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Renovating with kids

From the Resene decorating blog

Getting your children involved in the process will make it a fun time for all of the family and will make you feel less guilty for all of the energy and time you’re spending away from them.

Renovating a house can be a stressful and busy time for anyone, but when there are kids of any size in the family, it adds a whole new layer of difficulty to the project. Babies need clean, dust-free and noise-free environments. Toddlers need to be kept safe and older children may well feel ignored as you traipse around product showrooms all weekend and pore over plans, samples and budgets each evening.

A kids bedroom with pastel stripes

A bold blue kids bedroom

Encourage your kids to choose their own colour scheme. The colours and stripes for the bedroom at left – Resene Tutti Frutti and Resene Ecru White – were chosen by its inhabitant as it reminded her of a drinking straw, and the bold blue on the right was chosen because its inhabitant loved the name of the colour – Resene Captain Cook.

Getting your children involved in the process will make it a fun time for all of the family and will make you feel less guilty for all of the energy and time you’re spending away from them. That level of involvement will depend on the age of our children, but even pre-schoolers can have fun with some Resene testpots, ‘painting’ their bedrooms.

Try to be as organised as possible so that your house is in chaos for as little time as possible. Keep part of the house sacrosanct and in intact, so that it becomes a haven to which you can all retreat. Have a designated play area, blocked off from the mayhem of the renovation.

If you are doing the painting or DIY yourself, try to tackle one room at a time, and finish it completely before starting the next. Tag team your DIY so that one of you is looking after the kids while the other is working on the house.

You might like to time a family holiday away around the most disruptive part of the renovation projects. So when there’s no working kitchen or bathroom, head off on a road trip. If you need to be around to supervise or make decisions, maybe the kids could have a week away at their grandparents’ house or with extended family or friends.

Make 'blackboard city' toys

Use spare renovation materials to make toys. This blackboard ‘city’ is made out of framing offcuts and painted in Resene Blackboard Paint.

Wallpaper your kids can colour in

How about a wallpaper that the kids can colour in? If you put this up early in the renovation, they’ll spend happy hours at the task while you get on with the DIY or reno wrangling. It’s design 292909 from the Resene Wallpaper Collection, available at Resene ColorShops.

Get them involved

The most, and possibly only, exciting part of a renovation for the kids will be… destruction. If you are repainting, re-wallpapering or removing wall linings, give the kids carte blanche a few weeks out to draw, paint and scrawl all over the walls. Encourage their inner artists, safe in the knowledge that it just doesn’t matter. Make sure they know this is a one-off to say goodbye to the old walls, and not something they should do on the new ones! If one of them creates a masterpiece, you can always cut out that section of old wall lining, and frame it for them to keep.

Get them involved in any minor demolition, with safety always front of mind.

Buy a set of kiddy tools and encourage your budding builder to ‘fix’ the house. Just make sure they’re not tackling the new wall linings. Resene testpot brushes are cheap and are a perfect mini size for kids.

A pastel moodboard

Order Resene A4 drawdown paint swatches from your local Resene ColorShop and get the kids to make their own moodboard and create their own colour scheme.

This little girl opted for Resene Half Black White and Resene Geyser in the background, with swatches in Resene Gelato (darker pink), Resene Vanilla Ice and Resene Onahau. The open testpot is Resene Moonbeam.

An odd socks board kids project

Give the kids a project to keep them occupied. This odd socks board is fun, and useful.

The colours used are Resene Mystery for the frame, Resene Meditation for the mat board, Resene Raindance for the backing board. The pegs are also in those colours, and the wall is Resene Rice Cake.

Help them make a cool blackboard ‘city’ with timber offcuts. Cut the ends into roof shapes and paint the fronts and back with Resene Blackboard Paint then use chalk to draw windows and doors. Or the kids can paint their mini buildings in colourful Resene testpot paint.

The kids can make their own room diorama out of wooden crates or boxes. Get them to try out their own colour schemes by painting the insides of the crates to represent the wall colours, then furnishing them with either dollhouse furniture, or they can make their own.

Get them to create their own colour schemes by painting an A3 card with Resene testpot colours or giving them colour charts or A4 drawdown paint swatches to cut up and rearrange.

Having children choose their own bedroom colours is an obvious way to get them involved. When they say ‘green’ they may be thinking bright Kermit green, but you can always steer them towards a more muted green that fits with your plan for the rest of the house. If they’re adamant they want that bright green, buy a cheap or second-hand bedside table and paint it in their chosen colour. Use Resene Enamacryl (gloss) or Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) for this; both are tough waterborne enamels that are perfect for painting furniture and easy to wipe clean.

Safety first

Managing the stress

There will always be times when rooms or amenities you have become used to are out of action – the wifi, the TV, the kitchen, the shower, the garden or the laundry. Look for a fun spin on the problem. Create a game of ‘desert island’ or ask the kids to plan a menu of non-cook foods and have a picnic on the floor.

A teen bedroom

Play to the current passions of your kids when planning the look of their new bedrooms. This music-loving boy got a guitar-shaped silhouette for his wall, painted in Resene St Kilda against a wall in Resene Half Raven.

Is the dishwasher out of action? Washing dishes by hand may be something the kids have never ever done; it might be a novelty! You can rent a portaloo or even an entire bathroom these days.

Keeping the house quiet while your pre-schoolers or baby are napping may be impossible but consider having a portable cot so that at least you can relocate them as far away from the noise as possible.

Keep heated discussion about budget, builders or whether the living room should be neutral or bold out of earshot of the kids. They may not understand that it’s a temporary disagreement and will just see that their parents are in conflict.

For older children, avoid renovating during exam times.

Hire a cleaner. Get readymade meals and takeaways, or one of the ready-made meal services.

Resene Raindance

Resene Mystery

Resene Meditation

October 16, 2018

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