How to design a timeless, gender-neutral nursery
The goal is to create a baby room that kids can grow into over time.
By Debra Norton Special to the Star Fri., Jan. 6, 2017
Planning a nursery for a new baby can be an exciting time for parents, as creating a space that makes you and your little human feel relaxed and happy can help make the transition a bit less overwhelming.
Whether you’re waiting to find out the sex of your child or prefer to stay away from gender-specific colours, a neutral nursery can be a soothing and timeless choice that gives the room some flexibility to be customized as time goes on.
Jennylyn Pringle, owner of Homestead House Paint Co., and her partner Will Howe, a contractor and owner of Howe Design & Build, looked to create a neutral nursery when they were expecting their son Taylor.
When choosing a palette, whether it’s neutral or colourful, decorator Dianne Amaral-Medeiros says the first things to consider are the elements that won’t change: the size of the room, the flooring and natural light sources. (Debra Norton/ For the Toronto Star)
“I wanted something calm, serene, bright, yet playful and fun at the same time. I wanted a space that Taylor could grow up in without needing much updating, with a neutral wall palette and sophisticated wainscotting,” Pringle says.
The couple were living in the Parkdale century home that Pringle grew up in, renting it from her parents. Pringle’s old bedroom was to be the nursery. “While I have very fond memories, I wanted to make this room new, something unique for Taylor.”
We asked Pringle and Dianne Amaral-Medeiros, a decorator, colour consultant and the owner of Homefront Redesigns, for some tips on planning a gender- neutral nursery.
The theme should be based on something everyone in the family will like and can live with for at least a few years. So if staring at pink flamingos for the next five years doesn’t sit well, maybe rethink the theme. (Debra Norton/ For the Toronto Star)
“People like to create rooms that kids can grow into and not have to keep changing over time, sometimes even creating a space that any family member can escape to for a moment or two,” Amaral-Medeiros says.
She suggests selecting a palette that will grow with the child.
When choosing a palette, whether it’s neutral or colourful, Amaral-Medeiros says the first things to consider are the elements that won’t change: the size of the room, the flooring and natural light sources. “All of these elements will help determine many other design decisions.”
For example, if the room doesn’t have a lot of natural light a light-coloured palette will help reflect what natural light comes into the room. Picking a palette that also compliments elements such as a wooden floor can be tricky and she suggests enlisting the help of a colour consultant from a paint store.