Black & White: The New Baby Colors?

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it’s definitely worth checking out — it’s a fun, sort of Twitter-like social bookmarking site that focuses on images. I started an account there a few weeks ago (you can see my pinnings here), and I’ve been using it to collect nursery images (and other fun things) all magpie-like.

The social component of Pinterest means that you can follow other users, and if someone pins something you find interesting, you can re-pin it to one of your own pinboards. I bring all this up because of something interesting that happened when I pinned the following image:

Black and white nursery.
Image from here.

It’s an extremely high-contrast black and white nursery that I pinned mostly because it seemed visually striking next to all of the more traditional nurseries. But that was about the extent of it — personally, this doesn’t seem all that fitting or appealing as a baby’s room, and overall it kind of reminds me of something out of that movie Beetlejuice.

But lots of people have been re-pinning it — about thirty as of this writing, which seems remarkable given that I don’t really have any contacts or followers on that site. And that led me to wonder: do people really find this to be an appealing design for a nursery? Or does it keep getting re-pinned because people see it and think, “Oh, that’s weird and interesting like something out of Beetlejuice”?

I mean, I know there are some strange trends in interior design these days, so I guess I wouldn’t be too surprised if this turns out to be the hip new thing in nurseries. But I’d be curious to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the subject. Is black and white with no colors your idea of the ideal nursery design?


  1. Really, I think this is just pitiful! Maybe OK for a baby you knew was going to be colorblind. So bleak, and somehow desperate. I like some visual contrast in the nursery, with softened colors for serenity.

    It’s a beautiful, colorful world out there, and baby needs to feel part of that kind of world! (Just my humble opinion, LOL).

  2. As an art teacher, I have long mentioned to students that humans are hard-wired to look at big brightly colored things first, especially if they are high-contrast. This is why so many nurseries, and even more baby toys use the Primary colors, with white or pastels for the “background”. But if you have ever seen a nursery that used ALL the primaries AND secondaries, at full intensity, it gets overwhelming. I think this B&W nursery falls into that “overkill” category. It certainly is high contrast, but I think you’d soon want something to soften it. Also I have to wonder if baby’s environment is colorless, would that affect the ability to perceive color later? I know kids deprived of actual outdoor play vs. virtual play have depth perception problems. Anyway, I vote “errrr” on the scheme, unless you’re going to have lots of colorful sheets, curtains and pillows (you could then swap out color schemes with every launder).

  3. Thanks for the comments, and I’m glad to see I’m not alone in thinking that plain black and white seems rather ill-fitting for a nursery! Maybe it could work if there were some brighter colors or pastels mixed in somewhere, but all the black just seems so harsh…

  4. This trend began to develop a few years ago with toile and damask and’s not so bad so long as there is plenty of color brought into play through decorations and artwork on the walls.

    Recently, I’ve seen a tremendous upsurge in everything from charcoal to dove gray walls through the pics sent into our baby nursery pictures contest. Surprisingly, I did a survery on Unique Baby Nursery Decorating Ideas FB page and there was not ONE vote for gray! Funny, huh?

  5. While I personally think black and white is a beautiful and classic interior decorating scheme, I have to agree that it is a TERRIBLE choice for a nursery. Babies need visual stimulation, and lots of it!

    Now, I do like a black and white color scheme for a kitchen (black/white tiles, black countertops with white cabinets, etc.) but only if you have some colorful appliances and kitchen stuff to brighten it up.

    I say NAY to a black and white nursery.

  6. Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think I agree that the black and white could work pretty well in a non-nursery room, or that it could work as a nursery if some other colors were added.

    Also, thanks for the Flickr link! That’s a cute one. :)

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