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        green painted nursery with white crib and wicker lamp

        Design Pros Share the Best Paint Colors for Kids’ Rooms

        What colors do interior designers actually use to adorn the walls where your babe will sleep (through the night, of course) and play? The pros weigh in on how to approach a traditional space in a fresh way.

        Photography
        hero image by Melissa Fitzgerald West, others credited throughout
        Written By
        Katie Covington Crane

        When we asked San Francisco based Ken Fulk about the most common mistake parents make when designing a nursery he didn’t hesitate: “Number one: The pink and blue color palettes. It’s so tempting, but resist the urge to gender-ize design! Furthermore, nurseries don’t always have to be serene color schemes. Babies love contrast so consider a tailored look in black and white or navy and shell pink. And don’t be afraid of pattern and texture for stimulation during the day. Additionally, a well-orchestrated lighting plan makes it easy to tone things down for naps or nighttime."

        Before you start moodboarding, Ariel Okin suggests nailing the color palette for your child’s room.“With the array of different primary colors and pastels out there for nurseries and kids rooms, it can be confusing what shades go together. Stick to a palette of 2-3 hues layered with neutrals and you'll find it easy to create a beautiful nursery scheme that's soft on the eyes." Look to other rooms in your home for inspiration – a nursery should feel connected to the rest of the home and be a space that you enjoy.

        Ahead, designers share a few favorite nurseries and kid's rooms and the paint colors that transformed them. 

        Saybrook Sage by Benjamin Moore

        Katie Davis in Houston on Saybrook Sage by Benjamin Moore: "We were tasked with designing a boy’s nursery, and this color is such a subtle and sophisticated take on a classic 'boy' nursery green. Plus, it was a great match with darker greens, and muted yellows and blues. Though it pops, it's calming and classic. We also love that it's a color that can be found in nature—something we always like to incorporate in a kid's room."

        Photo by: Melissa Fitzgerald West
        green room with dresser and small toysgreen room with dresser and small toys

        Intimate White by Sherwin Williams

        For those that think pink, Davissuggests using a softer, less saturated shade, like Intimate White by Sherwin Williams, “This is the perfect shade of pink. It adds a hint of the traditional baby shade, but it is not overwhelming.”

        Photo by: Melissa Fitzgerald West
        soft pink nursery paint colorsoft pink nursery paint color
        white gender neutral nursery paint color white gender neutral nursery paint color

        All White by Farrow & Ball with Vert De Terre Trim

        Chauncey Boothby used a warm white in her Rowayton, CT nursery. She loves that "This combination provides a fresh solution to a gender neutral nursery. Paired with saffron yellow, you can style the room with yellow dump trucks and trains and other primary colors, or you can create a softer, more feminine look when mixed with blush pinks. This color pairing provides a framework for a room that can easily be modified from child to child without having to repaint."

        Photo by Read McKendree/JBSA
        white gender neutral nursery paint color white gender neutral nursery paint color

        Veranda View from Benjamin Moore

        Caitlin Kah was inspired by the tropical shades around her in Palm Beach to create this kid's room with matching twin beds. Kah explains, "I love this color because it is a cheerful and crisp green without having to cut it with any white. Easy! It’s also gender neutral and what a happy space to wake up from a restful nap in!"

        Photo by: Carmel Brantley
        Caitlin Kah green bedroomCaitlin Kah green bedroom

        Tunsgate Green from Farrow and Ball

        “It’s important to create children's bedrooms that can evolve over time,” says interior designer Cece Barfield. In this fresh delicate green room with lots of yellow pigment she "wanted the colors to be light and airy to make it gender neutral (we painted before the baby was born!)."

        Photo by: Lesley Unruh
        nursery is soft delicate greennursery is soft delicate green

        Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball

        This navy is named after the inky cockles on the shore in Norfolk. Barfield adds, "The dark paint gives the room a masculine vibe without being too boyish."

        Photo by: Lesley Unruh
        navy blue room for kidnavy blue room for kid

        Mouse’s Back Trim from Farrow & Ball

        For the backdrop in her baby's nursery, Jamie Mizrah wanted a backdrop for furniture like this vintage dresser and sweet animal accessories to play a starring role so she chose a creamy pinstripe wallpaper from Ralph Lauren and Farrow & Ball’s light-brown color, “Mouse’s Back,” for all trim and the ceiling.
        mouse's black paint in a baby's nurserymouse's black paint in a baby's nursery