25 nursery ideas – brilliant gender-neutral decor tips for your baby's bedroom

Looking for nursery ideas is so exciting! It’s a room you'll spend many hours in during those first few years, so it’s worth getting it right...

Nursery ideasWhite nursery with wooden cot
(Image credit: The White Company)

Looking for nursery room ideas?  What an exciting time! Is there anything more joyous than decorating a nursery?! Deciding on a color scheme, picking our furniture, putting the prettiest books and toys on display are just a few of the things that make this project feel so special. After all, a nursery is a space where you can get truly creative and design the most imaginative room in your home.

Whether or not you want to wait to find out what gender your baby is or already know, the main thing is that a nursery should be both fun and functional – but you should also remember that how your child and you use the bedroom will change quickly, so its decor will need to be easy to update, too. Check out these baby room ideas – and our well-tested advice – to get your design just right. 

For practical advice, find out how to design a nursery and for more bedroom ideas head over to our feature. 

1. Choose a neutral nursery room idea with pops of colour

nursery with pastel colours, a yellow chair, blue stool, mint cot and pink blind

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

A neutral nursery with pops of color is a great way to create a space that can grow as they do. Keeping the backdrop simple and adding in color will mean you aren't constantly repainted as they get older and their tastes start to change. This is a fab look if you are wanting to create a gender-neutral nursery too.

2. Go for a muted version of the classic pink nursery idea

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you are a sucker for the baby pinks and blues that are the go-to colors for nurseries, why not give these color schemes an update with contemporary, muted paint shades? Think duck-egg variations of blue and dusty, barely-there pinks. Still sweet, but with a contemporary twist. 

Be inspired by more paint color schemes for kids' rooms and check out our girls' nursery ideas gallery too. 

3. Create a Scandi nursery with a white color scheme

Scandi nursery ideas by The White Company.

(Image credit: The White Company)

Want at least the illusion of peace and tranquility in the nursery? Nothing beats a classic all-white scheme for its ability to hold a room together and create an easy-going, Scandi ambiance that's so easy to update. A contrasting floor will prevent the room from looking washed out. 

Want to match the look in your own room? Don't miss these Scandinavian bedroom ideas.

4. Create this fun nursery idea with graphic wallpaper patterns

kids bedroom with a fun feature wall, fire place and kids wardrobe

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer © Future)

It's amazing how quickly a baby's room becomes a toddler's bedroom and play space, so why not decorate it with the future in mind? Choose bright, bold colors for a contemporary, fun, feel, and don't be afraid to experiment with eye-catching patterns – a mural will help to create a graphic centerpiece. 

See the latest mural design ideas for every room in your home.

5. Enjoy a pastel nursery decorating scheme

Boy's bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Fiona Murray)

If your nursery is quite small or awkwardly shaped, enhance the space visually by painting half way up walls with a lovely pastel hue, in contrast with an otherwise neutral scheme. This will make the wall an attractive focal feature. Be careful not to use too many colors in a small very small nursery, though, or it will look busy not restful. 

Find out everything you need to know about feature wall ideas in our design gallery.

6. Add in mustard yellows 

Shoe designer Jacqueline has filled her renovated Edwardianhome with vintage furniture, art, plants and curios from Her travels

(Image credit: Jemma Watts)

What a gorgeous nursery! It's colorful and yet subtle at the same time. We love the mix of the pale peach with the pop of mustard and that wallpaper? So cute! This space feels suitably stylish and yet creative and fun too with the whimsical print and the balloons on the wall too. 

7. Embrace pink nursery room ideas

Pink kid's bedroom with a pink canopy and gallery wall

(Image credit: Norsu Interiors)

Like the baby pink shades, but don't want to commit to an all-pink nursery? There's a simple solution: try out one wall in pink, keeping the rest of the decor neutral.

Browse more pretty pink room ideas in our gallery.

8. Mix and match wallpaper and paint

nursery wallpaper by Sanderson

(Image credit: Sanderson)

Wallpaper is the easiest way to add a bit of fun and texture to an otherwise plain room; wallpaper also works wonders for cheering up a room that doesn't get enough light – just be sure to pick a light-colored design. 

See lots more gorgeous wallpapers for children's rooms.

9. Match wallpaper and curtains – to make the nursery feel bigger

nursery curtains by Scion

(Image credit: Scion)

Matching window treatments to walls can work really well in a nursery, where the same rules as the rest of the house don't really apply. So long as your color scheme isn't too crazy, an abundance of prints will look cozy and cute. 

