Due to a sudden baby boom amongst my friends I’ve recently been drafted in left, right and centre to give tips and ideas on decorating children’s bedrooms.
Unsurprisingly the most common concern centres around the careful balance between tasteful and fun. Having witnessed the fallout after a mother generously offered the choice of colour to her four year old whilst in the paint aisle, I can see why.
With this in mind I thought it would be useful to share some children’s bedroom ideas that might ease the way!
1. The Mountain range.
The graphic mountain range has become a firm favourite with both parents and children. Dispelling the myth that neutrals have to be boring, this provides a calming backdrop to the inevitable rainbow of toys carpeting the floor!
Simple to achieve too – this is created with just two colours and some masking tape (my recommendation for tape is the yellow Tesa professional tape – it is a little more expensive but definitely worth it in the long run). As children’s rooms are often the smaller side I would suggest painting the darker colour on the bottom half to ensure the room remains grounded and open (rather than top heavy and dark).
2. The Stripes.
Stripes are one of the easiest ways to inject fun into a room, particularly if you follow them across the ceiling and down the opposite wall. If your backdrop is white, as in the above image, nearly all colours will go so it is safe (relatively) to let the children select the colours.
Stripes can be any width, horizontal or vertical so the options are endless. Taking inspiration from the dotted ‘cut here’ lines present in many a children’s activity book the image below shows how breaking one of the stripes can also add personality.
3. The Circles.
If you have a steady hand and are a competent ‘paint within the lines’ painter, circles offer a softer alternative to stripes and will suit any room. Hiding part of the circle behind curtains or frames as above will help integrate the idea into the room. My favourite thing about this shot however, is the bunting, completely fed up with the usual triangle offering we made our own out of a Farrow & Ball colour book. The block colours make much more of a statement than pale patterned fabric and children of any age can make it!
While I have a relevant picture above, I thought it appropriate to mention one of my go to colours for a childs room is Pale Powder, it’s softer and more friendly than brilliant white, perfect for boys but also a great alternative to pink, the very slight hint of green makes this colour pretty rather than cold.
4. The One Colour Wonder.
This is a really simple concept that works on every level. Applied to the majority of items in the room it is both playful and charming. The image above also shows how you can use colour to define areas – painting each bed head a different colour allows each child their own space even though the room is shared.
5. The Freestyle.
My first years on the planet were spent in a tenderly painted toad stool forest, complete with bunnies and fairies. I was lucky though, my dad can draw and paint as well as put colours together . Those not so fortunate endured a violent clash of brights and story-book characters they almost recognised – surely not conducive for sleep, or for selling the house should the time come.
To avoid this plight try painting in soft colours and stick to one area – behind a bed for example. Knowing your limits is the key to the freestyle. Above I painted onto wallpaper so most of the hard work was done for me, I then added some gentle shapes in a colour of a similar weight to the backdrop. Making a template for the shape will make the whole process much easier!
I painted a series of Silver Birch trees in my godson’s bedroom – sticking to just two soft colours and using a dry brush technique to create the texture on the trunks meant the room had character but was also restful, essential when you have children I’m told!
6.The Colour Block
So we’ve covered neutrals and soft colours now lets go all out with a colour block rainbow! The secret to controlling this look is to keep the rainbow to the shelves and one colour on the exposed walls. Neutral floors and ceilings are also a must!
Painting the room side of the door in two colours, particularly with an unconventional break like the one featured, is the perfect place to add colour as it can only be seen when shut and is a relatively small area so isn’t overpowering.
The brilliant thing about children is their lack of boundary for the possible so hopefully these ideas will help stimulate their imagination whilst not giving you a headache!