Wee World Explorer: Gender-Neutral Nursery

A globetrotting theme, daring colors and clever built-in storage turn a home office into an imaginative and curiosity-inspiring space for a baby boy — though a little girl would be equally at home.
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November 25, 2014

Clever Storage Solution

To maximize storage space in this 12' x 11' nursery, parents Jeff and Torey had custom floor-to-ceiling built-ins constructed that resemble their bungalow's existing architecture. The bookshelf on the left is topped by a genius hidden feature: a tray-style top that can be slid out for use as a changing table now and will function later as a desk for son Wesley.

Gender-Neutral But Certainly Not Generic

Adoptive parents Torey and Jeff knew they had a child on the way but the baby's gender was a mystery so they worked with their designer, Erin Benedict, to convert their home office into a gender-neutral nursery with an adventurous theme.

Crazy for Color

Hand-knit stuffed toys, created by a local artist, add a colorful splash to the nursery's window seat, which lifts up for handy toy storage.

Contrast Is Key

The nursery's pale yellow crib adds to the room's midcentury-modern vibe and really pops against the non-traditional black chalkboard walls.

Thrifty Touches

This dresser was a vintage store find in desperate need of an overhaul. The homeowners painted the piece and added whimsical owl drawer pulls. The retro-mod lamp, found at an estate sale, was also repainted then topped with a custom-made shade that coordinates with the crib's bedding.

Daring Palette

Black certainly isn't a color you naturally think of for a nursery but balanced with plenty of white and paired with high-contrast colors — like apple green, yellow, orange and red — it works.

Worldly Inspiration

The black globe is a vintage find that inspired both the nursery's travel theme and color palette. Asymmetrical stripes painted on the ceiling add a graphic detail.

All In the Details

Designer Erin Benedict continued the nursery's theme all the way down to the smallest accessories. This raku-fired ceramic lion is right at home in the adventurous space.

Retro Fixtures

This midcentury-modern-inspired Jonathon Adler sconce illuminates the window seat, making it a cozy spot for curling up with a good book, day or night.

Add the Unexpected

Instead of a traditional mobile, soft-sculpture African animal busts above the crib fit the adventurous theme while adding a touch of masculinity.

Animal-Friendly Hide Rug

Animal-hide rugs are a trendy accessory but not the easiest thing to keep clean. This colorful version is actually green shag carpet which will be soft for little Wesley's knees when he starts crawling and easy to spot-treat for any stains.

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