The Psychology of Colour: What Colour To Paint Your Baby’s Nursery
One of the biggest parts of designing your baby’s nursery is choosing the colour scheme. But the decision actually has more of an effect than just how the room looks.
The colour of your baby’s room can actually impact the mood of your little one depending on the colours you go for, and it all comes down to colour psychology. Some shades will stimulate your baby’s senses, while others will have a calming effect, so doing a bit of research into what the best colour is for their room is a good idea.
Colour psychology suggests that different colours have the power to evoke various emotions and feelings, influencing our moods, decisions, and actions. This knowledge is especially valuable in environments like nurseries, where selecting the right colours can help create a soothing, inspiring, or joyful atmosphere.
Setting the Mood With Colour
Soft pastel colours, such as baby blue, mint green, or soft pink, tend to create a sense of calm and tranquillity, helping your little one to better relax. Neutral and muted palettes, like shades of grey and white, also invoke peacefulness and maintain a soothing atmosphere.
The reason delicate and natural shades like these promote serenity is that they don't overstimulate the brain. In short, they’re ‘easy to look at’ and don’t create too much visual noise.
On the other hand, brighter colours like yellow stimulate happiness and creativity, fostering a playful and energetic mood. These might not be ideal for a nursery, but they’d fit in perfectly for playrooms if you have space for one.
- Bright, high-contrast colours are especially beneficial for babies, aiding their visual development.
- The colour red evokes strong emotions and fosters awareness and attention.
- Cool colours like blue and green create a calming environment, reducing anxiety and promoting better sleep.
- Colourful toys and decorations enhance recognition and memory skills.
Taking into account colour psychology when choosing what colour to paint your baby’s nursery is important and one you might not have considered before. But you also want it to be something that you enjoy looking at, too, since you'll be spending a lot of time in there!
1. Neutral Colours – Grey, White, & Black
One of the best colour schemes you can opt for in your baby’s room is a neutral and monochrome palette. As we mentioned earlier, these colours are known to create a calming and soothing environment, perfect for helping babies sleep better.
It’s also a very versatile choice, so you won’t need to switch around the colours when your child grows up. And if you’re choosing to keep the gender of your baby a secret (or raising them in a gender-neutral environment), these are safe colour options to go for.
They won’t go out of style either – greys, whites, and blacks are really timeless.
If you do choose to use a black colour scheme, be careful not to make the room appear too dark or moody. Instead, opt for accents in black, such as in the nursery furniture or through soft furnishings – this will add depth and interest to the room without making it feel too heavy.
2. Natural Shades – Browns & Beiges
Natural-inspired nurseries are becoming increasingly popular and one that we definitely love.
A bit like the soft colour palette, natural shades like brown, beige, and green also create a calming and peaceful atmosphere in the baby’s room. They bring a touch of nature indoors, making it feel more organic and earthy.
You can incorporate wood elements into the room through the nursery furniture you choose, like the crib, dressing table, and wardrobe.
Our Natural Edit includes a beautiful collection of baby furniture that embraces natural wood tones like oak, walnut, and ebony. You can create a cohesive space by matching the crib to the wardrobe and so on, or mix and match it with different wood shades for a more eclectic look.
Pastel Blue & Green
Pastel shades of blue and green are excellent paint choices to create a tranquil and calming space for you and your baby.
Pastel blue, often associated with the sky, evokes feelings of calmness and serenity, making it ideal for creating a restful environment. Green, on the other hand, is reminiscent of nature and promotes feelings of freshness and health.
You can then add complementary or contrasting accent colours to create depth and interest in the room. For instance, if you've chosen blue as your main colour, you can add pops of orange or coral for a fun and energetic feel.
4. Darker Earthy Tones
Darker earthy tones, such as forest green, deep blue, and terracotta, are a compelling choice for a nursery, providing a twist on traditional colour schemes. They also match well with the neutral and natural colours of our nursery furniture.
These rich, warm colours invoke a sense of comfort and security, creating an inviting and soothing space.
While the initial thought might be that darker shades could create a gloomy ambience, the opposite can be true. When paired with the right accessories and balanced with lighter furnishings, these tones can add depth and elegance to the room.
5. All White
Opting for an all-white palette in your baby's nursery can lend a modern, chic aesthetic to the space. This minimalist approach is not just timeless, but it also offers a clean and airy feel, creating an illusion of a larger and brighter room.
An all-white nursery can serve as a blank canvas, allowing decorative elements, toys, and artwork to stand out, injecting bursts of colour into the space.
However, it's crucial to strike a balance by incorporating different textures and patterns to prevent the room from feeling too sterile or bland. We recommend adding comforting touches to the room with your accents, such as adding the light-up SnüzCloud Baby Sleep Aid, or the Baby Mobile.
