A minimalist gender neutral nursery...because sometimes you just don't have time to design!
by Dana Mooney
May 21, 2021
My baby's bedroom is a work in progress. We made the move from a one bedroom apartment into a slightly larger, 2 bedroom apartment for two reasons. The one main reason (that my husband knows of) is the fact that I needed to get some MUCH NEEDED sleep. Being a light sleeping, anxiety ridden postpartum new mom did not mix well with a baby who liked to wake up screaming sometimes every 20 minutes all night long, and his crib was right beside my face. And the other reason I pushed for the move a little earlier than we planned on was so that I could finally decorate my baby boys bedroom!
Designing a nursery has always seemed like the dream room to decorate. A place where you can let your imagination run and have so much fun with the colour and playfulness. But sometimes, decorating can be so overwhelming and when you are a busy new mom the last thing you have time to do is paint walls and plan something other than the next time your baby is supposed to nap. Just finding the time to screw one shelf into the wall sometimes took me a few hours because I would sneak it in whenever Evan would let me leave his sight for more than 30 seconds without him having separation anxiety lol ... by the way, if you don't have kids and you're reading this, I'm actually not joking about this stuff!
Ok so yes...about the decorating. I want to share with you how I've pulled together a cute, gender neutral and minimalistic nursery with very little effort, little budget and little time. Everything in the space has a purpose and feels cute and cosy. I could actually leave it as is and be happy, but oh no - I have so much planned for this room that what I am sharing today is just phase 1! Stay tuned in for how I revamp this space into something truly special, I can't wait to reveal what I'm working on.
Here is a breakdown of what I deem necessary when designing a nursery...special thank you to my friends with children who weighed in on whether or not I actually needed these items, like a rocking chair. If you are a minimalist with very little baby knowledge like I was, each of these choices is hard to make on your own. So I hope this does help in your decision making if you're a mom to be!
Starting with the crib, ours is by Oeuf, but I have to say as beautiful and sturdy as it is, I don't think it is necessary to spend this much on a crib. I really like the Babyletto Hudson crib as a less expensive option.
Above your baby's crib is the prized wall space that is the feature and theme of the entire room. I think this space is the showcase for your nursery "vibe" and sets the tone for your little one's environment. My artwork will be on rotation here until phase 2 of Evan's room is complete... and for now I've chosen to hang "Bouncing Off Clouds." This modern abstract painting is gender neutral with pastel pinks, aquas, greens and whites, with whimsical loopy brushstrokes that mimic wind blown puffy clouds. It is available to purchase and I would just love to see it in your nursery space. Once your baby outgrows pastel hues, this painting will easily transition into a living room, dining room or your own bedroom sanctuary.
Rocking chair/reading corner.
- I think that finding a chair that you can see yourself using in other areas of your home once your baby is grown is a nice bonus. I bought this chair on craigslist, and originally we had it in our living room. Now that we have a second bedroom, I have to say it is soooooo instrumental in putting my baby into a drowsy state for sleep. We used to do this in the living room and then carefully bring Ev back into the bedroom but it was an art form keeping him asleep during that room transition. Also - he's a big baby and before he passes out he tends to go wild and crawl all over me and scream and stuff, so yes, I advise a place to sit down in the bedroom lol.
- This corner doubles as our reading corner with the very popular ikea filsat shelves. These are great. I debated just using picture ledges to display books on, but then I thought of the toddler years ahead and I realized these shelves will hold up better, and when Evan is choosing his own books they won't all come falling off the wall at once.
- I chose a wall mounted dimmable lamp for my light source in this corner. It is much more child safety proof than a floor or table lamp, has a cute light blue cord that I secured to the wall and was really affordable and versatile. It will be able to transition into Evan's child years and not look too "babyish."
- Side table: still TBD. I am still searching for something childsafe and cute. Message me if you have some suggestions!
- The dresser was gifted to us secondhand, but I do highly recommend a washable change mat. We use the Keekaroo, and I added a wall shelf above to put our sound machine, monitor, baby lotions and Evan's Rhino toy. Pro tip, keep a couple toys by your change table to distract your baby when they are cranky during a changing. The cloud night light is not necessary but I thought it was super cute. Drawer Knobs are from Home Depot. Other things to note in this zone of the room: the infamous diaper gene and a laundry basket with a water resistant interior (Amazon).
I've hung a few fun knobs on the walls as when you are designing for a kid, you want to keep as much as you can out of reach! Wall hooks and knobs can be so handy for those hectic parenting life moments. Hang your diaper bag, jacket, bath towels, hats, dog leash, whatever, in a pinch and put away later. I'm also using the Hemnes shelf unit from Ikea as I loved how tall it was and how it wasn't wide. It fits so nicely into the corner of Evan's room and will be a great place for toy baskets or those special toys that you don't actually want your baby to play with. Or in my case, the toys that I don't want my dog to chew on. Make sure to wall anchor your furniture as well for child proofing and earthquake proofing.
I would love to hear what you think about my choices and if you think I should add any items in the room for phase 2! Evan is 7.5 months old now so advice from mommas with older kids is always appreciated.
Until next time...I'm going to try and catch a nap now!