If you have decided you don’t necessarily want to take the traditional approach of standard pale pink or baby blue, then you are not alone. More and more parents are applying the same approach to nurseries as they do elsewhere in the home and turning to neutral décor – think calm, soothing, soft tones of all sorts.
Of course, décor is not just about your four walls, but also the furniture. A cohesive look considers how things are put together, from walls, doors and skirting boards to every piece of furniture. When doing up a nursery, it might be that an old family item of furniture is all it takes to personalise a room. Upcycling that furniture with paint can give it a new lease of life – and a new purpose or meaning.
Keen to try out a neutral look in your baby’s bedroom? Read on for our pick of the best nursery paint colours and different ways to style them.
Neutral means any shade that is void of colour or saturation. Popular choices include white, beige, cream, tan and grey, with shades of black and brown also falling under the umbrella term. ‘Near-neutrals’ incorporate low-pigment shades such as sage green and light mauve. Design schemes often include these shades under the same term because they blend into the background rather than drawing the eye.
One of the best things about neutral nursery paint colours is that they’re easy to mix and match. If you struggle to combine colours when planning your home interiors, then neutrals are almost certainly for you. Combining shades of tan, beige and cream is a foolproof way to the peaceful palette of your (and your baby’s) dreams.
Choosing neutral nursery paint colours is not only stylish, but it’s also practical if you are choosing to keep the sex of your baby a surprise. Plus, it’s a timeless choice for a versatile space that can be adapted for any children to come.
All of the following paints have minimal VOC content, virtually no smell and no hidden nasties. This ensures they are safe to use on children’s toys and perfect for nursery furniture and walls.
Here is a selection of our favourite shades:
Dazzle Me! is a bright white shade that will lighten up any dark or gloomy space – or opt for Wedding Cake for a subtle off-white. It’s great for smaller nurseries with a bright and airy scheme featuring shades of white and light beige and other very pale colours, like Crystal Blue or Moon Whispers. There’s something sweet, wholesome and nostalgic about a traditional white painted cot. The great thing about pure white is that it can be paired with pretty much any other colour that you like.
Classic cream is the king of neutrals, blending with its surroundings while adding a captivating, dewy aesthetic. Another great choice for dark or small nurseries, Cream Dream is sure to lighten the space. Try it on a cot in a vintage-traditional nursery alongside cream patterned wallpaper. Or against panelling in beige or other subtle colours, like easy going Green With Envy or warm salmon-toned Sweetcheeks. It also works equally well in more modern rooms with flowing linen curtains and wicker baskets full of soft toys.
Perfect for an animal or safari-inspired design, City Slicker is a mid-grey shade just light enough for a nursery. Keep your cot from looking too ‘serious’ by adding a dreamy cream canopy and sky-inspired mobile, complete with clouds, moons and stars.
Swanky Pants is a silver-toned grey that will bring a touch of style and magic to your neutral nursery. Try it in an enchanted forest or sky-inspired scheme by painting your cot and changing table. You can then add interest with silver lined decorative wallpaper or an eye-catching stencil pattern. It can also be jazzed up with more colourful accessories or toned down when used in combination with shades of white.
Give your baby’s bedroom a big bear hug with Moleskin – a soft, mid-brown. Perfect for a woodland or wildlife scheme, it could also be paired with lighter shades of tan and taupe for a more abstract design. The deep tones can be quite dramatic, so this one is best used on a singular piece of furniture such as the crib, for greatest impact.
Sugar Puff is a pale beige that looks dreamy in a beach or coastal-inspired design. It could be used on multiple pieces of furniture to tie the look together. Alternatively, style it with natural driftwood-inspired accessories and be sure to pull in other shades of tan, taupe and greige for a palette that’s pleasing on the eye.
Similarly toned, but a little deeper, is Stone Rosie. This warm beige, reminiscent of summer warmed stone, is perfect for combining with natural wood, rattan and or hessian and sits well with most other neutrals.
The boldest of all the neutrals, use Blackjack if you want minimalism that still makes a statement. This particular shade is a true black, helping Scandi and Japandi schemes pop when applied to furniture or features like door trims, skirting boards or just touches around the room like a stool or chair.
Stick strictly to black and white for a design that’s edgy, playful and modern, or consider Black Forest for an off-black with green undertones. Alternatively, go for deep grey Smudge for a softer take on the trend. You can also include near-neutrals such as barely-there pink and taupe to bring more warmth.
A near-neutral with a lot to give, Wise Old Sage is perfect for adding soft, muted green tones to a nature-inspired design. With a greyish undertone, it’s perfect if you want to go neutral but don’t want to give up on pigment completely. Use it on your crib or changing table for a hint of calming colour. Green is associated with feelings of peace, rest and security, so what better choice for your baby’s nursery?
Ducky is available as both a wall and trim paint. A beautiful duck-egg shade, it’s fantastic for those who like to keep things funky fresh. It’s dreamy in a sea or water-themed nursery, where the subtle colour can be brought to life against a pure white backdrop or ocean-themed wallpaper.
Want to see more nursery paint colours? We have a full range of hard-wearing chalk paints for walls, woodwork and furniture. All are safe for use on children's furniture and toys, with a collection of brushes also available to ensure the perfect finish. From Salt of the Earth to Funky Dora, Polar Bear and Nougat, there’s a neutral hue here for every parent-to-be.
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