Settling on a theme is often the first step in decorating your nursery. Once you have decided on the theme, then you begin choosing specific pieces of nursery furniture, wall hangings, and more. Use this list of great gender neutral nursery themes to get started decorating your baby's room.
1. Winnie the Pooh
Pooh is enjoyed by boys and girls and has remained popular for years. Parents appreciate that Pooh and his friends engage in wholesome activities and the cartoons contain mild subject matter that is appropriate for all ages. The imagery of Pooh is tailor-made for a nursery: soft colors and smiling characters. Here are a few different items you could add to a Winnie the Pooh nursery to get you started decorating.
--- Disney has produced a large 60x80 Winnie the Pooh area rug that is perfect for a baby's room. Check re-sale and auction sites first before buying new.
--- The Disney Store is predictably quite expensive. However, they have a unique selection of Pooh decorations that will give you great ideas. Even if you don't buy from the site, it is a good place to peruse.
2. Jungle Themed Nursery
A jungle themed nursery is a lot of fun and easily bridges the gender gap. This theme shares many components from a safari themed nursery and, for the most part, they can be considered one in the same. When decorating for a jungle themed baby's room be sure to use the color green as your base and accent it with blues and browns to help support the common colors of the decorations you will find. Peruse these items for some good ideas on getting started with your jungle nursery.
---Many of these decorations will match general animal nursery themes but to set your nursery apart, go for large mural stickers that identify the plants and trees. Rosenberry Rooms has a "Large Silhouette Safari Paint by Number Wall Mural" that would set the tone well for any jungle themed nursery.
--- If you go with the mural mentioned above, all of your other wall decorations should be subtle and smaller so the space does not appear cluttered. Find some personalized monkey art (Etsy, Rosenberry Rooms, etc.) and frame it for an additional jungle touch.
The zoo and jungle themes are similar in that they are both animal centered. The main difference is environment: one is the zoo and the other is the jungle. To differentiate, try to find lettering that reads 'zoo' or target the classic zoo image is a large metal gate with the word 'ZOO' emblazoned within the wrought iron. If possible, find out what animals are and are not present at your local zoo so the little one can find all of his wall animals once he's old enough to visit. Use the list below for some basic ideas to get started with your zoo nursery.
--- There is a 'Safari Growth Chart Wall Sticker" from Etsy seller DabbleDown that would look great in any animal themed nursery. It is a solid color so it will easily accompany other decorations in your baby's room.
--- Absolutely the best custom nameplate for any animal themed nursery is produced by SarasHandmades on Etsy. Hanging beneath each hand painted letter is an animal that is painted the same as the letter. This is a must have for the theme.
4. Dr. Seuss
Seuss books and images are timeless. In the coming years it is inevitable that more animated films are released that revolve around the Seuss world. In a Dr. Seuss themed nursery, you will find bold, bright colors as well as quotes and popular characters. The books themselves serve as excellent decoration when presented on shelves and in bookcases. Don't forget to visit some of the Etsy stores mentioned below for some more unique Seuss themed nursery items.
--- Seuss quote wall stickers abound on the internet, especially Etsy. You can be sure to find your favorite quote in any size and font somewhere. These quote sets add a special touch that your little one will be able to read soon enough.
--- I am a big fan of the small, subtle touches in a baby's room. For a Dr. Seuss themed nursery I would suggest a light switch cover. There is a great one on Etsy that is the cover of the popular text, "One Fish. . . ". Check it out.
Most parents are choosing the Southwest theme in place of the cowboy/cowgirl theme. The theme is most popular regionally but looks good in any home. Be sure to avoid turning your nursery into a desert (unless that is what you're going for). There are also a number of different animals associated with this theme that would make great decor. You will need to look a bit harder to find good Southwest themed nursery decorations; start with the suggestions below.
--- Etsy seller iheartkidart has a great cartoony cactus print. It has bright colors and presents the theme well without adding the desolate nature of some desert decor.
--- Rosenberry Rooms has the perfect crib for a desert or southwestern themed nursery. The unit costs over $1000 but it is toddler ready and convertible which makes that price tag a little more industry standard. It is a more modern looking crib with a brightly colored southwestern horizon image painted on 1/4 of the side panel.
