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Nursery tales – baby bedrooms without a hint of a princess or spaceman

From the Resene decorating blog

A new baby signals a new, exciting time in your life. You’re welcoming a new member into your family and preparing for your household to expand in a beautiful way.

To prepare for the arrival of your loved one, there’s something so special about getting their space ready; painting the nursery walls or a chest of drawers for all those nappies, creams and swaddles, getting curtains or blinds made to fit the window and finding some cute lighting and a mobile to match the colour scheme.

A nursery with chalky grey floors and green-blue walls

Chalky grey pairs with deep green-blue on this nursery wall, its dusky hues appealing to both boys and girls. When a layer of magical toys and playful décor is placed on top, the result is otherworldly.

Top half of wall painted in Resene Helix, bottom half of wall in Resene Artemis, floor in Resene Poured Milk, hooks in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey, small vase in Resene Peace, side table in Resene Green Meets Blue and pendant lamp in Resene Quarter Bison Hide. Stripe cot linen from Foxtrot Home, blanket from Sunday Home Store, wreath by Markantonia, T-lab animals and rug from Father Rabbit, basket from Blackbird Goods, rocking chair from Contempa, cushion from Citta, octopus from Tea Pea. Project by Gem Adams, image by Melanie Jenkins.

A moodboard showcasing warm neutrals

Warm neutrals provide a soft base upon which to inject gentle accents of more energetic colour. The result is a soothing look that is easy to live with and gentle on the senses.

Background in Resene Half Gin Fizz with A4 drawdown paint swatches in Resene Ebony Clay (left) and Resene Eighth Stonehenge (right), vases in Resene Triple Biscotti (left) and Resene Half Barely There and Resene Eighth Stonehenge (right), tealight holder in Resene Corvette, canvas tote bag in Resene Corvette (bottom) and Resene Half Barely There (side pocket) and DIY artworks in Resene Corvette and Resene Eighth Stonehenge. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton. Duvet cover, bedlinen and canvas tote bag (painted) from H&M, throw, cushions and slippers from Collect Living, Ink moon by George Sands from endemicworld.

In terms of what colour scheme you go for, this is up to you. Remember, you’ll spend a lot of time in here as well as your baby, so consider a colour scheme that you will love being surrounded in.

You may be finding out the gender of your baby before they arrive. If not, the colour spectrum offers a multitude of gender neutral Resene paint choices for your walls and plenty of inspiration to be had.

Bold, cheerful reds, blues and yellows will stimulate your son or daughter’s mind and capture their attention. Bring them in by way of geometric shapes, blocks of colour or simple wavy lines scattered in random spots across the wall. Masking tape is your friend if you’re wanting to paint on certain shapes, simply tape your chosen area and paint within, removing the tape once the paint is touch dry.

While strong primary colours can work in a nursery, so too can the muted end of the colour wheel. Relaxing, restful hues evoke a calming vibe, which is so perfect for a baby’s space in which you want them to feel safe and relaxed. Or go autumnal with gentle warm-white walls, fairy lights and owl-themed toys and cushions in radiant bronze. Hold onto this rich, autumnal theme and even bring in a lilac pink, using Resene Soothe or the soft gold of Resene Porsche.

A nursery with a starry night mural

Bring in the magic of the night sky to your child’s nursery with glow-in-the dark paint. Break up this wall with touches of playful colour in gender-neutral aqua.

Back wall painted in Resene Warrior with stars in Resene Black White, constellations topcoated in Resene FX Nighlight glow-in-the-dark paint, left wall and floor in Resene Mystic, toy box, lipped shelves and wall hook in Resene Reservoir, vases in Resene Half Jumbo, Resene Reservoir, Resene Warrior and Resene Hermitage, star ornament in Resene Proton and DIY kite mobile in Resene Proton (hoop), Resene Reservoir (blue kites), Resene Half Jumbo (grey kites) and Resene Black White (white kites) and wooden beads accents in Resene Reservoir. Cot from Mocka, rabbit from Toyco, aqua cushion and story books from The Warehouse. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

A silvery green nursery

Similar shades of silvery green evoke a calming, restful space, so perfect for a nursery. The varying tones of colour ensure the setting holds interest while soft furnishings, a key part of a baby’s space, tie in with the relaxing feel.

