Top Boy/Girl Room Color Schemes

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With two young children and a new baby on the way, we found ourselves outnumbered.  Both in terms of bedrooms, and as parents.  While getting a nanny was out of our budget, we knew we could put in a little elbow grease to transform our son’s bedroom into a relaxing space for both him and his sister.

It can be a challenge coming up with a room that suits a girl as well as a boy – while avoiding the traditional baby shower fallback colors of yellow and green when you don’t want to risk buying for the wrong gender.  But with an infinite number of color combination possibilities, there isn’t much of an excuse to have a room that doesn’t excite and inspire.

Check out some of our top color palettes for shared rooms suitable for both boys and girls.

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Bold, warm colors mingled with soft cool hues make a striking contrast and fun shared space.  See the room here.

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Using various shades of blue really help the salmon color pop, easily making this color pallet work for boys and girls.  More here.

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Soft pastels don’t have to equate to baby colors only.  Use them in a shared room for a calming atmosphere.  More here.

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When it comes to kids, you can never go wrong with bold, bright colors.  Photographer here.

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Subtle and sophisticated may be the right combination for your kiddos.  Plus who doesn’t like a teepee?  Source unknown.

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A fun take on the classic primary color palette.  Elle Decor.

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Divide the colors in half, giving each child room space to claim as their own.  Source.

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Fresh colors contrast with a moody charcoal grey.  Persialou reveals all in her fun shared bedroom.

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A rustic-modern palette combines bolds with neutrals.  Source unknown.

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Classic colors and bold striped patterns make for a whimsical shared space.  Source unknown.

There were lots of other shared boy and girl rooms that didn’t make our list here, but you can see more on Whitney’s shared room color schemes pinterest board.

DIY Mud Bench with Herringbone Wall

We’ve found that innovation often flourishes when seemingly large problems present themselves. This is as true in personal matters as it is with decorating a space. We had quite the conundrum on our hands with the awkward space opposite the entry door from the garage to the laundry room.

DIY Herringbone Mud Bench


While we tried the space as a hidden nook for the garbage can, it definitely wasn’t the right thing, and quite frankly a waste of the space. However, since it was just off the laundry room and directly across from an entry door, we thought it might be convenient to have a place for jackets and shoes. Once we settled on the purpose of the area, we now had the task of deciding the design and approach.

Thanks to Pinterest, it has been amazing we have the ability to search visual ideas to help find solutions to design issues. If you are interested in some of the inspiration that has helped on this project, check out our 15 Marvelous Mudrooms post.

mud bench inspiration

We didn’t have a huge space to work with so we opted for a simple bench with hooks. Our first step was creating a box bench using 15 inch wide 3/4 inch thick wood planks. We braced the outsides and center of the bench with the same wood as was used for the bench. The cubbies would hold baskets in the future for shoes.

diy mud bench

mud room bench

Since there had been molding there, we cut it away where the new bench would sit using a multitool.

cut baseboard with multitool

Having worked on the pallet headboard for the master bedroom project, we had a reference point for what we wanted to accomplish, but we didn’t want to go overboard on the use of pallets in the house, so we decided to shake things up just a little bit by incorporating a herringbone pattern using furring strips from The Home Depot.

Bench tutorial

To make it easier to work, we measured a piece of fiber board (the type of material that a traditional peg board is made out of) and fit it to the wall above the bench. We didn’t tack it up just yet, instead, we laid it out on the floor and used it as the backer template for our herringbone design. Then, with a marker, we drew 3 lines on the board to divide it into fourths in order to keep our herringbone pattern straight.

how to make a herringbone wall

herringbone wall

Using furring strips cut into 16.5 inch lengths, we started laying out the pattern along the center line. The strip length worked for our wall to give us almost 4 full rows of herringbone pattern. Once they were placed, we then used construction adhesive to glue them onto the board. Near the bottom of the board, you may have to use some shorter furring strips, but don’t be too concerned if they don’t match up exactly to the ends of the underlayment, we’ll take care of that later.

herringbone pattern

Once the center row was complete, we moved onto the outside rows. Setting each one to make sure if fit well before gluing them on.

wood herringbone

To avoid having to make a lot of individual cuts, we let the furring strips overhang the sides as well.

easy herringbone wall

Once all the strips were placed and the glue was dried, we took the piece outside (it was a bit heavy at this point, but still manageable).

how to make an easy herringbone wall

Using a table saw, we cut the edges of the furring strips off, so they matched the underlayment board. After this step we had a beautiful squared off herringbone wood piece that fit in perfectly to our mud bench wall.

