Otomí Inspired Gender Neutral Nursery

This gender neutral nursery is mostly centered on our Mexican roots and cultura where I implemented a variety of textures and colors. After weeks of research and contemplating between several gender neutral nursery ideas, we decided to go with an otomí inspired theme. We wanted to have an accent wall as the focal point of the nursery while implementing touches of our cultura with decor.

Gender neutral nursery with otomi stenciled wall

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Otomí Accent Wall

Babyletto lolly crib in gender neutral nursery with otomi stenciled wall

Items in this photo: Crib: Babyletto Lolly Crib | Sarape: Zarai Imports | Otomí pattern stencils: Cutting Edge Stencils | Faux plant: Fiddle Leaf Tree | Rug: Home Goods, similar on Amazon

What is Otomí Art?

Before I walk you through D’s nursery, let me tell you about otomí art. Otomí is an embroidery style, also known as a Tenango, that originates from the Otomí indigenous group in Hidalgo, Mexico. The embroidered patterns include vibrant colors of embroidered flowers and animals, such wild birds, dogs, and rabbits over a white cloth. The pattern makes it seem whimsical-like and if you look at the patterns it is almost as if you are reading a story.

Otomi indeginous woman embroidering

Otomí Stenciled Wall

At a first glance, you may think that the otomí accent wall is wallpaper, however we painted it using an otomí patterned stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. We felt that it would be easier to paint rather than installing wallpaper. I was afraid I would mess up! I didn’t want seams to show between wallpaper sheets nor did I want to get frustrated with the overall process. We felt that using stencils would allow us to have a bit more freedom in case we make mistakes. Plus, it is cost effective and we can always paint over once we decide to make a color change to the wall.

For the stencil color, we decided to go with a light gray tone to continue with the gender neutral theme. We also thought the color would not as heavy as other neutral colors we thought about initially. It took us a full weekend to complete the project using the otomí wall stencil. It was a super fun project to make!

Babyletto lolly crib in gender neutral nursery with otomi stenciled wall

Items in this photo: Otomí pattern stencils: Cutting Edge Stencils | Crib: Babyletto Lolly Crib | Sarape: Zarai Imports | Otomí pillowcase: Colores Mexicanos | Chair: Soho Swivel Glider | Faux plant: Fiddle Leaf Tree | Wall shelves: IKEA FLISAT | Rug: Home Goods, similar on Amazon

Furniture for Gender Neutral Nursery

We decided to go with design #2 for D’s otomí inspired gender neutral nursery. I love the mix of furniture pieces we chose and they all ranged in prices, which helped our wallet!

Choosing a Minimalist Crib

Before finding out we were pregnant, I have always wanted to go with a minimalist crib, simply because it would go with any color scheme. I was also not a fan of how one side of the crib had a headboard and bars or slats on the other side. We went with the Babyletto Lolly crib in white and neutral. I love the combination of the pine wood and white color! I thought that the neutral and minimalist design wouldn’t dominate other parts of the room. It wouldn’t take up too much space in an 11×10 bedroom either! Although the crib was the most expensive item in the room, we were extremely thankful that it was given to us as a baby shower gift. This definitely saved us many dollars!

Using a Dresser as a Changing Table

I believe that furniture should not only look well at a home but that it should be purposeful. This is why I preferred to use a dresser as a changing table rather than purchasing a changing table to only use it during our baby’s infant to early toddler years. If I wanted to purchase a piece of furniture, I wanted to make sure it would last longer than 2 years. We decided to go with the Delta Haven 6 Drawer Dresser. It felt right with our budget and the dimensions fit perfect! To match with the white and wooden colored crib, we swapped the white drawer pulls with wooden colored pulls from IKEA. The pulls at IKEA are a bit expensive, but you can find a similar set of drawer pulls on Amazon.

Minimalist changing table dresser with Keekaroo Peanut changer

Items in this photo: Dresser: Delta Haven 6 Drawer Dresser | Drawer pulls: IKEA VINNÄSET, similar on Amazon | Changing pad: Keekaroo Peanut Changer | Mirror: Threshold Round Mirror | Shelves and brackets: IKEA BURHULT, IKEA SANDSHULT | Diaper Pail: Ubbi | Piggy bank | Letterboard: Pearhead Letterboard | Rug: Home Goods, similar on Amazon

Hacking an IKEA Bookcase

We all know how affordable IKEA furniture is. For this reason, we bought the IKEA KALLAX shelving unit. I like the minimalism and simplicity of this bookcase. We purchased the 30×30 bookcase to fit the small room. Since all three sides of the room were occupied with the crib, changing table and closet, the wall by the windows was the only option. The one caveat was that there was a floor vent right where the bookcase would have to be placed. In order to have ventilated air, we installed furniture legs at the bottom of the bookcase. I bought these furniture legs off of Amazon and they match so well with the wooden colors of the crib and changing table! It was easy to install thanks to this YouTube video!

IKEA Kallax bookcase with furniture legs

Items in this photo: Bamboo blinds: CHICOLOGY | Curtains: IKEA RITVA | Bookcase Baskets: IKEA BRANÄS | Milestone blocks: Pearhead Milestone Age Blocks | Book display: IKEA FLISAT | Pom pom basket: Cloud Island |Rug: Home Goods, similar on Amazon

Decor for Gender Neutral Nursery

Although the stenciled accent wall would be the main statement for the nursery, it was a muted color. We had a neutral color on the wall to add pops of color in other parts of the room.

My favorite pieces of decor were the textiles, which added boldness in color and that represent our cultura. The otomí pillowcase was purchased at Colores Mexicanos, a local business based in Chicago. To stuff the pillowcase, I purchased a pillow insert at Michaels. This pillowcase is hand-embroidered by Otomí indigenous artisans in Hidalgo, Mexico. In addition to the pillowcase, I bought a stuffed animal handmade by artisans in Chiapas, Mexico. I bought a sarape from Zarai Imports, another Chicago business that sells authentic wardrobe and artisan objects from Mexico. These pieces added so much color and complemented so well with the otomí accent wall and overall theme.

Stuffed animal handmade from artisan on IKEA Kallax bookcase

Items in this photo: Round basket: IKEA FRYKEN | Stuffed Ram: Colores Mexicanos

D’s nursery is my most favorite room in our house! Even though we spent so much time planning and decorating his nursery, it was truly a labor of love! I enjoyed this project and how it represents our identidad and cultura. I will share a DIY of the stenciled Otomí accent wall soon!

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