Guest Blogger Series: Gender Neutral Nursery on a Budget

Continuing my guest blogger series this week, I’m welcoming Lisa from Born and Bred who has a great post today, on how to plan for, and decorate a new baby’s nursery particularly if you want to keep it gender neutral, and work to a smaller budget. Enjoy!

So you’re pregnant (yeah) or the little urchin has landed on planet earth. Congratulations! Your world is about to (temporarily?) change beyond all recognition. If your like myself you will try desperately to cling onto some, a little, ok a tiny bit of control. Control and small humans don’t go together in the same sentence. You can but try and take back control of the reigns (were you can!). Making a little space for yourself and your new shadow is the answer. Getting the nursery ready asap is one of the smartest things to do.

Yes, we all hear the advice (its endless isn’t it!) “the babe won’t sleep in there until it’s six months”. (Not true in my case it was a lot sooner). And although it maybe a while before you get a few consecutive hours sleep in separate rooms, you will spend a lot of time initially nesting then nursing and changing. It’s nice to have a designated private space to master the skills required to earn your new stripes. And no one wants to take on a decorating project with a baby or toddler!

So you maybe short of cash, plain frugal or simply want to get to know your babies sex or personality before making big money decisions.

So here’s a few tips for creating a swoon worthy gender neutral nursery on a budget.

  1. Paint (gender neutral) – the base colour of any children room needn’t be dramatic. A neutral base light or dark is wise for obvious reasons especially if your trying for synergy with the rest of the home or your reluctant to go for a theme before the baby arrives. Its also nice to have a simple back drop for all your children fun colourful belongings. (Think Farrow & Balls Cornforth White for a light neutral backdrop) Or for a dark backdrop the flip side of the spectrum a room painted in a dark hue will also set off the children’s belongings and make bright belongings pop (think Farrow & Ball Railings or Hague blue)
  2. Pimp high street finds. Ikea has great finds for children which can be easily customised to fit into your new space. Spice racks for book storage, knife magnetic strips for toy cars, rugs as wall hangings.
  3. Vintage finds really add a depth and a patina which cannot be found on the high street. Look out for old signs, trunks and vintage toys for an alternatives to storage or artworks.
  4. Rugs really do transform a space pretty much instantly. My advice here would be to stay clear of rugs categorised as children as the choice is pretty twee (with the exception of Ikea). Why not consider a Beni Ourain inspired number or a fun Kilm rug which has a dye effect. La Redoute is great for well priced rugs.
  5. Non uniformity – Do not purchase ‘sets’ from high street stores (unless of course you’d like a uniformed matchy look). The room will evolve as the child grows but I would suggest thinking about adding texture and a depth to your kids room to make it feel fun, lived in and full of energy. The easiest way to create this vibe is to mix some old with new, add textiles in the form of rugs, bedding and soft toys and inject your families personality through displaying the little ones clothes and toy as well as trinkets and mementos.
  6. Non practical – Always have a piece in a new room that may not be conventionally practical (but looks fab!). In this instance is the suitcases. Not conventionally practical but actually they look great. The suitcases can house hand me downs or toys and dress up.
  7. Artwork -To keep costs down buy art online for designers who deliver pdf/jpegs to your inbox for you to print out. Etsy has some great sellers. We love Easy seller Mini Learners featured above.
  8. Create displays – Embrace the children belongings. Instead of tidying away toys in boxes display them. Initially it can be all the wooden toys, then lego, books, dolls. Kids toys are fun embrace the plastic! Also look to your favourite (adult) shops for visual merchandising ideas…Urban Outfitters is a personal favourite for fun VM which can be translated into residential homes. 
  9. Storage solutions – Firstly keep things moving. If the child has out grown something (clothing or toy) give it away/Ebay/charity. Its super cleansing and children’s ‘stuff’ accumulates fast so get a system going asap. Toy storage can be very twee look out for wicker baskets, vintage hampers, and fun laundry style baskets from the high street. All can be easily customised and won’t break the bank. (We love Homesense, H&M and Tiger). If you need more permanent solutions consider investing in custom made furniture in alcoves or investing in large pieces such as an Armoires which can house both clothes and toys. Both options can be painted to match the room and will be worth the investment as they can be painted over the years and change with the child’s needs.
  10. Comfy chair and night light – imperative in the early months of around the clock nursing. The market has not quite caught up on the stylish nursing chair stakes. But perhaps the style credentials need to go out the window (for a few months) for the sake of your back! If you can’t bear that thought then have some amazing chairs. Night lights are very personal and come down to you and your babe but you could go statement (and investment) with Miffy. Fun and quirky think pineapple or cacti or well designed and practical like this Mee Moo Baby light which is new to the market.

So I hope this has inspired you to start asap on your new space. It will be worth the effort. Its always nice to sit and admire your hardworking in finished room. You may even be able to enjoy it for five minutes …alone in peace.

If you need inspiration why not pop over to our website or check out our Kids Interior Page on Pinterest

Images: Anna Stathaki


Born & Bred Studio offers interior design for little people and creative families ”Making Space for you”.Creating personalised fun family interiors to a injecting the families personality in each project making a house a home. Born & Bred launched Kids E-Interiors this year along side their established bespoke service. E-Interiors offers tailor-made packages for busy families on a budget. This unique interiors studio is about creating fun, welcoming spaces with a distinct London twist.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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