Calming Black & White Gender Neutral Nursery


Nursery planning is definitely a mom’s rite of passage and it can be fun, especially in the nesting stage. But it can also be overwhelming  to know where to start – how to pick a theme that’s not too babyish,  what if you’re not finding out the gender beforehand, how much time can you spend in a completely pink room without going insane? Let’s simplify with a calming black, white and ivory nursery that works for girls or boys: don’t worry, colorful elements will take care of themselves.

I spent a really long time dreaming about color schemes for my firstborn’s nursery – I wanted to make it fun, interesting and cheerful for both of us, since we’d be spending so much time in that room. As it turns out, you can pretty much have a completely neutral nursery color scheme because gifts you receive – like books, decor, favorite framed baby shower or welcome cards, clothing, blankets, toys – will bring in ALL the colors. (Unless you’re militant about gifts only being gray, but who has time for that? Plus, no fun. As much as I love gray, it gets a little bleak, especially if you’ve got a winter baby.)


wooden letter light / zebra head / faux fur heart pillow / black crib / little giraffe striped blanket / penguin / book / Tally bookshelf / washable rug

But when you start with black, white and ivory as a base, it feels so fresh and timeless. Bring in wood tones to warm things up – I especially love the Scandinavian-cool feeling of blond wood mixed with neutrals. I’m so in love with this chic wood and black Babyletto crib – it’s sophisticated and sweet at the same time. The white Tally bookshelf with light wood accents will hold all those baby books and more, plus no sharp edges since baby will be on the move in no time.

Here’s what I wish someone told me about rugs in nurseries & kids’ rooms: make sure you can easily clean them yourself. The poor rug will be christened by all manner of messes (reality check: mostly kid’s bodily fluids, gross as it sounds), diaper creams, lotions, baby oil and worse. This amazing black and white geometric rug is entirely machine washable – from experience, that definitely beats feverishly Googling “how to get vomit out of wool rugs” at 3 AM. Just saying.

What helps keep a neutral color scheme from being boring is adding lots of textures and patterns – think faux sheepskin pillows, beyond-soft, chunky, striped baby blankets, cuddly, plush stuffed animals, cool wooden letter lights and plush zebra head wall decor.

Here are all the pieces in the black & white nursery design above, plus some other great neutral accents and fun pops of color that will easily fit into any nursery color scheme.


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