Kids adore fairy tales – especially ones that tell exciting adventure stories about pirates, cowboys or knights.
They often imagine themselves as the heroes of these fantasies and are inspired to act out them out during playtime. Some play with dolls and dream to be a princess or famous ballerina, others collect comics and pretend to thwart evil villains. By approaching decorating with the same level of imagination, you can help to bring their magical worlds to life by creating a bedroom which take ideas from his or her favourite stories or characters.
It is not very difficult nowadays to build a themed bedroom or play space given the availability of so many different options for kids furniture and accessories, but one of coolest and easiest solutions to create the right atmosphere is through paint. Paint also has a great advantage in that it is relatively inexpensive and very easy to change as your child grows out of one phase and into another.
Regardless of gender, kids rooms can come in lots of different themes: favourite cartoon characters, super heroes, sports, dinosaurs, castles and more. Everything depends on what your child likes and what characters he or she prefers. Given that we live in a nation surrounded by water, yours might be inspired to act out fantasies aboard tall ships that sail across raging seas, all while fighting off pirates and searching for hidden treasure.
Though a strong imagination knows no bounds, adding thematic touches through colour, accessories and décor will make their room look all the more convincing. While traditional colours for a nautically themed bedroom include blue, red, white, yellow, black, grey, and sometimes green, there’s no hard and fast rule that these suggestions can’t be broken – you and your child can choose literally any hues that float their boat! But, for a modern spin on classic colour palette, Resene Explorer, Resene Tangaroa, Resene Raging Bull, Resene Pirate Gold and Resene Sea Fog are just the ticket.
Starting with walls and a ceiling in Resene Sea Fog makes a great blank canvas to start your scheme as it’s neither too creamy nor too cold. Then, the effect of crashing waves can be painted on top in Resene Explorer. Depending on the look you’re going for and your artistic prowess, you could choose to do this freehand. The waves in this room were created by measuring two thirds up the height of the wall and drawing a straight line across it in pencil. We used this mark as the baseline for tracing a standard round dinner plate, which we circled with a pencil as we moved it across the length of the wall. Once we had an even row of circles all lined up, we alternated erasing the tops and bottoms of each to create the upper and lower curves.
Using a high quality paint brush – preferably a wider one with plenty of bristles – and working slowly with a steady hand, start by painting a smooth line along the bottom of your pencil mark, following the curve. As you go, it’s a good idea to feather the bottom edge of your stroke so that you don’t end up with a hard edge. Once this is done, a smooth surface roller will make quick work of taking the colour the rest of the way down the wall. Be sure to wait until your first coat has dried completely before painting on your topcoat.
On these walls, we chose to use Resene SpaceCote Flat, which is not only a high-performance paint suitable for just about any wall in your home, it also works as a chalkboard. Your kids can go wild populating their ‘water wall’ with ships and sea creatures – simply wipe the chalk away with a clean, damp cloth when they’re ready for a fresh slate.
International maritime signal flags – often referred to simply as ‘nautical flags’ – were originally used in ancient military encounters, where flags signalled other fleet members to take specific actions. There are single flags that relay specific messages all on their own, but there are also flags that represent the different letters of the alphabet so that ships are able to spell things out to one another.
We painted our chest of drawers with a series the flags we thought were most visually appealing together, but you could easily spell out your child’s name or a secret message. To bring this idea home, you will need a ruler, a pencil, high quality painter’s masking tape, a small smooth surface roller and a Resene testpot brush. We started by painting our entire dresser in Resene Half Black White before painting our flags in Resene Tangaroa, Resene Raging Bull and Resene Pirate Gold.
This cute DIY life preserver wreath is easy to make at home and goes a long way in solidifying your nautical theme. Simply use a glue gun to tack down a length of cotton rope – ours took a little less than 30m – as you wrap it around the outside of a wreath form. Once it is completely covered, trim off the excess rope and paint the full wreath using a testpot in Resene Raging Bull. Cut a length of the excess rope that is approximately 5cm wider in diameter than your wreath. Then, using a thinner cotton string – such as the kind used for making macramé – bind the cut length of rope to the wreath at 1 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 7 o’clock and 10 o’clock, using hot glue to tack down the ends of the string and the start and finish.
Paint: Wall in Resene Half Sea Fog with waves in Resene Explorer, Floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, Drawers in Resene Half Black White, Resene Tangaroa, Resene Raging Bull and Resene Pirate Gold, Pendant Lamp in Resene Raging Bull, Bedside table in Resene Half Black White with drawers in Resene Tangaroa, Lidded container in Resene Raging Bull, Grid plant pot in Resene Tangaroa, Small bud vase in Resene Indian Ink, Medium vase in Resene Fahrenheit, Lidded basket in Resene Pirate Gold, Small faceted plant pot in Resene Pirate Gold, Life preserver wreath in Resene Raging Bull, Nautical flag block garland in Resene Double Alabaster, Resene Tangaroa, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Raging Bull, Rug in Resene Raging Bull.
Accessories: Sove Stripe Linen Duvet Cover, Sove Linen Pillow Case in Pumpkin from Citta; Striped throw, blue cushion cover and organic cotton pillowcase in rust from H&M Home; Jute Rug from (painted red) Spotlight; Woven Narwhal Plush Toy from Kmart; All other props are stylist’s own.
Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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