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Just grow with it: Ideas for creating a timeless child’s room

From the Resene decorating blog

When it comes to children’s rooms, style often gets left at the door.

As your child grows up, their space can quickly become a mishmash of garish colours and patterns, with posters and decorations haphazardly strewn across the walls. Creating a timeless children’s room that remains relevant throughout every stage of your child’s growth can be a big challenge. You want to strike a balance between creating a fun and engaging space for them, while avoiding having to pick up a paintbrush at their every whim. Here are a few ideas and Resene colours for creating a kids’ room that will stand the test of time (and the ever-changing tastes of your child).

A neutral kid's bedroom

A simple and effective way of creating a timeless children’s room is to go neutral. A neutral colour palette can be mixed, remixed and constantly built upon and changed as your child grows up. This bedroom is fun yet subtle, with greige gradients and warm secondary colours.

Lower wall painted in Resene Rakaia, upper wall in Resene Half Athens Grey, dado rail in Resene Ebony Clay, skirting board in Resene Eighth Masala, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, curved headboard and small bud vase in Resene Cinnamon, painted shapes on curtain in Resene Eighth Masala, painted shapes on hanging organiser in Resene Rakaia, stool top in Resene Blackjack and hook rack in Resene Ebony Clay. Bedlinens, throws, cloud cushion, hook rack, hanging organiser, striped bag and slippers from H&M Home, fox and swan toys from Citta. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A bright and colourful kid's playroom

Starting with a light neutral base leaves an abundance of room for colourful decorations. This child’s room embraces bold primary colours that reflect off the walls and bring the space to life. The wall design can be easily created using masking tape and a ruler.

Wall and floor painted in Resene Pearl Lusta, noticeboard grid in Resene Sea World, 0s and Xs in Resene Havoc and Resene Shooting Star, wooden trug in Resene Wheel Of Fortune and table and hanging pot in Resene Havoc. Chairs from Mocka. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Neutral tones are probably not the first thing that springs to mind when we hear ‘kids’ bedroom.’ But despite their reputation as a distinctly adult choice for a colour scheme, you may find neutrals to be just the thing. The key to the neutral palette’s success is to create an interesting composition that is fun while your child is little but uses colours that will grow with them. Avoid stark whites and opt for warm greiges such as Resene Rakaia or Resene Eighth Masala that are perfect for lightening up a room but are dark enough to disguise smudges or fingermarks.

Use your neutrals in unexpected ways, try a gradient of horizontal lines or a pattern of small dots in lighter Resene Quarter Athens Grey to create interest. Using greige as a foundation makes it simple to layer fun décor of any colour on top, which is easily changed as your child gets older. If you’re feeling daring, you can always introduce a secondary colour into the mix. “Turquoises and teals work really well in tween bedrooms as they sit well as a single colour with neutrals of whites, creams, or greys,” says stylist and interior designer, Megan Harrison-Turner. Colours such as Resene Teal Blue or Resene Ming make a subtle statement when paired with lighter greiges.

“As a child grows it is likely that the wall art, furniture and duvets can easily change making the room grow with the child without changing the wall colour. Painting one wall in a feature colour can be less of a commitment – especially if your child’s heart is set on a strong colour – and be easier to change into another colour as they grow.”

If you’re after a more traditional transitional space, use classic neutrals such as Resene Pearl Lusta for your child’s walls with trim in Resene Rice Cake. This palette allows you to add a touch of personality with a brightly coloured feature on one wall. Abstract shapes are the most versatile for this and, when painted using Resene FX Magnetic Magic or Resene FX Chalkboard Paint, are an effortless way of creating an interactive space.

A shared kid's bedroom

Incorporating the interests of both children sharing a space takes some careful planning, but the results can be spectacular. This shared bedroom combines a dusty green and warm beige pink colour palette with fantastical creatures to bring the space to life. Left back wall Resene Pewter, right back wall in Resene Otter, dinosaur mural in Resene Gecko, butterflies in Resene Pewter, Resene Serene, Resene Half Washed Green, Resene Paris White and Resene Double Sea Fog, floor in Resene Double Sea Fog and door in Resene Middle Earth. Rug from Ferm Living, butterflies from Parkin Stencils, dinosaur from Republic Home, duvet from Thread Design, toys/throw/pillowcases from Citta, cushions from James Dunlop Textiles, artwork from Ruth McGill. Project by Greer Clayton, image by Bryce Carleton.