Floor painted in Resene Alabaster, main wall in Resene Alabaster, low block in Resene Silver Chalice, green block in Resene Peace, pale green/grey block in Resene Helix, round cork tealight holder in Resene Peace, low vase and round tray in Resene Noir and chest of drawers in Resene Peace. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

To adopt a more playful approach to walls, look to murals. They’re a wonderful way of bringing in multiple colours onto a background white or bright hue, evoking a favourite imaginary character and allowing you to show your creativity if you feel confident painting it yourself. Try a rainbow, clouds or a tree setting to stimulate your child’s imagination.

If you have had your heart set on pink, there are ways to use this that aren’t too garish. Resene Coral Tree, dusky and mid-toned, and Resene Cashmere, coral and pale, are sophisticated, elegant pinks that don’t scream princess too loudly. Style it with a rug in patterned, similarly muted hues and a modern light pendant, floor cushions and a sheepskin rug – perfect for floor play – all in warm-white tones.

Similarly with the traditional boy’s colour of blue, you can vary away from the cliche by using the warm tones of Resene Ziggurat and watery hue of Resene Gulf Stream, their lively tones perfect for both genders. Or provide a base colour that is muted and gentle, then throw in elements of bright citrus yellow on the drawers or spicy pink on the cushions.

For pattern lovers, mix in Resene wallpaper with your Resene paint colour. Finish one wall in the wallpaper and the remaining walls in the paint colour. It’ll offer a sense of the imaginative and playful with the print, celebrating the colour of the wall paint to match.

When it comes to designing nurseries, interior designer Stacy Heyman of Studio Reno is drawn to a soft palette with hints of complementary gender-neutral colours like peaches and soft blues together. “Choosing paint colours that aren’t overly bold means that you can seasonally mix-up and switch out pillows or duvets, along with artwork and cushions,” she says. “You have more versatility as children go through all their different phases of favourite colours and the room itself stays timeless long enough to last them well into their teen years.”

Stacy suggests a cream or warm-white tone on walls, adding in cooler, grey-toned furniture for balance. “I believe in adding dimension to spaces before any furniture goes in, whether you split-tone the wall with contrasting warm/cool colours or use a texture on the bottom like a dado panel or tongue-and-groove,” she says. “Kids require a lot of stimulus so they don’t feel bored or think their bedroom is plain, so I love adding wallpaper to the upper half of any split-toned room. Key elements to finishing a nursery for me would be the toys, and therefore open shelving or storage. It’s great teaching kids to tidy away their toys, be it into a treasure trunk or proudly displaying them on open shelving.”

Interior designer Hamish Dodd says nurseries are a chance to be whimsical and fun; try and avoid them being too dark and moody. “I’m a big fan of green in these rooms and it depends on what shade of green you like, my favourite is Resene Kandinsky. I love it because it’s an old classic, it’s been around for a while. Wrap that on all the walls with Resene Alabaster on the ceiling, skirting and frames – use high-gloss frames and it’ll feel really fresh and clean. Another great thing about this colour is that its gender neutral.”

One of the fun things about expecting a baby is getting the space ready for them. “We all know the story of panic painting, but you want to take the time to enjoy getting the space ready,” Hamish says. “Decorating is the exciting part, just like choosing the name. This is that first space the child will call their own. Green suits everyone, and another option is pale green Resene Aura. Slightly zesty, I’d suggest painting all the walls in this, with white ceilings in Resene Alabaster to see the true nature of the colour. It’s a pretty white, that will allow the colour to pop.”

A lot of people get family bassinets, which can be painted a different colour for each child. Tie in some white floating shelves and white blinds for a fresh, crisp look.

“Having a baby often comes at a time when you may not have much money, so it’s a good time to upcycle and also upskill on some painting styles and finishes,” he says. “You can even use green paint on a cot or change table, with white paint on the walls.”

Make sure you have a lamp with a low glare that you can turn on at night for feeds without the light being too bright for the baby’s eyes. A comfortable chair on which you can feed them will be invaluable, as well as cushions for extra support. Through the joy of colour and comfort of décor items, you can create the ultimate space in which to welcome your new baby.

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Helix

Resene Aura

Resene Peace

Resene Artemis

Resene Noir

March 15, 2021

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