A gender-neutral room for your child

Nupur Pradhan
Saturday, 21 October 2017

It’s time to break the gender-specific colour codes thrust by the marketing world while designing your baby’s space

Blue is for boys, pink is for girls. Blue is strong, pink is, well, weak. This association has been around for years. No one knows its exact origin but the concept has been passed down for generations. Earlier babies were dressed mainly in whites. But gradually, the garment industry started pushing this gender divide and settled for blue and pink colour codes for boys and girls respectively. 

Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. Blue has been my favourite colour ever since I could differentiate between hues. So it started bothering me when people started assuming that just because I have a daughter, she should always be surrounded with everything pink. While doing up her nursery, I faced a hard time explaining to the vendors that I didn’t want pink. 

Well the gender divide is so deep-rooted that the design catalogues are also segregated into Girls and Boys. The girls’ catalogue is filled with designs of Barbie dolls, candies, shopping lovers, doll houses, fairy tale designs and the sort. A quick Google image search on ‘girl room design ideas’ and you will know what I am referring to. The boys’ catalogue on the other hand is full of superheroes, sports, cars or technology. 

Break the code
So what options do parents who do not want to raise their child in a dividing setup have? 
To start with, opt out of using pink or blue as the primary colour theme. There is a plethora of colour shades apart from these. The best option is using white as the primary colour and then accentuating the décor with a single or multiple colour options. White is considered pure and peaceful and also brightens up the room. 

Ketaki Joshi, an interior designer herself, who recently designed a nursery for her two boys, says, “We wanted to get out of the standard theme and hence got the room painted in an off-white hue and got the furniture in mainly white. The décor items like a play table, cushions, carpet and curtains are all of different colours like reds, greens and yellows.” 

Joshi adds that she consciously ensures buying things for her sons in all colours and is okay with the boys choosing anything in pink.

Add to the decor
Though customising a room comes with a certain price, there are cheaper options available too. One can find wallpapers and wall decals in the market and online too. A variety of wall decals in animals, cartoons, solar systems can be chosen.

These are easy to paste, washable and instantly give a distinctive look to the room. Ashwini Kulkarni, who has bought wall decals online says, “I was confused as to how to decorate my daughter’s room. I was searching online for ideas. I came across wall decals that doubled up as height calculators. I bought one which is in a jungle theme and my daughter loved checking her height there every few days.” 

Kulkarni adds that her daughter, who is now 9, is an animal lover and still uses the height calculator.

Furniture comes handy
In most homes, the furniture is wooden. You can extend the same theme to the kids’ room too. The wooden furniture can be polished in a different shade of brown or the colour of your choice. A lot of shades go well with the wooden décor giving multiple options to choose from. Wooden décor is classy and time tested and it is easier to maintain it too. Plus it won’t burn a hole in your pocket to redesign the room once the child grows out of a specific theme. 

In fandom!
For parents who belong to ‘fandoms’, introducing your child from a young age to your fantasy world is not a bad idea. Also, children who already are into particular cartoon characters, animals or superheroes will love to have them around in their room.

Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Anime, Sherlock, Pokémon, Disney...the list is exhaustive. Most of these have their official merchandise websites and stores. The accessories and decorative items can be placed across the room. There are different types of toys and figurines also available in the market and online, to give the room a feel of the fandom. The child’s room can also be painted in the distinctive colours of the fandom. 

Posters and stickers are inexpensive and can be pasted on the wall as an option to painting the wall. One can also get the wall paper designs customised.

PS: What did we finally choose for our daughter? It’s Harry Potter!

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