, and stark white accents. Warm walnut, cherry, and mahogany shades have an opulent, old-world feel — pair them with splendid Persian rugs, floor-to-ceiling shelves (make sure to mount them!), and beautiful ceiling lamps. Dark wood floors and espresso-hued furniture look gorgeous in an industrial-styled room — try it with a leather rocker, metal accents, and if you’re lucky, some exposed brick.

Always Bold in Black

No, we’re not suggesting that you paint your baby’s room a morbid goth black. Although black is the unrivaled neutral, you’re going to want to practice a bit of restraint when it comes to the nursery. Think accents.

We’ve already sung praises about the chalkboard wall, but how about an accent wall in a graphic, black-and-white wallpaper print? It’s bold, but the neutral colors keep it from being too overwhelming. Black and white patterns also look amazing on bedding, textiles, and rugs.

Love those all-white, ultra-trendy minimalist rooms but don’t want your nursery to look like a Pinterest clone? Put in a sole piece of black furniture—perhaps an end table, a desk, or a leather storage ottoman— for a striking contrast.

Which one of these lovely neutrals is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Dona Kareno
Loving the black rooms. Not as harsh as I expected!