Decorating a Gender-Neutral Bedroom

  • 01 of 11

    Decorating a Gender-Neutral Bedroom

    A puppy sitting on a bed next to a child, boy holding a ukulele.
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    Whether you have a young brother and sister sharing a bedroom, have a child who prefers a gender-neutral bedroom theme, or simply want to avoid the stereotypical “blue for boys, pink for girls” decorating tradition, there are lots of ways to decorate a neutral bedroom that any boy or girl would love. Just because a room doesn’t declare, “I’m a boy!” or “I’m a girl!” doesn’t mean it can’t be cute, colorful, individualized and functional. For proof, check out the 11 bedrooms shown here. Each would work for a boy or a girl, and all of them have great decorating tips to offer.

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  • 02 of 11

    Shared Rooms Show off Individual Spirit

    Sisters playing with stuffed animal on bunk bed in bedroom
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    If you have a son and daughter sharing a bedroom, the easiest way to make the space appealing to both children is to use a neutral palette for walls, flooring, and furniture, then add pops of color with bedding and accessories. Letting each child choose his or her own bedding, artwork for the wall over the headboard and one or two accessories makes it clear who belongs on each side of the room and helps prevent squabbling between young siblings.​

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  • 03 of 11

    Gender-Neutral Nursery

    Attic Nursery Interior
    imaginima / Getty Images

    Sure, pink or blue nurseries are traditional. And yes, green and yellow are common substitutes when parents choose not to find out their baby’s sex ahead of time. But wow, go further and you’ll find there’s a wide world of fantastic color schemes for nurseries out there, such as brown, red, and blue palettes. Not only is it stimulating and fun for a baby, it’s still going to work when that baby turns into a toddler, then an elementary-age child and even into the teen years.

    Have fun with​ a pattern in your baby’s nursery. A striped ceiling and striped area rug in a room can add additional whimsy.

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  • 04 of 11

    Pick a Theme

    Clean space in kids room
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    One of the joys of childhood is free-flowing imagination, so why not take advantage of the chance to have some fun by decorating your child’s room with a favorite theme? There are many that are gender-neutral such as a tropical theme. Other ideas popular with many children of both genders include animals both wild and tame, forests, oceans, cityscapes, space, stripes or polka dots, western life, or cartoon and movie characters such as Harry Potter or Winnie the Pooh for the younger set.

    Creating a theme doesn’t have to be super elaborate. A few easy accessories and bedding that works the theme are really all you need.

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  • 05 of 11

    Have Fun with Color

    colorful kids bedroom
    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

    Cheerful color is a must in any child’s bedroom. If you are trying to avoid a traditional girl’s or boy’s palette, however, you can’t go wrong with a mix of citrusy green, happy yellow, bright orange, and a creamy white backdrop to keep the overall vibe under control.

    If you want a colorful, yet still simple, bedroom style, keep the walls and furnishings fairly unadorned, and then go wild with an extra-colorful rug like the one shown here.

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  • 06 of 11

    A Place for Play

    Baby room in scandinavian style
    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

    Just like adults, children use their bedroom mostly for sleep and also as a spot to get dressed and undressed. Unlike adults, however, kids also need a place to play, color, daydream, and work on crafts. So unless you want your living room turned into a designated play zone, cater to your child’s needs with a play center in his or her bedroom. The exact form of that play area depends on your child’s preferences and age, along with your budget and the size of the room. 

    But even a small bedroom should have enough space for a tiny play center like the table and chairs. As your child gets older, and the demands of school grow greater, swap out the play area for a desk.

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  • 07 of 11

    Think Functional

    Lost to the books
    PeopleImages / Getty Images

    The function depends on the age of your child, but every kid’s room has some type of demand beyond a spot for sleeping. That need is typically an area to play for young children and a spot for study with older kids. A simple desk looks clean and contemporary in a teen’s bedroom and provides ample space for a computer and textbooks.

    A simple wall mural creates a unique and inviting room that any child, whether boy or girl, would love.

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  • 08 of 11

    Make it Unique

    Mixed race girl hanging drawings on wall
    JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

    Every child’s bedroom deserves a touch of whimsy that really shows off the inhabitant’s personality and the gender-neutral bedroom is no exception. Just about every young child – and quite a few older kids, as well – enjoy painting or coloring. Why not liven up an otherwise neutral palette with some hot shots of color provided by the child’s very own artwork? It’s entirely unique and easily changed as new masterpieces are created.

    • Put up a simple DIY gallery wall. Use thin strips of board to create a lattice across one wall, and then attach artwork with metal clips.
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  • 09 of 11

    Plan for the Future

    Brother and sister looking out bedroom window
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    When decorating any child’s bedroom, it’s a good idea to plan for the future. After all, your child won’t be a toddler or kindergartener forever. One of the great things about starting out with a gender-neutral bedroom is that it generally grows quite easily with your child. Neutral furniture can be matched with colorful children’s bedding while the child is young, then given grownup flair with more “mature” bedding.

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  • 10 of 11

    Choose Neutral Furniture

    Young boy wearing stripy green onesie lying on his front on a bed.
    Mint Images / Getty Images

    If you want a gender-neutral bedroom, look for gender-neutral furniture. That means you’ll do best with natural wood tones, black, or white. Match that simple, neutral furniture with lots of bold pattern and pops of color, and you get a bedroom that grows from toddlerhood through the teens, and works perfectly for just about any boy or girl.

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  • 11 of 11

    Fun on a Budget

    Baby's room with a bed and tent
    ismagilov / Getty Images

    Decorating a gender-neutral bedroom – or any bedroom, for that matter – doesn’t have to break the budget. In fact, you can easily create a room your child will love without spending much more than a few dollars and a bit of elbow grease. Case in point: the bedroom shown here. Painting is an easy DIY just about anyone can master. A simple theme requires little more than a cute wall decal, a few inexpensive pieces of artwork, and a small collection of beloved stuffed animals.