For example, a grid of nine squares painted in vibrant Resene Sea World with an undercoat of Resene FX Magnetic Magic can be transformed into an oversized and epic game of tic tac toe. This transitions smoothly into a tween’s room, with the squares becoming an ideal backdrop or ‘frame’ for photographs and memorabilia.

Keep this neutral base relevant for younger children by brightening the rest of the room up with colourful décor. Introduce fun primary colours such as Resene Havoc or Resene Bright Spark. These reds and yellows will reflect off the neutral walls, filling the room with colourful (and cohesive) busyness.

An effective way to connect this abstract design to your child’s room is to paint another element of the room in a similar colour, such as the floor. A painted floor is a unique and exciting way of introducing more pizazz into a bedroom. We all know that a child’s room can often be a minefield of discarded toys and forgotten clothes, of muddy footprints and half-eaten snacks. The great thing about a painted floor is it can disguise a multitude of messes. The darker or more patterned the floor, the less likely those pesky smears and scrapes will stand out. By colour-matching your wall design with your floor colour, you can create a sense of consistency and organisation amid the chaos.

A neutral green playroom

This room is perfect for your little explorer and abounds with neutral greens that will grow with them. The bold triangle is striking and effectively creates a feature of the shelf without overwhelming the space. Main wall painted in Resene Black White, floor in Resene Yucca, triangle and shelf in Resene Middle Earth, pencil pot and frame in Resene Permanent Green. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton. Deer soft toy and throw from Adairs, chair from Bauhaus, rug from Freedom, binoculars from $2 & More, globe from Father Rabbit, artwork from Print from One Hundred Percent Heart.

Forest greens such as Resene Yucca or Resene Middle Earth are excellent choices for a floor and will introduce a touch of nature into the space. Likewise, earthy browns such as Resene Cinnamon or muted mustards such as Resene Noosa will bring the outdoors in and create a warm atmosphere. The most important aspect of choosing your floor paint is selecting the right type of paint for the job. “I recommend the Resene Walk-on for kids’ bedrooms,” says Megan.

Using a waterborne paint base such as Resene Walk-on will give your child’s floor a durable finish that can handle the wear and tear of kids. For added protection, finish the floor with Resene Concrete Wax.

Two kids in one room? Try two tones! With two kids sharing a room, its important that they each feel they have their own unique space and that their input is recognised. This can get tricky if you have two very different personalities under your roof, but it doesn’t mean your walls need to clash too. The key to a harmonious colour palette – and household – is communication. Ask your kids about their favourite colours, then use Resene colours charts to look at various options of those shades to see what looks best together, or visit the friendly staff at your Resene ColorShop who can help.

The trick is to match like with like. Contrasting colours can work if you have the same undertone. For example, the unlikely pairing of green and pink is a huge success when Resene Pewter and Resene Otter are used together, as their muted grey undertone connects them within the space.

You can soften the dividing line creatively with abstract shapes, animals made of wallpaper, or get your kids to collaborate and create a mini mural. “Kids’ rooms are great to paint murals in. They get to have a voice in the style and colours of their space and participate in its creation,” says Megan.

“The murals don’t need to be complicated – puffy clouds, moon and stars, random squares, prism and geometrics (achieved with masking tape for straight edges) are all easy.”

A timeless kids’ room palette is easily attainable with a little creativity and a splash of Resene paint. Getting your kids involved in the creation of their space will not only help them feel valued, but you could end up with some unexpected and delightful colour schemes you may never have imagined.

Megan says “clients have told me that getting kids involved and the kids loving the space and taking pride in their room, keeping it tidy to show it to its best advantage, has been a plus for parents too.”

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

March 18, 2022

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