15 Tips for Choosing Nursery Colors You'll Love

nursery with teal green color scheme, nature mural on accent wall

Ashley Webb Interiors

Need help choosing your nursery colors? Dig out those paint chips! There are several tips and tricks to 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.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips for choosing nursery colors.

  • 01 of 15

    Consider Your The Size

    pink and gray nursery with golden chandelier

    Forbes + Masters

    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. Whether you have a larger or smaller space to work with can give a great indicator of the type of colors you should work with.

    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.

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  • 02 of 15

    Go Bold With Accents

    nursery with nature mural, teal green colors, light wood furniture

    Ashley Webb

    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.

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  • 03 of 15

    Think Long Term

    gray nursery with wooden furniture tree shelf


    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 complemented by one or two easily updatable accent colors.

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  • 04 of 15

    Minimize the Chaos

    nursery with powder blue canopy and off white decor

    Burchard Design Co.

    Bright orange may seem like a great idea when you're at the paint store, but do you want to be surrounded by it while changing diapers and soothing a screaming newborn? Maybe not. Pick a color that you like and decorations that make you happy. If you don't know where to start, try one of these soothing shades.

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  • 05 of 15

    Settle on a Style or Theme

    nursery with yellow floral wallpaper, cushion chair, white fluffy rug on the floor

    Becca Interiors

    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!

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  • 06 of 15

    Find Fabric First

    nursery with long and short pink curtains in a white color scheme

    Mid City Interiors

    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?

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  • 07 of 15

    Get the Balance Right

    nature theme green nursery

    Cathie Hong

    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

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  • 08 of 15

    Be Picky About Your Paint

    powder blue and white nursery

    Stephanie Hoey Interiors

    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 durable paint with a semi-gloss finish that can be easily wiped down when sticky fingers attack. You should also consider buying 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.

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  • 09 of 15

    All-White Color Schemes are Classic

    white nursery with elephant wallpaper

    Becca Interiors

    With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to decide the best choice. If you're truly struggling with a color scheme idea, all (or mostly) white is a classic palette that works well in most rooms—including your nursery. You don't have to stick to plain white walls and furniture, though. With patterns and prints to choose from and other neutral tones that will accent the shade easily, you still have a wide range of creative directions to work with.

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  • 10 of 15

    Don't Underestimate the Lighting

    all white nursery with letters "G E M" hanging on the wall

    Calimia Home

    Lighting can play a large factor in our decor, though we often underestimate its effect on colors. Whether you have plenty of access to natural light or are illuminating with fluorescent bulbs, it's a good idea to test out how your colors will look when the light shines on them. Colors that may look bold one moment may appear washed out in the sun, and certain hues may look a tad different when placed in a room with few windows.

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  • 11 of 15

    Choose Colors That Go With Other Rooms in Your Home

    red and pink leaves wallpaper with fluffy rug on floor, long white linen curtains

    House of Harvee/Instagram

    While it's possible you want your nursery to have a separate theme, taking into account the decor and colors in other rooms in your home can be a great asset. If your design style is mostly neutral, then it makes sense your nursery could also have a neutral theme. If you have certain colors that seem to be more prevalent throughout your home, incorporating them could bring a sense of cohesion.

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  • 12 of 15

    Work With Gender Neutral Colors

    nursery with yellow, blue, olive green, and pink color scheme

    Laquita Tate Styling and Designs

    While sticking with traditional gender colors might be ideal for some, there are serious benefits to going the gender-neutral route. In addition to these colors typically working well the older and younger children, it's a great step if you're looking to have more children in the future. Rather than changing a bright pink or strictly blue nursery around for your next child, choosing a middle-ground color palette can help ease the potential transition for the future.

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  • 13 of 15

    Take into Account the Flooring

    nursery with green panda wallpaper and white accents

    Lucky Plot 13/Instagram

    While the shape and size of your room certainly play a factor, there are other aspects of the room you should consider when picking out your nursery's colors–like your floors. If you're working with carpeting, the color and texture might affect the colors you want to use. If you have wooden floors, the tone and stain might cause clashing with specific hues you've had your eye on. The good news is, rugs are always a potential solution to help make the space more cohesive.

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  • 14 of 15

    Start With Neutral Colors to Build Off Of

    white nursery with bunny artwork hanging over crib

    Jules Interiors

    If you want to bring in color but aren't sure how or which ones, you can start with a neutral base. Whether you go with a white canvas or different hues of tans, browns, and blacks, the neutral colors will serve as a stunning backdrop to layer other shades into. It can also work as a clean slate if you decide to switch out the colors and go towards an entirely new theme.

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  • 15 of 15

    Look to Your Focal Point

    blue nursery with tan crib and artwork of blue horse hanging above

    House of Funk

    Selecting a focal point is often a key step when decorating your nursery and can also lend a hand in determining your color scheme. Do you have a brightly colored crib that you want to stand out? Using lighter colors to contrast can make that happen. Have a piece of artwork you absolutely must hang in the space? Look to the colors it contains to create a cohesive color scheme.