Monday, March 29, 2010

You know what's hard? Trying to design a unisex nursery.

Traditionally, if you're not going to find out if it's a boy or a girl in advance, your choices are green, and yellow. Or...

Nope. Just green and yellow.

At first, I thought I'd like to stick with that tradition, since I like the combination of green and brown. But when it came down to actually looking at nurseries in this color scheme... eh, I don't know. And when I asked Michael, he specifically said he really didn't want to do green or yellow, either.

So now I'm thinking I want to do something more modern. The biggest problem is really with bedding. Seems like every design screams boy, or screams girl. We have such clearly defined "gender specific" themes in our culture, and it really does make things difficult.

Actually, we're thinking about painting the nursery walls a bright aqua blue. I love blue. But it seems like most aqua blue nurseries you find online are designed for little boys. Booooo, I say. Boo!

But I like the walls in these rooms:
I feel like if I can find the right bedding, everything will come together and the aqua walls will work for a boy OR a girl. The other problem with the bedding is that we don't really want bedding. The baby can't sleep with half of that fluffy crap anyway (increases the SIDS risk), so all we're really looking for is a fun patterned sheet (hard to come by, seems most are solids or boring patterns), and a cute crib skirt. I'm not even looking for matchy-matchy. The design could be made up of other bright colors that are nice with the aqua.
Something like this cute multi-colored bumper that caught my eye. But it's a bumper. :( Too bad the set's sheet doesn't come like this!

We're most likely going with a dark, espresso colored crib. And now that I'm looking at it, we probably don't even really need a fancy skirt with it, since it barely shows.

And so the challenge begins. I scour the internet looking for inspiration photos, but haven't found anything I'm absolutely in love with yet.

So the search continues...


Sarah,  March 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

Have you thought about buying the fabric and making your own crib sheets for the baby? This site has easy step by step directions...

A Chatty Future Mrs. March 29, 2010 at 9:12 PM  

I wandered upon another "future-Mommy"'s blog and saw that she had revealed her nursery today. She knows for sure that she's having a girl, but maybe some inspiration might come from this.

I really like all the extra details she put into the room, creating a "theme". If bedding becomes a problem, you could always keep it basic and dress the room up in other ways?

Just trying to help! :)

PS-With all your DIY goodness, I can see you taking on the task of sewing your own bedding, and maybe making a business of it! Haha!! Good luck!

Heather March 29, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

You guys are funny! The thing is, I haven't sewn a thing since 9th grade. Buuuut... my mom AND my mother-in-law have sewing talent, so you never know. I could get some refresher lessons. :)

I guess a trip to the fabric store is in order so I can browse around.

Chatty--That's a cute nursery, but as much as I love brown, I think it would be too dark for a room that's as small as our future nursery! That's why I'm really leaning toward the bright colors right now. We'll see, though... I like the brown curtains!

denise March 29, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

I applaud your chance not to find out...I didn't with either of my kiddos and ended up choosing a jungle-themed nursery set, with both 'boy and girl' colors. I accented each room later on with more boy or more girl accessories and toys. I'm going to suggest etsy to find your fun bedding. You may be able to find someone to make you a few crib sheets or changing table pads inexpensively (or convince a grandma to be to do it.) March 29, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Loooove the aqua! I also had a friend that did her boy/girl twins room in a bright orange. I'm sure its hard to get just the right color but it's ADORABLE! Good luck on your search and keep us in the loop...I love reading about it all! :o)

Heather March 29, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

Denise--That's what I figure; after the baby is born, we'll be able to add a few accessories here and there that are "girl" or "boy" specific to make the nursery hers or his. I am going to check into having my mom make some crib sheets for us, if I can find some fabric I like. :) I'm actually pretty sure she made some sheets and pillowcases for me in college (since the beds were a weird size), so it'll probably be a piece of cake for her!

LBD--I really like orange, but do think it would be a bit much in the nursery. I love bright, but I also like how the aqua is cheerful but also sort of calming. Know what I mean? :) I did think about pairing orange accessories with the aqua walls, though... similar to my wedding color scheme! But I feel like the aqua and orange alone looks a little too "retro" for my taste. I guess I'm being a bit picky!

tab890 March 29, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

I really think you could go with the aqua colors, or maybe a sky blue? That could be really cute as well.

We didn't find out the sex of our baby, and we ended up doing brown walls (we have a small nursery as well) but we used all white furniture, and it really popped in the room. The "bedding" which really is just sheets and a breathable bumper are sage green and white with a couple frogs embroidered on it.

Good Luck!

Noel March 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

I'm not sure how expansive the choices are, but I've seen some cute-patterned baby bedding on Amazon. You could also go with a plain set of sheets like blue or white or brown and incorporate colors onto the wall in the form of large dots or stripes. I know it sounds tacky but I've seen it done in really cute, fun ways.

Anonymous,  March 30, 2010 at 12:16 AM  

I would suggest also. lots of cute baby stuff there, and you can request custom stuff also!

Krystie March 30, 2010 at 2:04 AM  

If you're looking for modern, I've seen some amazing nurseries. What if you stick with Grey, or white walls, and then add some colorful pops. Like aqua sheets, colorful pictures on the wall, colorful dresser, changing table, etc.