There are a lot of fun things that you can do with an artist themed nursery. Some basic images to use are paintbrushes, crayons, color palettes, easels, cartoony images of children in smocks painting, even large color splotches are used effectively in this baby theme. This is a less-common nursery theme so you will need to get creative and dig deep to find just the right items.
--- This theme is one of the most difficult to decorate for. One way to find great prints is to identify some artist terms and find frameable work: watercolor, paintbrush, color palette, color wheel, easel, etc. Use these terms to locate images that would look great framed. Like many of these themes, you can find amateur photographer work on flickr that works well.
--- Boutique Brand sells an "artist crib bedding" set that can be found for around $90. The set on Amazon includes wall hangings and other accessories. It isn't explicitly 'artist' themed but it consists of abstract colors and shapes that could be construed as artistic.
For the teacher in us all, there is the alphabet nursery theme. It is easy to find custom made, unique wall hangings for this theme and it is also easy to make your own. Letter stencils are readily available and letter wall stickers are often cheap. This theme can effectively be combined with a number nursery theme to use the ABCs and 123s for great decor.
--- I purchased an awesome alphabet print for our baby's nursery from Star Shaped Press in Chicago. They make a wide variety of prints and a few are appropriate for the nursery. Check them out and then visit other independent printers for great letter themed images to hang in the nursery.
--- As stated above, look for letter stencils or wall stickers that feature letters in a variety of shapes, sizes and fonts. Generate an effective layout on one of the walls or a door to present the letters.
Books are such an important part of children's lives and many parents are going with a books or 'library' theme for their nurseries. Books wallpaper and wall hangings really set the tone and a bookcase full of books is the best decoration. Shelving can be staggered and filled with books to add to the flair. Some parents also choose to add popular book characters to the walls of the nursery to make the stories come alive.
--- Similar to the Mickey Mouse idea with the records, frame antiquated and slightly weathered Golden Books for unique nursery decor. Try to make the books easy to pull out of the frame so your little one can read it if they feel so inclined.
--- Not surprisingly, the best decorations for this theme are books. Corner shelves, long shelves, bookcases, etc. Fill space very neatly with all kinds of books: children's books, chapter books, cook books.
9. Teddy Bears
It used to be that teddy bears were generally used as a boy's nursery theme but these days it can go either way. If parents are not finding out the sex of their little one, they can include pink and blue teddy bears to iron out the theme. Like and alphabet nursery, you can find a lot of handmade, unique decorations for a teddy bear theme. Look beyond the big box stores for some less common decorations.
--- Since you are likely going to have an abundance of actual teddy bears, it would be nice to present a different version of the popular stuffed animal by hanging a nice print(s). Since the teddy bear is so popular and people are so into making 'artsy' images for the world to see, check flickr for some unique images, print them out (assuming they have a CC license), and frame them.
--- If you are into wallpaper, you'll be glad to know that teddy bear themed wallpaper is easy to find. You can also find tasteful wallpaper borders featuring teddy bears at many home improvement sites.
There are many different Disney characters, both classic and modern. Parents have a wealth of cartoons and movies to choose from. Before decorating for a Disney nursery them, decide on which characters or environments you will focus on: classic Looney Tunes, fairy tales, modern popular movies, etc. Once you have identified your target characters and worlds, then you can start looking for just the right pieces.
--- Isolate the characters (or character family) you will depend on for your Disney nursery theme before choosing specific decor. Once you have discovered which Disney family you will focus on, use stuffed animals from that genre to display on shelves. One entire wall can be completely decorated with a few shelves and some stuffed animals. Look for some great corner shelving as well to make the best use of space.
--- To find that unique touch in a flooded Disney market, look for personalized items with your child's name or initials. Items like this are readily available on many handmade websites.
11. Mickey Mouse
Another timeless character, Mickey Mouse will always be popular with young children, in spite of the fact that he is not featured in newer movies or cartoons. The classic red, white and black color palate for this theme can be done well using many different methods. One pro of choosing this theme is the incredible number of decorations at your disposal. You can find nearly anything with Mickey or the Mickey logo on it.