10. Choose a warm paint shade in a north-facing nursery

Kids' room with yellow ceiling

(Image credit: David Giles)

Pastel shades can look a little dull and clinical in rooms that get little light; a good way to compensate for a lack of sunlight is painting your nursery in a sunny and warm shade; think a rich, honeyed yellow or a zesty lemon hue. The bonus? It's gender-neutral, too.

11. Use window film in ground-floor nurseries

nursery window film for privacy, by The Window Film Company

(Image credit: The Window Film Company)

If your nursery is on the ground floor or overlooked, and you want to create a space that is private but still lets in natural light, window film is a great solution. Choose window film types that let in maximum light  – some types let in as much as 90 per cent.

These wonderful window film ideas will give you plenty of inspiration.

12. Accessorise a nursery with wall art

Nursery storage with polkadot stickers

(Image credit: Stcikers4walls)

To add a bit of interest to a neutral nursery decorating scheme without having to DIY, hang a few pretty prints. Easy as pie, and easily swapped when your child gets old enough to choose their own. 

13. Create a fairytale atmosphere with a mural

Child's nursery with cot bed and painted wall mural

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Delight your new baby with a riot of color and texture, turning the nursery into a fairytale landscape with a mural. They come in a wide variety of patterns and colors, from bright and bold to more neutral palettes to photo-realistic scenes. You could of course paint you own too!

14. Have fun decorating with nursery wall stickers

Gender neutral nursery with wall stickers

(Image credit: Stickers4walls)

Want an easy DIY project for the nursery? Get yourself some lovely wall stickers! They take minimum effort, but have lots of impact. Just be aware that taking them off might be harder than putting them on, so be prepared to redecorate eventually. 

15. Color block for a multi-dimensional effect

pastel nursery design idea from Dulux

(Image credit: Dulux)

Why have just one or two colors in a nursery, when more will create added warmth and interest? The trick to color blocking in a nursery is keeping the tones of the various colors the same (for example, combine warm shades of pink, apricot, and lilac, but avoid anything too cool). That way the room will feel calm and spacious. 

Find out how to color block with these inspiring ideas.

16. Pick our the right nursing chair

Dani Dyer nursery corner with rocking hair, side table and fake plant

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Pick a nursing chair you'll find comfortable now – but can fit into your home's colour scheme in a year or so's time when you no longer need it in your child's room. We're talking washable or removable covers in a neutral, go-with-anything shade. 

Find the best nursing chairs to suit every scheme, style and budget in our guide.

17. Invest in a good nursery storage unit 

Nursery idea with canopy and storage

(Image credit: Stickers4walls)

Invest in a sturdy changing table now – but pick one that has built-in storage that's flexible for the future. It might hold diapers now but it won't be long until you're stashing toys in it. 

Find great kids' room toy storage ideas and book storage ideas to keep the nursery neat.

18. Choose nursery furniture that suits your style 

When renovating their run-down period terrace, Ali and Rob created an open-plan extension that works for everyone

(Image credit: Rachel Manns)

As you've (hopefully) come to discover while reading through our nursery design ideas, designing a room fit for young children doesn't have to mean sacrificing your sense of interior style. Although some soft play equipment, for example, can seem garish, there's plenty out there in muted colours too.

19. Design a sleek nursery storage solution

contemporary nursery by skandium

(Image credit: Skandium)

Designing a nursery that will suit your child as they grow is a good idea if you're looking to save money in the long run. Storage should be central to a nursery intended to stand the test of time.  

Find more nursery storage in our buyer's guide.

20. Add cosiness with a canopy 

Nursery with faux fur accessories by Icon

(Image credit: Icon)

Canopies are all over Instagram at the moment, and they are a lovely thing to add to a kid's room. The look great and add some texture and coziness to the room, but they also are good for creating the perfect nap space and even a den as your child gets older. 

What should you include in a nursery?

It can be a tad overwhelming when you start to design a nursery, it's lovely to scroll through gorgeous nursery ideas for decor inspiration but what do you actually need to include. We've put together a simple checklist of all the essentials you will want to consider adding to your nursery:

  • A crib 
  • A mattress with a waterproof mattress cover
  • Crib sheets and blankets
  • A nursing chair
  • A changing table or mat
  • Drawers
  • Toy storage
  • A soft light or sleep lamp
  • A speaker for soft sounds or white noise
  • Blackout blinds or curtains
  • A playmat 
  • A baby monitor

How do you decide on a theme for a nursery?

If you need help deciding on an overall nursery theme we would suggest making a mood board. Save pictures to like the look of on social media and from magazines too. And look at the style you have going on in the rest of your home for inspiration, because while you want your nursery to fill like a fun, creative space for your kid, you still want to work with the overall scheme of your house. 

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.