Deciding which colors to use when decorating your baby’s first room can be tough, especially given that some very interesting studies have shown a relation between psychology and color.
And while there is still much scientific debate about how color affects infants, there is endless evidence that color affects adults. For instance, it’s no coincidence that most fast food restaurants are red and yellow – these colors can make you feel hungry (by increasing your metabolism).
Different colors affect each of us in various ways. However, there are some basic principles that seem to remain a constant for most everyone. While your baby may not perceive colors correctly for a while, they will when they get older, so it’s worth considering how color will affect your child as you pick things like crib bedding and wall color.
Below are brief descriptions of how each color family affects our moods and emotions and some considerations to take into account when using it in nursery décor.
Red is one of my favorite design accents but in a nursery, I’d use it in moderation (i.e. red walls paired with red bedding might be more reminiscent of The Shining than your sweet little baby). Though it increases pulse rate and breathing and causes blood pressure to rise, infants and children respond well to red. Try our classic crib bedding collection, Sock Monkey, to get your red fix.
Orange is a very comfortable, welcoming, and friendly color. Use a darker orange for a super-cozy atmosphere or bright orange for a punch of modern! And apparently, those who love orange are generally social and fun loving (two pretty nice qualities, if I may say so). Check out our Brown Modern Zoo fabric for a great example of how to use orange as an accent color. Shades of rich browns, vibrant oranges and limes keep this fabric on the cutting edge of cool.
Ok, so you’ve heard that smart people love Yellow (maybe because it promotes concentration). Well apparently so do idealists and people with sunny dispositions. However, it’s been said that babies cry more often and longer in yellow rooms but that could be because their parents don’t know how to pick yellow and paint the walls the exact same color as scrambled eggs (yes, I’m drawing on personal experience here). So if you love yellow, I’d recommend going with a nice subtle, buttery version in your baby’s nursery, like our gorgeous Yellow Nursery Rhyme Toile crib bedding.
Green is the best color to use in a learning environment as it promotes calmness of thinking and concentration. It’s also very serene and natural. It’s often been said that green is one of the best colors in decorating because it is so abundant in nature. And for those of you trying to get pregnant, in Celtic myths, the Green man was the God of fertility (time to have the hubby paint your bedroom green?). I love our Sage Damask crib bedding collection and its mix of greens and browns (and so does my nephew, Will!).
Blue is a wonderfully calming and cooling color (great for warmer climates) and if paired with white can be wonderfully reminiscent of the ocean. In your nursery, use warm or bright blues but avoid overusing navy or darker shades. Try our Spa & Gumball crib bedding collection for a fresh, contemporary combination of blue and brown that will turn your nursery into a veritable sanctuary!
Purple has long been associated with royalty, and that still holds today. Pastel purples, like lavenders and lilacs are more calming and serene, but still have that luxurious feel. However, apparently most men dislike purple. So, if you’re dead set on purple, just be aware that your hubby may be hard-wired to resist. He may break down when he sees his little girl in our Lilac Damask baby bedding, however. It’s absolutely stunning!
Gray inspires contemplation and creativity, and though it’s often associated with sadness or loneliness, it’s trending as one of the most popular neutrals for home décor (see our previous post on this versatile color). The best way to use it in your nursery is to pair it with warm tones or bright colors, like yellow or hot pink. One of our newest collections, Gray Damask, uses buff-colored accents with gray and white to create a look to die for!
Pink is the universal color of all things girly. But few know that pink can be very calming as well – particularly with children who are prone to throwing fits or tantrums (it’s often used in jail holding cells to calm prisoners…just sayin’) and is used to treat patients suffering from headache disorders. We’ve got lots of great pink baby bedding options but one of our newest is Candy Pink Damask…it just so fresh and pretty!
Black is a natural classic but another color to use in moderation. It’s strong and dark so make sure to use it in a room with big windows and lots of natural lighting. Pair it with a bright color like yellow, hot pink or grass green to make a statement (like in this photo of our Black & White Dots & Stripes crib bedding – gorgeous!). And though I had a friend who painted her dining room black and loved it…it’s hard to change your mind – black walls are close to impossible to repaint!
Brown is the color of earth and because it’s so abundant in nature, it’s a wonderful color to use as an accent in your nursery design. And here’s a plus: Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors and I haven’t met a woman yet who doesn’t associate brown with one of her favorite splurges – chocolate! And while we have several wonderful crib bedding collections that weave in shades of brown, one of my favorites is Sage Chirp.
Ahhh…White! It’s clean, pure, and innocent…just like your new little baby. All white nurseries are timeless…add splashes of color for a little fun! And of course, white is a super neutral and works well with any color, in any context. You do need to be prepared to work a little harder to keep your whites, well, white. But nobody ever said looking good was easy! For a gorgeous, classic white nursery, click here.