What colour scheme for a Nursery?

I recently featured as the guest designer in the Irish Examiner’s Property and Interiors supplement.  The feature is a Q & A article where the designer is invited to answer questions sent in by readers.  I have a similar section on my website & frequently receive emails from readers looking for advice.  Up to now I have replied to these mails privately but following the Irish Examiner piece, I thought it might be fun to feature some of these questions as a regular segment here on the blog.

To start us off here is an email I received from a lady in Tipperary looking for some colour suggestions for a nursery.

Q:  Hi karen, was wondering if u could suggest a colour scheme for a nursery, i dont know what im having, im putting panelling around the room which needs to be painted but ive no idea what colur. its south facing with one window. thanking you – E

A: Thank you for your email and congratulations on your imminent arrival, I hope all goes well for you.

Regarding a colour scheme for the room, shades of pale yellows and green are great for a non generic space.  They can be matched with both blue and pink accessories which will change the look of a space quite easily.  Shown below is an image of Minnie Drivers nursery for her son Henry.  You can see how the only “boyish” elements are brought in through the artwork.  Change those pictures for little pink and green fairies and this room easily becomes a palace for a little princess.

Wall decals are a another way to instantly bring a bit of character into a room.  And the great thing about them (apart from being cheap) is that they can easily be changed as your child grows.  Here is a link to a post I did a while ago using wall stickers in children’s rooms.

Regarding the wood panelling, I personally don’t think you can beat white woodwork.  Especially in a room such as a nursery.  Not only is it clean and bright but it will also blend in easily with any furniture you will need as white is a popular choice with nursery furniture manufacturers.

Also don’t forget to bring plenty of soft furnishings into your scheme to soften the effect.  Garrendenny Lane do a lovely collection of children’s rugs, cushions bed linen etc.

Finally as the room is south facing it would be well worth investing in black out blinds or curtains for the windows.

I hope I’ve been of some help and best wishes to you and and your new arrival.  And please send me a photo and let me know if it’s a little boy or girl.


This post is part of my Ask The Designer series.  Ask me a question and I’ll do my best to answer it.  Include as much information as possible, maybe even send me a photograph if you think it will help.  Want to play?  Get in touch by sending me an email,  use the contact form  or just leave me a comment here.

About Karen

My name is Karen Hughes and I'm an Interior Designer from Dublin, Ireland. I’m passionate about design and I started this blog as a way to connect with others just as passionate as myself. I tend to ramble on about all sorts of things, projects I’m working on, people, places and things that inspire me (and some that don’t). So put the kettle on, get comfy and settle in. I hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to say hello. Visit my website to find out more about my services and view my work.


  1. Lovely post Karen and many thanks for the link too 🙂

  2. Hi, do you know where you can purchase that wall sticker? I checked wallaticker.ie but cannot find.mhanks E

  3. Hi Eric, thanks for visiting. Wallstickers.ie may no longer supply that decal but I found this one online – http://bit.ly/Hq6Edu Hope that helps – Karen

  4. Hi,
    I love the colour of this room and have been searching for something similar for our nursery. We’re struggling to find a colour like this and are finding that most of the pale yellows we’ve been looking at are still too bright. Any suggestions as to what colour we could get that would be closest to this? The room is north east facing and quite small. Really appreciate any help!

  5. Hi Anne Marie, it’s very difficult for me to choose a colour as I haven’t seen the room and shades will vary under different light sources and rooms. However here is a link to a post I wrote a while ago about choosing the right colour for your space. http://www.emeraldinteriordesign.ie/blog/getting-the-paint-colour-right Hope it helps 🙂 ~ Karen

  6. I love this wall color! The PERFECT light creamy yellow. Can you share the exact color and brand of paint used by chance? Thanks so much!!

  7. Oh, forgot to add I am looking at the picture of the yellow and PINK nursery and am wanting to find the exact shade/brand of yellow paint used.Thanks so much!!

  8. Hi Rachael, thanks for visiting. I replied to your query by email. Karen

  9. Thanks so much Karen!

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