When I was expecting my son, I had relatives egging me on to find out from the doc about whether it was a girl or boy. I would tell them off (sometimes violently) that it did not matter to me. A close relative (not going to name her, but I am sure you can guess) once told me her idea of a clever way to wrangle the information out of the doctor. She felt I should ask my doctor, “Doctor, shall I paint my baby’s room pink or blue?” (Like, duh!!!) When I reached my doc for the check-up, I told her that I had been tutored in this way. We both had a hearty laugh when she piped in: ‘Just paint it yellow!’
The idea that pink is for girls and blue for boys is just so weird anyway! Who said that it was so??! My favourite colour is blue! Actually, having a gender neutral nursery or kids’ room is not just to get rid of discrimination, there are also several practical reasons to having a neutral colour palette. What if you have a boy and a girl sharing a room? Also, redecorating isn’t always practical child #2 comes along. Or, you’re like me and would love to wait until the actual birth to reveal your baby’s sex. There’s also the good parenting reason: You want your child to decide what they like, without preconceived notions of what’s considered appropriate for girls or boys. Even major play-stores have been removing the “girls” and “boys” labels from their toy aisles. Bring gender neutrality early on into your child’s life!
Here are several approaches to creating a stylish room for either sex.
1. Red and Bright
The easiest way to make an interior appealing is to use a neutral (ideally white) palette for walls, flooring and furniture and then add pops of colour in bedding and accessories. This room has a classy red – that will not seem too childish even when the baby grows up. Not only is it stimulating and fun for a baby, it’s still going to work when that baby turns into a toddler, then an elementary-age child and even into the teen years.
2. Dominant Green
Yes, soft pink or sky blue colours are traditional. And yes, yellow is a common substitute when parents choose not to find out their baby’s sex ahead of time. But go further and you’ll find there’s a wide world of fantastic colour schemes for nurseries out there, such as the bright green that dominates the room here.
3. Let In The Light
A natural light source not just instantly highlights any colour scheme but also infuses ample brightness to bring out a multicolour room such as this one. Keeping the colours in pastel shades if using a multicoloured set up adds the softness required in a children’s room
4. Dual colour contrasts
Having a basic white interior that is broken up into two by contrasting colours – yellow and purple, or red and green – or any other colour also adds brightness… If you have two or more children, letting each child choose his or her own ‘colours’ – in bedding, accessories etc makes it clear whose ‘zone’ it is and helps prevent squabbling between young siblings.
Black and white is anything but boring for a child’s nursery – if you add the right edge in terms of accessories and décor. Again, have a neutral palette for walls, flooring and furniture, then add patterns with bedding and accessories. This adds whimsy and you will note that the room will also grow with your child. For a younger child, paint one wall with black chalkboard paint. As the kids grow older, mount whiteboards as wall décor – it will give them an empty canvas to paint a new artwork every day.
Text by Aarti Kapur Singh