8 Tips for Choosing Nursery Colors You’ll Love

Need help choosing your nursery colors? Dig out those paint chips! These color tips and tricks will take you from inspiration to paint selection, helping you pull together a palette that you and your little one will love for years to come.

  • 01 of 08

    Consider Your Canvas

    Pregnant woman with paint can and brush looking at bare wall
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    Before you find yourself up a ladder with any old shade of paint, holster that paintbrush and take a moment to consider the room itself. Is your baby’s room big or small? Does it benefit from natural light or is it in need of some brightening?

    When choosing colors, it’s important to take your cues from the existing space. You may love deep, rich colors, but dark hues absorb light and can easily overwhelm a small room. Light colors, on the other hand, make a room appear bigger and brighter. Taking the room’s needs into consideration beforehand is the best way to make the most of your space.

  • 02 of 08

    Go Bold with Accents

    Nursery changing table
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    If you love bold colors but are limited on space (or courage), consider choosing a fun and daring accent color. Even in a small room, a well-placed ​accent wall in a dark color can add depth, making the space appear larger. You can also introduce a bold hue by opting for brightly colored accessories, such as curtains and throw pillows.

  • 03 of 08

    Think Long-term

    toddler girl playing and reading in the children room
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    Your little one might love pink now, but it won’t be long before that soon-to-be big kid has a big change of heart. If you want to create a look that lasts, consider putting traditional pastels and primaries aside in favor of a more sophisticated color scheme. Try a fresh favorite like ​navy and coral or a cool, minty green. You could also opt for a rich, neutral shade complimented by one or two easily updatable accent colors.

  • 04 of 08

    Seek to Soothe

    Father cradling baby son
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    Your nursery colors can affect much more than your décor plans. According to the science of color psychology, color can have a pretty significant effect on children, influencing their mood, their behavior, and even their physical wellbeing.

    Wondering what colors are best for baby? You can’t go wrong with one of these soothing shades.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Settle on a Style or Theme

    Baby nursery
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    If you’re struggling to choose colors, try selecting a style or theme instead.

    Decorating styles often come with associated palettes, narrowing the field and making it easier to choose the perfect color scheme. For example, if you love rustic designs, you might want to focus on warm, rich, hues inspired by nature. Have a thing for ​shabby chic? Try a pretty pastel.

    A theme can also evoke a specific color. One can hardly consider a pirate theme without an ocean-inspired blue, and what room could be deemed fit for a baby ballerina without a touch of iconic pink? Choose your favorite theme, and let your imagination be your guide!

  • 06 of 08

    Find Fabric First

    Baby blanket
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    Need more inspiration? Go shopping! A beautiful bedding set or stylish area rug can serve as the starting place for an entire design!

    Even if you’ve settled on your colors, it’s a good idea to hit the shops before buying any paint. Paint should match more than just your paint chip. Why spend countless hours looking for the perfect accessories in just the right color when you could have your pick and simply buy paint to match?

  • 07 of 08

    Get the Balance Right

    Pregnant couple in a new home
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    To create a well-balanced color scheme, limit your selection to a single primary shade and just one or two accent colors. Be sure to feature each shade multiple times throughout the space, aiming for at least three uses per color. (This helps to create continuity, ensuring a flowing and well-coordinated design.)

    Not sure how much of each color to use? Try using the 60-30-10 rule

  • 08 of 08

    Be Picky About Your Paint

    Baby nursery
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    Ready to buy paint? Start small. Paint chips can be deceiving, and colors often look different once they’ve made it to the wall. Before you order a whole gallon of anything, take home a sample, and paint a large swatch. Wait for the color to dry, and pay attention to how it’s affected by the room’s changing light.

    If you’re happy with your chosen shade, opt for a durable paint with a semi-gloss finish that can be easily wiped down when sticky fingers attack. You should also consider buying a low-VOC or VOC-free paint, especially if you plan on painting the nursery yourself. Finally, remember to take note of the stock number and formula, and keep extra paint handy for the occasional (and often unavoidable) touch up.