--- There is no piece of home decor that you can't find with the Mickey Mouse logo stamped on it somewhere. When choosing a very popular nursery theme, many parents try to find unusual decorations. Etsy seller decalsmurals has a unique Mickey head wall sticker that would look great in any nursery.
--- Another great way to add to this theme is to search eBay for some old Disney records featuring Mickey. You will be surprised to find that these are not too expensive. Some old framed records would add a nostalgic element to the nursery that you won't easily find elsewhere.
Using a season for each wall is a growing trend. Done well, it offers a subtle perspective of nature four different ways. Be sure not to crowd each wall with images, using four seasons can sometimes lead to a mess on the walls. Make sure your decor choices are calm and work well with each other. If done correctly, this is one of the more impressive and unique nursery themes.
--- Etsy seller YelliKelli has a great set of mini pillows that lightly references the four seasons. The pillows are largely impractical but then so are most of the 100 different stuffed animals you are going to need to find room for in the nursery. At least these lend imagery to the theme.
--- A set of four prints arranged in a square is a nice way to highlight this theme. You can find prints for the seasons at many different websites, I found some on Etsy (surprise). Be sure when pricing for these prints to allow extra for framing. Most prints are not sold with frames.
13. Sun & Moon
There is a great deal of material for this theme available in stores and online. Also, there are a ton of children's books that focus solely on night and day so it fits with what babies and young children are exposed to. Be sure to find decor that is more kid-centric: avoid adult styles and designs, lean more toward cartoony or simply realistic samples of sun and moon decorations.
--- The main consideration once you have decided on a sun and moon nursery theme is the imagery of the decor. These objects are often used for general decorations and it would appear sloppy to have a cartoony image and a realistic image of the same objects in the same room. Visit the Master Gardening website and check out their 'Sun, Moon and Stars' garden flag. That will give you a good idea of an image that is appropriate for a nursery but not overly childish.
--- decalfarm on Etsy has a tasteful and fun sun, moon, and stars wall decal set. You can get them in any color you wish. Use these wall stickers to add a little flair to the color scheme you have chosen for the nursery.
14. General Color Scheme
A general color scheme doesn't rely on specific characters or objects, it simply revolves around a simple set of three or four different nursery appropriate colors. Use the website colourlovers.com to create color palettes and patterns for free. When choosing you general color scheme, keep in mind the amount of natural light the room will recieve as well as the kind of bulbs used in the room. Check out the resources below for help in generating a fine nursery color scheme.
--- Possibly the most unique way to add decor to a nursery with a basic color scheme and no driving 'character' theme is to visit on of my favorite decorating sites: www.colourlovers.com. This is a free site that offers a number of different tools to help you develop a great looking color palette as well as patterns. They also offer surprisingly affordable prints. So, you can visit the site, develop a working color palette and some fun patterns, then you can have the patterns made in to high quality prints to hang in the room!
--- Another important focus for a baby's room with a general color theme are the curtains. Take your color swatches (that you made from colourLOVERS) to the fabric store or wherever you're buying the curtains. They will stand out, and not in a good way, if they don't match what you chose for your nursery color scheme.
This is one of my favorite nursery themes. There are so many different directions you can go with a transportation nursery theme: construction, things that fly, fast vehicles, racing, motorcycles, etc. Decorations for this theme are very easy to find and you will no doubt be pleased with the wide variety of custom and unique offerings. Use some of the suggestions below to add just the right touches to the baby's room.
--- Because the transportation theme includes objects centered around roads and neighborhoods, I suggest finding a great set of wall stickers to provide a fun backdrop. MyWallStickers on Etsy offers a fun set of transportation themed wall stickers with a personal touch: they will personalize the banner that the airplane is pulling with your child's name.
--- The rug that really brings the transportation themed nursery together is the classic road map rug. These come in many different styles and can be found at major retailers for as little as $20. Check Amazon for the lowest prices and be sure to double check the available dimensions to avoid a rug that is too big to unusually small.
