Painting The Nursery: Blue Is Gender Neutral, Right?

Painting The Nursery: Blue Is Gender Neutral, Right?

It’s been almost a year now (actually can’t believe that) since Joe  got stuck in with giving “Bedroom 3” – as it was once known – the fresh slate it so desperately needed. He removed any of the rotten plaster that remained so the room went back to brickwork, and then re-boarded the room himself.

Only last month we had this room plastered (click here for a reminder what it looked like before) after making the decision that it would become a nursery. After a base coat or two of your standard white emulsion, it was officially ready for decorating.

bedroom 3 after

Uh oh. This means we had to actually make a decision about what colour to paint it. Our Achille’s heel is making decisions!

We trawled through all of the usual DIY stores looking for inspiration. I read all the magazines and colour guides whilst scrolling through Pinterest for ideas. We only came up with one conclusion: we would under no circumstances paint this room pink, regardless of the gender. It just seems to be the only colour that we both dislike. One colour down, a gazillion left to eliminate…

We narrowed it down to Green or Yellow – pretty gender neutral colours. In the end, we decided there was already enough green upstairs with Dulux Melon Sorbet in our bedroom, and a teal green in the bathroom. So that was ruled out. And yellow, we’re planning to use in the hallway so off it went from the list.

We could have very easily painted the room my all-time favourite neutral colour – grey. But, it just felt a little sad. We’re only going to be first time parents once after all, so let’s go for colour!

Getting a little frustrated with our own complete incompetence to make a simple decision (ha!) a 3 hour trip to B&Q later, and we chose Dulux’s Vinyl Soft Sheen in the colour Blue Seduction 3. I know, probably not the most baby-appropriate paint name, eh?

painting nursery 04 painting nursery 05

Now, I know what you’re thinking. BLUE? What if the baby is a girl? Well, we originally chose this shade because it looked distinctly like a lilac shade of blue on the colour card, which would be easier to accent with light purples and hot pinks, should we have a daughter. Also, I feel that out of the two ‘traditional’ gender colours, blue is far more gender neutral than pink.

Sure there was the option to wait until we find out the gender (and yes, we can’t wait to find out in just a few short weeks!) but as I’ve already mentioned, we want the room finished in trimester 2.

So off I went! I put on my scruffy clothes, and managed to just squeeze into my jeans with the help of an elastic band (check this out if you don’t know what I mean!). With a facemask at the ready (safety first!) I painted the room.

painting nursery 01 painting nursery 02 painting nursery 03

You’ll notice that we added a picture rail around the room – level to the highest point of the door and of the corner window. One lesson we learned from painting our master bedroom is that in older houses, walls are rarely straight. In fact, this room is curved where the ceiling meets wall. You can create the most perfectly straight line with tape, but if the colour of the ceiling is different from that of the wall, without some form of coving or picture rail, the uneven line is just so obvious and looks messy. A picture rail was the perfect solution for us to get that beautiful straight line.

To make sure I didn’t go over the picture rail line, I added my trusty frog tape where it was due to be fitted.

The picture rail was added later (which was surprisingly inexpensive from the store) and glossed white, as was the skirting board. And I think already the room looks brighter and cleaner.

The formula of this paint is gorgeous. You could get away with one coat if you wanted but I gave it a second for good measure. It’s a trade paint formula which means it costs a tad bit more than the off-the-shelf tins, but also means it’s more durable (perfect for a nursery) and it’s wipeable which should come in handy from sticky toddler hands or worse from the changing table… *shudder*

Typically, the paint looked LESS and less lilac when on the walls, and looks more baby blue at certain times of the day. But, I really do love the colour, and think you could do so much with it, regardless of boy or girl. Clouds? Under the Sea? Mario land? (Joe’s personal favourite) Or a starry night, the bedroom I had as a little girl myself.

I know it’s a bit of a controversial colour when we don’t know the gender but I’m happy with the progress so far. What do you think?

How would you dress this up for a boy or girl? We find out in July so all ideas very much welcome!

Mother's Always Right
  • Angela

    I think ths colours lovely x

    • Karen

      Thanks mum 🙂 xxx

  • Looking good, can’t wait to see it complete 🙂

    • Karen

      Thank you! Hoping to order furniture v.soon so watch this space 🙂 x

  • cariemay

    Blue is definitely gender neutral for walls – our first nursery was blue (and still is 4 years later); blue walls, blue carpet and the girliest little girl you could imagine. We had a neutral nursery bedding etc which was passed down to her baby sister and right now she has a white bed with a pink gingham sheet and a pink polka dot duvet cover. We’re going to be repainting in a few months when it becomes the girls’ shared room but I think we’ll keep the same colour because it’s just so very soothing 🙂

    • Karen

      I totally agree, I personally find blue a really soothing colour. And I guess I’ll be spending many late nights in there, so might as well try and make it a lovely calm space 🙂 Love the idea of adding pink gingham! If we have a girl of course! Thanks so much for commenting xx

  • Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Aww what a gorgeous colour and I think it’s be perfect regardless of gender! We just found out we are having a girl so I have started a pinterest board for girls bedrooms, and a couple of those have blue walls. It’s here if you fancy a peek! I think we are going for white walls because we already have a lot of blue in the house, but I do love that colour!! 🙂 xx #blogbumpclub

    • Karen

      Thanks so much Caroline. Glad you like it 🙂 Loving your Pinterest board! I’ve pinned a few of the same images myself so great minds think alike! *follows immediately* Definitely know how you feel about being put off by a colour when it’s already present in other rooms. Almost all of our upstairs is green so had to steer away from that so it didn’t look like an indoor jungle haha. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 xx

  • Pink for girls and blue for boys is just a socially constructed norm–in Victorian times it was the opposite! You can choose whatever colour you like 🙂

    • Karen

      Ooo now that is interesting! I think we’ve definitely made a good choice the more I spend time in the room. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Oh I love that colour! I think blue can be quite a blank canvas, because if its a boy you can add creams to off set it, and if its a girl add a few splashes of baby pink- will look lovely! x x x

    • Karen

      You’re so right! I can’t wait to find out which way we’ll go 🙂 I was a bit unsure with our decision at first but the more I look at the colour, the more I love it! Thanks for commenting 🙂 x

  • I love it! Gorgeous colour. You’re WAY more organised than we are. I’m 27 weeks now and we’re no closer to decorating the baby’s room. We have a chest of drawers, a rocking chair (that I need to paint) a moses basket…and that’s it. No wallpaper yet (although I’ve finally picked one I like) and still no decision on exactly which shade of yellow we want. We’re going for mint, yellow and grey – and I know the cot I want to get, it’s just finding the time at the moment to actually get organised and get it done! Thanks for linking up to the #BlogBumpClub again. Will look forward to seeing the finished version complete with baby furniture! x

    • Karen

      Thanks Molly! Perhaps because this is your second you’ve got all that lovely mummy expertise so you can do it in less time! 🙂 I’ve been burying my head in research and reviews for what feels like forever so it feels good to get something real in a room! And I love your colour scheme ideas too. Please do a nursery tour!! xx

  • Alex Dent

    The color and the room looks great. The idea that certain colors are representative of certain genders is just a bunch of bull that doesn’t really mean a thing. Here a article from the Smithsonian Magazine that covers the history of the 2 colors and how they came to be what we now know:

    • KarenAnita

      Thanks Alex. That’s really interesting! x

  • Love the blue! And I agree with you – hot pink and a bit of white broderie anglaise would look lovely should you be having a “pink” baby! And my nursery’s pink and grey, watch it! Ha! 😉

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