Herringbone projects

Before putting it up, however, we first gave it a good sanding – a task made much easier by having it on the floor rather than the wall.

sand herringbone wall

Once sanded, a few well-placed finishing nails secured the entire thing to the wall (being sure to attach it to the wall studs).

wood herringbone mud bench

Then we added a shelf above the herringbone and a strip of wood near the top the wall which would hold the hooks.

herringbone mudroom bench

With the wall and bench now in place it was time to apply a stain. We combined our own concocted stain using both a white stain and a charcoal stain we happened to have. But there are many fine gray stains available on the market you could use to achieve a similar look.

stain herringbone wood

We think our finished mud bench turned out marvelous and was well within budget. Including the hooks (Hobby Lobby), baskets (Home Goods), wood (The Home Depot), and construction glue (The Home Depot), the final cost was right around $100.

Homemade Mud Bench Tutorial

Now we have the perfect spot to take off snow clothes, shoes, and jackets.  I’d like to say that it’s always this nice and tidy, but hey after all, it is a mud bench.

Fifteen Marvelous Mud Benches

mudroom mud bench

If your house is anything like ours, there are a few odd spots that can be somewhat problematic and take creativity to design around.  When we moved into our home, we had just such a section of wall opposite the garage door.  Whitney knew that this had the makings of being a great place for a mud bench and set out to find inspiration to guide our efforts.

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What resulted was a compilation of favorite mud benches curated from around the web.


1. In the post “The 7 Elements of a Perfect Mudroom” Apartment Therapy highlights some great points on creating your mudroom.  This photo made the list due to the hideaway component of this space – not to mention a fantastic barn door on rollers.

simple mudroom

2. Crate and Barrel brought in color and simplicity with this mudroom set up.  The bench doesn’t have to be directly beneath the hooks to be a functional room with personality.

white mudroom

3. Found on Indulgy, this mudroom doubles as a storage room – perfect for winter coats, jackets, and boots that can be unsightly when hung on racks.

rustic mudbench

4. Go with a rustic touch with this bench.

flea market bench
5. Flea markets and garage sales can hold inspiring mud benches.

solid color mudroom
6. A solid pop of color (Benjamin Moore) on Apartment Therapy, highlights this mudroom with a floor to ceiling mud bench.
white mudroom
7. A clean and bright space can be a crowd-pleaser, unless that crowd is a bunch of muddy yahoos.  This mud bench would be smudged in no time at our house, but if you are able to keep it clean like In the Fun Lane, it would be gorgeous.

herringbone mud room
8. Herringbone floors and ample seating make this the perfect mudroom or entryway.

simple mud room
9. You can always up the personality of a rustic park bench by throwing in some fun artwork.

hidden storage mud bench
10. Hidden storage is always a plus, and this idea is dynamite.  There are no ends to the items I could store in here.

bike mudroom
11. Make the purpose of your mudroom fit your lifestyle.  What a great way to store a bike indoors – or anything else for that matter.
reclaimed wood bench
12. Use a few key pieces to tie a minimalist approach together.  The Stir used reclaimed wood to highlight this fantastic and functional entryway.

mudroom with storage
13. Need more storage and have the space to do it?  This Houzz mudroom features lots of hooks, tons of cabinetry, and custom touches.

mud bench ideas
14. This Old House featured a quaint mudroom that takes advantage of both white and rustic wood pieces.

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15. Classic is always in style.

We’ll be taking elements from these mudrooms to redesign our awkward space.  We plan to share with you the final outcome on our next post, the first Sunday in February.  See you then!

Interested in seeing more mudroom inspiration?  Follow Whitney on Pinterest.

Psst – Curious as to how our mud bench turned out?  You can now catch the whole story of our herringbone mud room.

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