safari-themed baby nursery with cheetah print wall
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Kate Traverson

See These Gender-Neutral Nursery Designs Come to Life

These decorating ideas and on-trend colors will make baby feel at home.

Not into powder pink or pastel blue? There’s no reason baby’s room can’t fit as naturally into your home as baby fits into your life. So-called “grown-up” nursery color palettes are totally on trend, featuring more sophisticated tones that fit right in with the rest of your home décor. Plus, these adaptable colors can easily grow with baby (at least until they’re old enough to demand a change to lime green, or whatever their new favorite color is). To showcase this trend, we decorated three unique, gender-neutral nurseries with our favorite colors from Sherwin-Williams. (Pro tip: See how our picks look in your own home with the ColorSnap® Visualizer, a fun tool that lets you virtually paint a room.) Watch each room design come to life in the video below, then read on for more tips on how to make it happen in your home.

Hunter and Cream

Bring the outdoors in with a forest-inspired palette that will look right at home with leafy prints and rustic wood. Hunter green is a natural choice for an accent wall, with creamy white lightening up the rest of the room. Finish with hints of taupe-y brown on the furniture and textiles.

Try This DIY… A Painted Dresser and Shelves

Remove any hardware and wipe down the surface to be painted with soapy warm water. Sand the area lightly to ensure paint adheres well.* Apply a coat of primer and let dry for at least two hours. Then, use a 2-inch detail brush to paint edges, corners or other tricky spots in the color of your choice before painting all flat surfaces with a small roller to avoid brushstrokes. Once the paint has dried, replace all the hardware, or swap in new knobs for a different look.

Paints: Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel Paint in Hunt Club SW 6468 on dresser; Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in Creamy SW 7012, Hunt Club SW 6468 on walls and Portabello SW 6102 on shelves

Black, White and Gold

Take a walk on the wild side by putting a patterned twist on a classic combo. White walls are anything but basic when accented with black cheetah spots. Toss in pops of gold for a palette that’s almost as good as going on safari.

Try This DIY… Stenciled Cheetah Spots

Start with a dry wall painted in your base color (here: Snowbound SW 7004). Use a level to draw a straight line down the middle of the wall; this will be the guide for lining up your stencil. Place it along the ceiling and your line, and tape the stencil on the wall with painter’s tape. Wet a small roller with your pattern color (here: Black of Night SW 6993), and make sure to roll off any excess. The key here is to apply a very thin layer of paint to ensure clean lines and minimize bleeding. Roll gently over the stencil, then carefully remove it while the paint is still slightly wet. Allow both the wall and the stencil to dry before overlapping the edge of the pattern and painting the next portion. (This is why thin coats are so important—they’re ultra-fast drying.) Once you’re finished, you can touch up any mistakes with a small detail brush. But don’t worry too much about imperfections—a cheetah’s spots are never perfect!

Paints: Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel Paint in Gambol Gold SW 6690 on dresser; Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in Snowbound SW 7004 and Black of Night SW 6993 on walls

Navy and Coral

Put a modern spin on traditional pink and blue with this gender-neutral alternative. A pop of coral brightens up moody navy, and pairs well with an icy not-quite-white accent (try it on a lamp or door!).

Try This DIY… A Diagonal Accent Wall

Starting with a clean, blank wall, mark in pencil where you’d like your diagonal line to begin and end. Enlist a helper to hold a string taut from one mark to the other, and use the pencil to make guidelines at equal increments along the string. Follow these marks with painter’s tape to create your line, making sure to press the tape firmly to the wall. Using a brush, cut in with your lighter paint color (here: Sunset SW 6626) along the tape and around the edges of the wall, then fill in with a roller. Remove the tape while the paint is still tacky and allow the lighter color to dry completely. Now, apply painter’s tape on the top side of your line, and repeat the steps above with your darker color (here: Naval SW 6244).

Paints: Sherwin-Williams Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel Paint in Sunset SW 6626 on dresser; Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint in Naval SW 6244, Sunset SW 6626 on walls and Icicle SW 6238 on trim

*WARNING: Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.

This article is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. To find the perfect colors for your nursery, check out the ColorSnap® Visualizer, an online tool that lets you virtually paint any room.