How to Register for a Colorful, Gender Neutral Nursery


** Updated September 03, 2018. Originally published November 02, 2016. **

Okay, so you're having a baby- YAY!  Now it's time to register so you can get those wonderful gifts from your generous friends and family at your baby shower.  It's just a registry, how bad can it be?  Ha!  And especially, how do you register when you are keeping the gender of your baby-to-be a mystery?  Well, keep on reading!

My husband wanted to keep the gender of Baby Henkin a surprise until the delivery, but we compromised on a gender reveal at our baby shower 2 1/2 months before my due date.  As an interior designer, I was eager to start designing the nursery and then add in some more gender specific details later on.

The crib is the main attraction in a nursery so I started by cruising through many MANY crib sheet sets, quilts, crib skirts on many MANY websites.  Funny enough I ended up finding exactly what I was looking for at a larger retailer that you probably know oh so well- Target.  I hope you're familiar with the blog Oh Joy!, and if you're not go check it out.  She has a fantastic collection at Target.

I was looking for a crib bedding collection that I could mix and match since I have an eclectic style these days.  Although I was looking for a gender neutral design, I didn't want it to be all neutral.  I wanted a variety of colors, and then once I learned the gender of my baby-to-be, then I could accentuate "boy" or "girl" colors appropriately.  Does that make sense?  So, the bedding had green, pink, and orange, and if I were to have a girl I would add some extra pink accents to the room.


I immediately smiled when I saw the Oh Joy! Dots 4 Piece Bedding Collection. It was the perfect inspiration for my nursery design, no doubt about it.  It has a fun variety of prints, bold colors that pop (even neon which I'm obsessed with), and will work for a baby boy or girl. "Add to my Registry"- CLICK.

Now that I found the crib bedding it was time to choose the crib.  I chose the Providence Traditional Crib by Fisher Price.  I like the traditional details with modern lines. Then I found a similar changing table that echoes the slat design.

 Actually, the very first thing I put on my registry was the adorable Wee Woodland Crochet Bin from Land of Nod.  It was neutral in color and design, and I could imagine keeping our baby toys in it.  Next I added the With a Chance of Duvet Cover that has clouds all over it.  The black rain clouds feel very Oregon, so I couldn't resist.  

My husband and I searched several places for a recliner.  We both found the Muren Recliner at IKEA to be the best for our comfort and budget.  And I don't think we compromised at all, I feed Baby S in the recliner, and my husband naps with him in the evening after he comes home from work.  Grey is my favorite neutral and again repeats a color from the bedding (repetition, repetition).  The arm cover with book pocket has also been a pleasant surprise to have.

I also repurposed my Martini Side Table that I purchased on my last day at West Elm.  It used to be my purse drop-off at the entry, and now it's a side table paired with the recliner.  The bronze finish is my favorite metallic these days.

Lastly, not as fun, but necessary, we chose a diaper trashcan.  I wasn't quite sure which to go with, but I like the sleek lines of the Munchkin STEP Diaper Pail, Powered by Arm & Hammer.  White of course goes with everything!

How to Regsiter for a Colorful Gender Neutral Nursery

I think I did pretty well with my gender neutral registry.  I asked for the essentials to get our nursery design started.  Some of my baby shower guests were confused how to buy presents without knowing the gender, but I wasn't worried.  The crib bedding was the inspiration for the whole design.  Bright, colorful, eclectic, and gender neutral.  Perfection.  My advice?  Gender neutral doesn't have to be neutral.  

What does your nursery look like?  How did you interpret a gender neutral color scheme or theme?


 ----------     UPDATE: April 2017    ----------

After I found out we were having a boy I found a few more things to finish the design:

These playful window panels at Land of Nod accent more "boy" colors.  The messy lines of the Sketchpad Curtains also repeat a geometric motif. A cohesive design needs repetition.  The last items I found there were neon acrylic letters that I will use in a DIY name art project.

My husband and I found a changing table on Craig's List for a steal.  We are going to paint it green to match the deeper green in the bedding. I think it was meant to be because I really wanted a colorful piece of furniture. (Stay tuned for a DIY blog post about our changing table)  

Last week when I picked my mom up from the airport, we stopped into IKEA.  I bought some ambient (general) light fixtures with cloud motifs.  Remember, this repeats our duvet pattern(repetition, repetition, repetition).  I bought the orange SKOJIG table lamp and 3 white DROMSYN wall lamps to create a soft glow in the nursery at night time.


----------     UPDATE: September 2018     ----------

Turns out, as excited as I was for the cloud-print duvet, it's still brand new in the packaging.  A baby doesn't need a quilt (surprise surprise).  However, now that my baby boy is a toddler and getting ready for a toddler bed, that duvet will get some good use soon! 

Also, the white wall lamps shaped like clouds didn't provide enough ambient light to adequately light the nursery in the evenings.  Instead I found a great IKEA floor lamp with a dimmer.  Learn more about how to layer light in your nursery HERE