How Joyful-1If you’re one of those brave souls who can wait until after the birth for the gender reveal, we applaud you! Your ability to endure suspense amazes us. Joy Kelley over at How Joyful wanted to keep her new bundle of joy’s sex a surprise, so she crafted a modern, circus-themed room that should give you a great start on gender neutral nursery ideas. Did we mention she’s a DIY queen whose resourcefulness will make your jaw drop? Let’s see how she made this neutral nursery design a success.

Pick a theme any child will love: Joy’s circus theme is adorable for sweet baby girls and busy baby boys. Choose a similar universal pleaser such as an ocean theme or safari theme and continue it throughout the room by repeating similar motifs and patterns, such as the elephants and the chevron fabric seen here. 

Avoid furniture with ornate designs or overly stated lines and choose pieces with clean shapes, such as the versatile Ikea Poang chair featured in this nursery. Joy revamped the chair and gave it her personal touch. She painted the wooden legs and armrests, she sewed the chevron patterned covers to match the gray and white stripes on the wall. The modern white dresser is from the Aspelund Ikea collection, Joy added her personal touch by placing gray chevron fabric panels on the drawer fronts and securing them with mod podge, did we mention how resourceful she is? The crib bedding set was also a diy project accomplished by the crafty mom. We know not everyone will have the courage to try this on their on so we found similar affordable bedding sets you can order from Etsy, check them out below! (Hint, #3 gives you the best bang for your buck)

1. Custom Crib Bedding Set Dylan – Gray and White Elephant and Chevron with Red $265 Full Set

2. Custom Bumperless Crib Bedding Richard, Gray Chevron and Stripes with Red $245 Full Set

3. Gray and Red Elephant Crib set, Modern Baby Bedding, Chevron and Elephants $210 Full Set

Nursery Marquee LightBy combining neutral walls in a cool gray with bold pops of color, Joy maintained an airy atmosphere while clearly defining the room as a fun space for a child of either gender. Most of the color in this room comes down to textiles—bedding, pillows and curtains. aqua-elephant-pillow-zazzleZazzle is our favorite place for custom accent pillows, wall art, and more unique surprises at really amazing prices. Let’s not forget the fab decoration details that take this room from ohhh to AHHH!, the vibrant “K” marquee light is one of the main attractions in this room, made out of recycled materials, you can find the step by step process on how this was accomplished, although not an easy feat it was definitely worth the every bit. We found a listing for a DIY ready kit so you can create your own, for less than $90! these marquee lights go for $200+, you’re welcome. 🙂  How can we forget the sweet colorful hot air balloon mobile?  adding an adorable touch to this circus themed nursery. We found an Etsy designer that dedicates her creative talent on creating all types of hot air balloon mobiles, with many styles and colors to choose from! Don’t you just love all the possibilities? Elephant Lamp

We were blown away when we discovered she created this darling elephant lamp, with leftover Styrofoam no less! If you feel a bit intimidated by that endeavor (as we did!), check out this sweet and simple custom made elephant lamp from Perelle Designs, for sale on Amazon. Conveniently, Joy herself has a few items available featured in this nursery for sale on her personal Etsy store, from the wall art feature in this nursery to awesome décor and custom baby gear, like the minky blanket on the right, don’t forget to check it out! how-joyful-minky-blanket

Whether through font choice, color, or shape, every piece of Joy’s décor relates to the circus. We hope you found yourself inspired by this lovely gender neutral nursery. Tell us what you loved and didn’t, we love feedback.



1. Ikea Poang Chair, available in an Ikea near you, or shop on Amazon
2. Dresser – Ikea Aspelund – discontinued, but you can shop similar choices on Wayfair for less Opt. 1 or Opt. 2
3. Toy bench, available in an Ikea near you or shop on Amazon Ikea: Expedit, Capita legs and Drona bins
4. Watercolor animal prints – trafalgarssquare on Etsy.
5. Crib – Opt. 1 and Opt. 2
6. Gray Shaggy Area Rug
7. Dumbo stuffed animal from $14.46 on Amazon
8. Night stand: Hemnes from Ikea, similar choices on Wayfair on sale Opt. 1 or Opt.2
9. Giant Bear stuffed animal from $46 on Amazon
10. Wall paint – Behr Ultra – Quietude (770E-1) and Pewter Mug (770E-3) at your local Homedepot or Lowes
11. Closet paint – Behr Ultra – Fireglow (200B-7) at your local Homedepot or Lowes
12. Closet Organizer from Closetmaid System
13. Ribba Bookshelf/Picture Ledge from Ikea or from $31 on Amazon
14. Giant Giraffe stuffed animal

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