16. Monkey Theme
The monkey theme is one of the most fun and popular gender neutral nursery themes. Most children receive monkey themed clothing and stuffed animals, a bedroom with this theme almost decorates itself. Before seeking out monkey decor, decide if you want to lean toward more realistic monkey images or cartoon images. You can find decorations to cater either choice but it will be easier to search if you decide this ahead of time.
--- Kohl's offers two great monkey lamps for around $50 each. Table lamps are great for the tops of bookcases to add a nice touch of soft light while adding to your nursery theme.
--- Because the monkey theme (and similar jungle theme) is so popular, there are a wealth of different monkey wall stickers to find for your nursery. And, because I'm addicted to Etsy, check out seller designedDESIGNER for their 'Monkey on Vines' wall stickers. This sticker set starts at the ceiling where the vines 'hang' down from. Very cute.
17. Farm Theme
Many consider this to be a boy theme but I think it can go either way. It is basically a variation on any other animal theme, the only difference being that these animals will be ona farm and not in the jungle or zoo. Farm equipment will also be featured in these nurseries: tractors, crops, trucks, bales of hay, scarecrows, etc. Keep in mind, having a farm theme doesn't mean you need to go John Deere crazy. There are many other choices that would cater to this theme without seeming like a billboard.
--- My Wonderful Walls is the main resource for wall mural stickers on the internet. They have a wide selection and their stickers are quite large and set the backdrop for nearly any nursery theme. Their farm theme is a lot of fun. It features traditional barn and silo with corn and various farm animals. I highly recommend this set of farm themed wall stickers to set up your farm themed nursery.
--- Rosenberry Rooms sells a great table and chair set that is completely farm themed. If you have a little extra room in the nursery for a play-table and chairs this has to be it. It costs $200, which I think is a bit steep for nursery decor. If you are building a nursery that is intended for use with multiple future children then this is it.
18. Puppy Theme
Everybody loves puppies. Again, decide prior to shopping for decor if you will lean more to realistic or cartoon puppy images. Sometimes, mixing the two can seem muddled. Also, it is easy to put together a puppy themed nursery only to find out that the color blue dominates the bedroom. Light blue is commonly associated with puppy nursery decor so when decorating, make a conscious effort to hang things that feature pink, yellow and other colors.
--- Etsy seller Wallfry (who I mention routinely on this site) sells an awesome doggie breed print. It is an 8x10 print with colorful images of different dogs with the breeds written under the image. You can find a nice white (or black) frame for this print on Amazon for around $20.
--- Growth charts are a fun way to decorate a child's bedroom. Rosenberry Rooms sells a great puppy growth chart that measures from 24 to 60 inches. This children's growth chart has corner grommets so it is quite easy to hang.
19. Precious Moments
The Precious Moments line of figurines and gift peaked in popularity a number of years ago but the selection retains its charm and appeal. The figurines themselves may not be appropriate as sole decoration of a nursery but there are many different Precious Moments nursery decorations that you can find and use. This is a theme that is not too popular anymore and varying products will be harder to find than other themes. Remember to search sites like eBay for older samples.
--- Many parents (myself included) prefer to omit bedding from the crib until babies are older. However, crib bedding is a great way to decorate the nursery and can often be purchased as decoration to use once the child has grown a bit. The Precious Moments website has a variety of crib bedding styles to choose from.
--- Read a few different articles on this site and it is clear that I love the idea of using nightlights as nursery decoration. I have seen a couple different Precious Moments night-lights on Amazon that would add a great piece of functional decor to the nursery.
Instruments are a necessary component of any music themed nursery. It may seem obscure, but there are some great music decorations you can use in a baby's room. There are also a number of different instrument themed toys that kids will likely recieve that would look good on display. Another unique decoration for a music themed nursery is framed children's records. Use the short list below to get you started.
--- Check eBay for used classic kid's records. You can easily find Disney records from popular classic movies. You might think that classic kid's records are expensive but many of them were mass-produced and can still be had for only a few dollars. Also, you can find frames for any size record on Amazon for a fair price.
--- Visit Etsy seller ziggles to find an excellent print for a music themed nursery. It features a bird with a string of music notes coming from its beak. The colors are great for a nursery and the piece of very unique.
Use this comprehensive list of gender neutral nursery themes to finalize plans for your baby's room. Have fun decorating!