Clint & Alicia McLaws March 30, 2010 at 3:04 AM  

love the aqua. LOVE it. maybe accent with Ivory? then, you could add either brown or pink when the little one gets here. (i happen to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the combo of aqua and pink). Its so hard to pick color combinations when you don't know the gender, but it can be done! and what an exciting surprise!! the suspense, i think, would kill me :p

Anna March 30, 2010 at 4:55 AM  

Have you thought about more neutral colours such as white, cream and ivory? I've seen some lovely nurseries like this.

Basically, you can then use colour in other ways, such as furniture, bedding, curtains to bring our colour/character.

I think neutral colours are also very calming for when you're up at 3am. ;)

Amy March 30, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

If you find a fabric you love, there are people on Etsy who make bedding too. Just another option to throw out there. :)

Anonymous,  March 30, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

If you find a set you love, crib bumpers can easily be altered to make really great window valances... That's what we did and it looks great! Or you can hang on to those bumpers. My son is now almost 8 months and I'm not so worried about SIDS, and I actually wish the bumpers were an option now as he moves all over his crib and is constantly getting arms and feet caught in the crib slats which wakes him up... Three or four times a night...

Amanda March 30, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

I have a friend that painted the nursery before finding out the sex, and it is a bright aqua with a tree painted onto the wall. THe tree has actual fake flowers that are glued onto the wall where budding flowers would be on the tree. Check out some ideas in Pottery Barn Kids too, some of the themes appear to go for girl or boy. I would also second the idea of visiting a fabric store...or scrapbook store.

Kristin March 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

I LOVE this nursery that Krystle did, and it's totally neutral

Anonymous,  March 30, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

I was thinking along the lines of Sarah too - you're pretty crafty, you might be best making your own :)

If not, though, I'm sure something can be found on Etsy.

Maybe try searching for a kids pattern (instead of infant/cribs) and cut it down to size or something? Kids can sometimes be unisex :)

Jenn March 30, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

Heather, you have to check out YHL, they are doing a nursery right now and it is aqua and light green. Go check it out, it will be great insipration for you!

elizabethashleyphoto March 30, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

I don't know if they cutesy animals are your thing, but I saw this set recently and it's got the pretty aqua and is still neutral. Would maybe be a good color scheme idea or something.

Baby Depot has some adorable stuff too, even though you said you don't want all the bedding, it might still be good inspiration.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Sue March 30, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

Hi, Heather!

Ironically, another mommy blog I read had a post last night about an aqua colored nursery. Check it out:

She has a lot of different photos (and her blog is pretty awesome, too). Maybe something will work for you!! Good luck!

MelanieW March 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

Check out this blog- it gives great info on paint choices and color palates! They are actually having a baby they are in the process of decorating a nursury. Such cute ideas!

Natalie March 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

do you read these blogs? both had boys but i feel like the nurseries are gender-neutral..

I'm sure whatever you decide will be amazing! I hope you blog about it :)

Heather,  March 30, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

You should check out

It is a great DIY home improvement website. Their style is more modern, but have suggestions for pretty much anything. They are fixing to have a baby girl, and they went with aqua and pear for their nursery. It seems pretty gender neutral. It will give you lots of great ideas.

Hometown Queen March 30, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

I'm not sure if this will be any help but there's a British company which does really cute prints and baby stuff, called Cath Kidston which might be worth looking at...

Vanessa March 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

So exciting! I don't know that I have any suggestions since I've never pondered this, but I have to say that I love white bedding - I find it so calming! I do know that whatever you choose will be lovely.
Another thing thing you could do is buy plain sheets and add patches of other materials by sewing by hand, if you like that look? Have fun deciding!

Dana March 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

I like the first room. When we think about TTC, the first thought that comes across my mind is how to decorate the room. Planning a baby room sometimes you are planning another wedding...or the process seems like the same intensity.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2010 at 2:59 PM  

I have Irish Twins who share a nursery, One boy and One Girl. The nursery is a skyish blue, called hundred Acre Sky and on each wall we have a bright light green stripe about a foot wide. It's accented with dark green, orange and light pink. It works really well with both sexes, but would fit even if it was only one or the either. So i am totally in support of the blue theme lol

Music March 31, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

We knew we were having a girl, but I didn't want anything too girly. Plus, animals are so cute-- so we went with a jungle theme! There are lots of bright primary colors in the room, including aqua. Maybe if you think thematically, it will help you figure out what sort of gender neutral bedding and accessories you want...

Jennifer April 6, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

I was looking through my local Craigs List and came across this, which I thought looked appropriate for both boy and girl!

I'm sure if you really liked it, you could see if she still had it. Or you could try your local craigs list. I hope you find something you like! I've been reading your blog since "Road to the Aisle" and look forward to your posts. Congrats on the new baby! :)

Anonymous,  April 19, 2010 at 8:46 PM  

Hi - I used to visit your other blog -you had so many great ideas for your wedding. Just popping by your blog to see what you were up to and wow you are pregnant! Congrats!

For the bedding - you might want to check out Javis Davis at They have all custom design bedding - don't know if you could only order the stuff you want (aka - a sheet!), but I know they have patterns!

Blessings for a wonderful pregnancy, Ashley

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