October 3rd, 2014

Paint Color Ideas for an Untraditional Nursery

All images by Land of Nod.

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to put together paint color ideas for clients that are expecting. The parents-to-be are always so excited to welcome their new bundles of joy into their families, and they want the nurseries to be just as welcoming. Although many parents use traditional colors and themes in their nurseries, the ones who come to me for advice are looking for something more unexpected.

In order to narrow down a couple’s paint color ideas, I like to group nursery designs into three different categories: gender-neutral colors, gender-specific colors and bold colors.

Gender-Neutral Colors

I love a gender-neutral nursery. When I designed my daughter’s, I did so knowing that I would throw some pink or blue in once we found out her gender. But gender-neutral nurseries can easily go beyond the addition of pink and blue.

When thinking about a gender-neutral nursery, neutral colors obviously reign supreme. But, there’s something fantastic about a pop of bold color in the room. The kelly green crib in the image above (where was this when my children were babies?) brings a lot of life into this otherwise white room. To recreate this color palette, I’d look at using Glidden paint’s Ferndale, Marshmallow White and Cool Metalwork Grey.

You can also bring in color with gender-neutral bedding. I generally believe that any color but pink is perfect for both a baby boy and a baby girl.

colorful gender neutral bedding

I love the ocean-themed bedding used here with the bright white crib and wall. Adding the red tones in the poufs and curtain panel was a great way to tie the bedding to the colorful rug. To recreate this color palette idea, I’d look at Glidden paint’s Swan White, Clipper Ship Blue, Fresh Tangerines and Red Geranium.

Gender-Specific Colors

If you’re like me and couldn’t wait to find out your baby’s gender, then a palette of gender-specific colors may be right for you. Here, you can add in your soft pinks and baby blues without worrying that it will be the wrong color once baby arrives.

gender specific colors

With the ombre dresser, dark pink accessories and light blue accents, I love the look of this room. It’s sweet without being too sugary, and the decor makes an easy transition into a “Big Girl” room. A soft white backdrop keeps the color from overpowering you. If you’d like paint color ideas to replicate this look, take a look at Glidden paint’s Cheery Cherry, Drifting Snow and Bermuda Bay.

You can do something similar in a baby boy’s nursery. I love how a combination of different shades of blue are used here to give the room some depth. The shade on the wall is similar to the blue in the bedding set, but the rug and the artwork’s shades of blue are entirely different. For a similar look, try Glidden paint’s Fresh Water Blue, Rich Navy and Innocent White.

baby boy nursery

Bold Colors

Craving a little boldness on your walls? I usually do. A nursery is a fun place to play around with something unusual.

daring pink nursery

This daring pink nursery works because the wall treatment and rug are offset by the white paneling and dark gray crib. With a color this bold, such as Glidden paint’s Racy Red, I would probably stick to using it on just one or two walls. The other walls in the room would look great in Marshmallow White or Charcoal Coast if the room had abundant natural light.

If you’re planning a nursery (or any room, really), find images you love online and play around with paint color ideas that you draw from them. The key to a great room is that it is filled with things that you love—from colors to furnishings. Enjoy the process, and don’t be afraid to break out of a tradtional mindset!


I have been sponsored by the Glidden® brand paint for PPG to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Categories: Color, Inspiration, Nurseries