Kids
Jun 8, 2016

8 steps to a stylish gender-neutral nursery design

By: Lesley Young
8 steps to a stylish gender-neutral nursery design

A stylish gender-neutral nursery suitable for both him and her. Author: Ashley Capp

Kids
Jun 8, 2016

8 steps to a stylish gender-neutral nursery design

By: Lesley Young

How the lifestyle blogger of The Minted Mama perfected a stylish gender-neutral nursery suitable for both her little prince and her little princess.

When Candace Alongi had her first child, she wanted the gender to be a surprise, but she also desired a nursery that was chic, stylish and, of course, functional. Luckily, the decorista and lifestyle blogger behind The Minted Mama knew exactly how to create a gender-neutral space that's as sophisticated and polished as it is fun and youthful: with an unconventional palette and refined furnishings that, though bright, suit adults and kids alike.

Shortly after she applied the finishing touches to the nursery, her son, Massimo (now 3), arrived, and the space suited him so much that he stayed in it until he got his first big-boy room. That's when the nursery's gender neutrality got its true test: Massimo's new baby sister, Gemma (now 10 months), moved in. "It's terrific. I feel like it suits her just as much!" says Candace. "While I'm nursing, Massimo plays with toys on the floor, and we all enjoy the space together."

Here are eight tips for fashioning a gorgeous gender-neutral nursery just like this one. 

1 Keep it orderly

 Though the lively room packs a colour punch, homeowner Candace Alongi kept it largely clean-lined, with simple pieces and one shelving unit to display books, toys and shoes. 

 

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2 Get repetitive

 Taking a cue from the elegant circle detail at the foot of the crib, Candace repeated the round motif throughout the room, from the ball mobile to the polka-dot bedding.

3 Watch what you buy

 Since adults aren’t likely to lick their furniture, it doesn’t always occur to parents to consider the materials and finishes when choosing pieces for their kids’ rooms. “Your child will definitely chew on the edges of the crib at some point,” says Candace, “so make sure the finish is non-toxic.” 

 

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4 Let artwork inspire

 While the bold palette of juicy orange, minty blue and cool grey was already on Candace’s mind when she was planning the nursery, it was a piece of artwork she found at her local HomeSense that drove the decision home. “Finding it was a total aha moment,” says Candace. “The piece was exactly what I’d envisioned, and seeing it in front of me confirmed the scheme for the whole room.”

 

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5 Add winks of whimsy

 “Incorporate elements of fun while still keeping the look sophisticated and in line with the rest of your home’s decor,” says Candace. The hidden orange inner panels on the change table drawers are a perfect example of a stylish surprise.

 

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6 Make it a family affair

 Candace went with two armchairs instead of one because she wanted company while she was nursing. “My husband stayed up with me during those first few late-night feedings,” says Candace. “Now, that second chair gets used by my toddler, who likes to spend time with his baby sister.”

7 Find furnishings with staying power

Stylish yet youthful furniture can be found almost anywhere, as evidenced in this room, from the punchy side table to the chic change table, which can be used as a regular dresser to suit a teenager.

8 Put the fun in functional

Candace strayed from the traditional rocking chair (to avoid getting the baby into the routine of being rocked to sleep). She instead opted for armchairs and an ottoman that she had painted and reupholstered in a whimsical orange chevron-patterned fabric to energize the room.

 

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8 steps to a stylish gender-neutral nursery design