Does a Nursery Have to be “Babyish?”

I recently had clients who requested that I cast a vision for their nursery.   They didn’t want a typical nursery.   Not only did they want a non-gender nursery (they don’t know if they’re having a girl or boy), but they also agreed they wanted a “non-babyish” nursery.  No typical baby color combinations.  No typical baby themes.  A sophisticated room that didn’t scream, “I’m a nursery!”  Here’s an idea board I put together for them to help them envision such a nursery.

This is what I suggested:  a non-pastel green paired with whites and creams.  An awesome accent wall of treed wallpaper, a plush grass-like area rug, linen drapery panels and atypical but comfy chair to nurse in, a clean and simple white dresser and crib with simple, light-colored bedding (no bunnies, no frills!).   No, it’s not a typical look for a nursery.  But there’s no doubt it’s a nursery, right?  I mean, there’ll be a crib centered on the glorious accent wall.  A slightly whimsical birdcage-like light fixture.  Baby toys and board books to occupy the bookcase, stuffed animals in the crib, a changing pad on the dresser. 

Could you do a non-babyish nursery?  Have you ever even considered it?

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12 thoughts on “Does a Nursery Have to be “Babyish?”

  1. Alicia says:

    I love your ideas for the non-babyish nursery. I struggled with this before my first was born but ultimately decided to use some “babyish” decor. The chair pictured on your idea board is beautiful, but I don’t think it would have been nearly as comfy as my upholstered glider chair and ottoman during the MANY hours I spent in the baby’s room during the night. That may be something for your client to consider in fashion vs. function. Beautiful ideas!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Alicia,
      You are right about the chair – but I hate those gliders. Mainly because you can’t reuse them later – they always look like a baby glider! With my second child, I opted for a pretty upholstered rocker that would also look nice in another room some time down the road. It is definitely tricky when thinking about both form and function – but sometimes you can get more function out of furniture if you think more long-term. Like the old changing table that has to be donated when it’s done with – a dresser or a desk with a changing pad fastened securely to the top is much more functional long-term. Thanks for your comments – I love hearing from you!

  2. Christen says:

    Thank you for this post! I am a big fan of non-babyish nurseries. I even look for non-babyish clothes to dress my boys in. (One is 3, one is 1.) They share a room and I gave it a vintage, rustic feel. Not too themed in any certain way… some vintage metal signs in mostly green, yellow and brown and some old browned horseshoes on the walls. I made a quilt out of a burlap feed sack for the toddler bed (soft flannel on the back) and my mother in law made a quilt for the crib with green, yellow and brown fabrics. For some reason that I don’t understand, I don’t go for the babyish stuff, especially for boys I think.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Well, it’s actually wise in the long-term if you don’t have to change out furnishings and fabrics as your children get older. Your boys’ rooms sounds adorable – love the vintage, so classic :)

  3. Angie says:

    OMG I finally found what I am looking for and can’t wait to start my baby room.
    Thank you so much it’s perfect.
    I love it and will use it….

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