Before & After: Gender Neutral Nursery


The day has finally arrived!  After waiting so long to finish up the nursery, we’ve finally managed to get all of the moving parts firmed up and are ready to share the finished space! Let’s start with the inspiration.  Remember my gender neutral nursery design board from back in the spring?!

At that time, I didn’t know that I’d be having a girl, so the inspiration was fairly neutral.  Although there was a lot of blue in the desired look, the overall feel still had a femininity to it that would also make it suitable for a girl.  The look depended heavily on indigo hues, vintage charm, and natural textures.

There were a lot of posts and projects that went into making this room what it is.  We did so much DIY in here that it took longer than expected since I started moving pretty slow there toward the end of my pregnancy.  Plus, I was really holding out on finding the absolute perfect rug and held out until I did.

But let’s first take a look back at the ‘before’.   The before photo for this space was actually still after we had done a fair amount of work.  At this point, we had already torn up the 30+ year old carpet and padding, we gave the room some freshly painted walls (Benjamin Moore Sheep’s Wool) and freshly painted trim.  So I suppose the actual ‘before’ would have been a photo of the guest room… you can see that here or we can go WAY back and see what it looked like in 2011 when I started this blog (scary!).

neutral nursery

After moving everything out of the nursery and up to the 3rd floor where I’m working on creating a guest suite, we started putting the room back together.  New carpet, new closet doors, and a new light fixture were among a few of the very first things we accomplished which I posted about here in our ‘progress’ post.

Then, I began layering on different elements that supported the gender neutral theme.  Even though we didn’t know the baby’s gender, I still went heavy on the blue since I am having an indigo moment right now and felt that blue could still be feminine (while the opposite is not true for pinks!)

I kept most of the furniture and accessories fairly gender neutral, though.  The DIY changing table (from an Ikea dresser) and the shelving (from Ikea butcher block counter tops) were two fun projects we did before baby arrived.  We also gave this crazy old armoire a new lease on life here.

gender neutral nursery

The last elements to make the room feel complete were the textiles.  The crib sheet and changing table cover were both DIYs that were just made out of regular sheet sets for super cheap.

I made these ticking stripe curtains back in 2011 (originally for my master bedroom) out of a king duvet cover.   When I upgraded the drapes in my master bedroom, I hung the striped curtains in the guest room and I still really loved the idea of them in the nursery.  They’re the perfect length already since I made them custom and the stripes offered a bit of pattern without being overwhelming.  Plus, I liked the different level of blue that they added as well.  The drapes flank some natural shades from Bali Blinds that are backed in black-out material.  When they’re down, the backing insulates the room from heat and cold and makes it nice and dark.

Next, my favorite piece of the room – the rug!  This rug from is a vintage one-of-a-kind and has some beautiful reds, pinks, blush, and apricot colors alongside the blues.  I wanted something that integrated both blues and blushes and this was really the perfect find!

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If you’ll recall, we had the art in the room framed with Framebridge back in May.  I talked a lot about how amazing they were to work with and went ahead and did two more pieces with them for above the crib.  The crib art is by Lila+Lola and are just downloads, so they were really cheap (and easy to just upload onto the Framebridge website).  Basically, I bought them, uploaded them and had framed art at my house in under a week.

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There are so many elements to the room that I love.  I find myself focusing on a new aspect of the design every time I walk in and love being in there.  Before Maeve was born, I sat in there on the recliner (which is AMAZING for nursing, by the way) and did my work or read a book.  I still find myself excited to spend time in the room and am just a pinch jealous of her space (I want the rug in my room too!!).

Whew… that is a lot of info!  I hope you love the room and can get some inspiration or guidance out of my experience for your own space!  Tell me, what is your favorite piece?

Gender Neutral Nursery Source List

some items are old, but I’ve given similar options:

Crib | Changing Table | Animal Art – bunnydeer | Light Fixture | Shelving | Shelf Basket | Shelf Vase | Rug | Recliner | Indigo Pillow | Natural Shades | Floor Basket old – similar | Footstool | Side Table | Paint
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