In addition to considering the psychological effects of colours, practicality should also be taken into account when designing a nursery. For example, dark colours may make the room appear smaller and gloomier, while lighter shades can help open up the space and make it feel more inviting.
- Sage green
- Rusty brown
- Deep peach
- Muted orange
If you know the sex of your baby, it can be easy to fall into the trap of using traditionally gendered colours.
For example, when deciding what colour to paint a baby boy’s room, you might find yourself leaning towards blues, greens, and greys. Or if you know you’re having a girl, it's common to navigate towards traditionally feminine colours such as pinks, purples, and whites.
Whether you know the gender of your baby or not, opting for a gender-neutral palette is the best choice. Having a neutral base from which to build your nursery gives you extra freedom to add personal touches and pops of colour. Plus, it allows for the room to easily transition as your child grows and their interests change.
Our Natural Edit is ideal for perfecting a neutral base for your baby’s nursery. Our nursery furniture, including our award-winning SnüzPod and the SnüzKot, is crafted from solid wood, including oak, silver birch, walnut, and ebony tones, for a natural and neutral nursery base.
Ways to Add Colour to the Room With Nursery Decor
Textures and patterns can significantly elevate the aesthetic appeal of your nursery, infusing it with a sense of depth, character and visual interest.
You could match the tones of the decor to the walls to create a cohesive, monotonal interior or choose contrasting colours to make certain pieces really stand out. Whatever you choose, be sure to have fun with it and let your creativity flow.
For example, we love the look of a neutral nursery with natural wood pieces and tones. Having exposed wood or wood effect decor makes the whole room look far more natural, which can be a nice contrast to the amount of plastic toys and bits that babies require.
We love how our natural edit stands out in a neutral nursery. The contrast of the walnut or ebony shades brings depth and interest to the room. The oak or silver birch shades bring a subtle warmth to the room instead.
Incorporating Patterns & Textures
We also love incorporating patterns and textures that are super easy to change out when we get bored or as our baby’s personality begins to change. At Snuz, we have an extensive collection of cot bedding, so you can easily change the accent colours and patterns in your nursery.
We love the look of the Colour Rainbow fitted sheets in a single or monotone nursery to give a pop of colour. To add some depth to your baby’s nursery, we love the Cloud Nine duvet and pillow set. The simple, clean pattern brings a subtle texture to the room.
Here are some other simple ways you can add colour and texture to your nursery:
- Baby mobiles
- Toys & teddies
- Blankets and throws
- Lampshades & chandeliers
- Wall Art
- Colourful storage baskets
When’s the Best Time to Start Painting the Nursery?
It's generally safe to start painting your baby's room after the first trimester, as this is when the risk of chemical exposure causing harm to your baby is significantly reduced. You’re also likely to feel less nauseous around fresh paint.
However, it's always best if someone other than whoever’s pregnant does the painting, if possible, to avoid the risk of over-exertion or injury.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use in a Baby Room?
When painting a baby's room, use water-based, zero-VOC paint. This paint type is non-toxic and odourless and minimises the risk of any harmful off-gassing.
It's also beneficial to opt for a durable finish like satin or semi-gloss, as these are easier to clean and resistant to marks and scuffs.
Always ensure the room is well-ventilated during the painting process and allow sufficient time for it to dry completely before the baby arrives so you can position all the furniture properly.
Final Thoughts: The Best Colour to Paint Your Baby’s Nursery
When it comes to painting your baby's nursery, it's about creating a nurturing environment that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and caters to your child's developmental needs.
For us, we love the look and feel of a neutral nursery, and our Snüz parents enjoy creating a nursery that’s stylish, sleek, and filled with natural materials.
With our range of nursery furniture, you can create the nursery of your dreams and give your little one a peaceful, beautiful place to sleep and form their first memories.
For more nursery decor or design ideas, why not check out our Sleep Centre blog?
Yes, the nursery colour does matter, as it impacts the mood of the room, how you feel in the room, and the baby's development. Colour psychology suggests that certain colours can evoke specific emotions and reactions. Therefore, choosing a calming and soothing colour can influence your baby's mood and behaviour.
Avoid overly intense and stimulating colours like bright red or neon shades in a baby's nursery, as they can cause restlessness or agitation. Creating a nursery only using dark colours can make a room appear smaller and gloomy, which may not be the best option for a small nursery. Instead, look for a balance.
It's also recommended to steer clear of colours that are overly stimulating and could potentially disrupt a baby's sleep patterns.
Wallpaper and paint can give you very different results in a nursery. If you want a single colour on each wall, painting is the simplest and easiest way to achieve that look. However, if you want a pattern, texture, or images on the walls, wallpaper is much easier and more cost-effective than painting. If you can’t decide, opt for a wallpaper feature wall!