The Black and White Nursery

A modern look that's just right for developing vision!


Trying to figure out what color to make the nursery? Consider working in shades of black and white for a comfortable, cozy, and dramatic baby room.

To your baby, the world is blurry in the beginning. In the first two months of life, your wee one’s range of focus is only about eight to ten inches in front of him. And the first colors your baby “sees” are black, white, and red.

Many nursery accessories, such as mobiles and early development toys, are now offered in this color range to stimulate baby’s sense of sight. Consider utilizing these hues to create an environment that is comforting to your newborn.

A nursery designed in black and white with red accents makes a bold design statement and can be more soothing to babies than traditional pastel nursery palettes. Picture a black and white nursery with various patterns and texture—it’s a comfortable, cozy space for baby.

Why Black and White?

A fresh approach to designing a nursery is to take a look at fashion magazines. Often home décor trends are a direct reflection of the season’s haute couture. In today’s fashion, black and white are the new classics for all seasons. Like the “little black dress,” these versatile colors are ideal for any event or room, casual or formal.

Children and adults are drawn to bold color. However, an entire wardrobe or interior in one bright color would be shocking; small touches and accents of color help brighten an outfit or room. In the home, combine black and white and introduce vibrant color with an accent pillow in red and white toile, a vase of fresh yellow and orange flowers or fresh, or crisp green towels monogrammed and trimmed in black. The nursery is a perfect place to experiment with this palette.

Imagine a room in a Tuscan villa with soft, white stucco walls and natural sunlight as a light source. It is like a blank painting waiting for adornment. Treat the nursery as a canvas awaiting color and texture. A great approach is to design a unisex nursery in a neutral palette and introduce splashes of color with accessories for boys or girls.

Adding in Subtle Colors

The main color for a black and white nursery should be various shades of white, mixed to add contrast and depth. Black and red should be used in smaller doses to infuse a pop of drama and color.

Try crib linens trimmed in black gingham, a black picture frame, or a decorative wall border with a black and white check. Then balance the black and white with red (or even yellow or green) accents. Make sure there is plenty of indirect lighting in the nursery through natural sunlight and accent lamps and wall sconces. Consider adding a dimmer to provide much-needed light for nighttime diaper changes.

Accessories and Accents

Accessories, like lampshades and pillows, are the perfect place to add a touch of black and white contrast to a room if you don’t want to build the entire room around this color scheme. Try adding black and white gingham trim and black pom fringe to a shade or a black and white toile pillow tossed in a rocker. Artwork and area rugs are another place to introduce new colors; for example, a rug with a meandering green vine flush with bright red flowers or a wall hanging or mural featuring a field filled with wild flowers. Décor embellishments and accessories are the best way to add touches of color that traditionally reflect the gender of your baby, so add some blue and pink if you wish.

The nursery is the best location to stimulate baby with color and texture. Every day is a new adventure for your baby; he or she continues to see new colors and objects every day. And nothing touches the heart of a new parent more than the moment when their newborn sees and recognizes them for the first time. Make your nursery the perfect backdrop for your cherished, memorable moments.


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