Designing a beautiful room for your baby.
Bright colours transform Ruby's room into a happy place to sleep and play.
With Louis, three; Ruby, 16 months and a baby due in June, you’d think Karen Burge and Martin Skinner already had their hands full. But they’re also in the throes of renovating their Mt Albert, Auckland, home. Luckily, Louis’ room was already taken care of, but Ruby’s room was a blank canvas, ready for a burst of colour for an adventurous little girl. (The new baby will go into a miraculously transformed laundry, but that’s another story!)
They don’t know the sex of the new baby and as the children will be sharing rooms in the future, Karen didn’t want Ruby’s new bedroom to be too girly. Designer Janet Metcalf of Kids Corner Interior Design got the ball rolling by suggesting fresh reds and blues,inspired by the colours of Apples & Pears nautical cot linen from Allium Interiors.
The bright and breezy result culminates in a feature wall painted Resene KidzColour Crash Hot. Underneath this bright red is Resene Magnetic Magic – a magnetic base coating that will turn walls into magnetic boards suitable for magnetic play.
On the facing wall, painted Resene Alabaster, a wardrobe door is now a handy spot for creativity as it’s painted with Resene Magnetic Magic base coat, followed by Resene Blackboard Paint, which Ruby and Louis can draw on with chalk. Three canvases bought on sale at Warehouse Stationery for $5 each are painted in Resene Anakiwa and two KidzColour shades – Resene Splish Splash and Resene Crash Hot.
Karen admits to being a bit of a hoarder, which does come in very handy from time to time. An old folding chair is now resplendent in metallic-effect Resene KidzColour Super Sonic, while other furniture, a $26 chest of drawers and a cabinet in storage for 10 years, have been transformed with coats of Resene Anakiwa. Ruby’s cot and existing change table also have a new lease on life, painted Resene Alabaster.
So Ruby knows her bedroom is her own special space, Karen bought wooden letters to spell out her name on the bedroom door. Now painted Resene Crash Hot, they were bought from Spotlight for only $1.50 each.
It was all pink all the way once designer Anna Welsh knew a baby girl was expected.
Libby and Kevin Haskell know they’re expecting a baby girl in June, a younger sister for 16-month-old Alice. Knowing the sex of the baby helped in Libby’s brief for Auckland designer Anna Welsh of Anna Welsh Design.
“We were pretty open-minded about it,” says Libby. “But now the only problem is that it’s more noticeable how Alice’s room could do with freshening up!”
Anna used two pretty colours from the Resene KidzColour range to create horizontal bands of colour right around the room. Resene KidzColour Pink Panther, the lower band, is 300mm wide, while 150mm above it, a 100mm wide band of Resene KidzColour Princess is undercoated with Resene Magnetic Magic to create fun with magnets. “Stripes are a great way of introducing colour to the room. They’re not too overwhelming and the look will grow with the child,” Anna says. The walls and ceiling are painted a subtle palest pink, Resene Merino.
The window treatment was left simple to allow the stripes to stand out. Lahood Window Furnishings, of Auckland, manufactured a roman blind, with blackout lining, in Dominique Kieffer chiffon ‘Blanc Casse’ from Atelier Textiles. Lahoods have a special nursery section in their Mt Eden showroom with inspiring fabrics for children’s rooms, and a TV and DVDs to entertain the kids.
Anna is the mum of Jesse, aged two, which gives her an insight into the practicalities of designing a nursery. “It’s got to look good, but it’s also about how the room is used.” The designer says good storage is essential, with plenty of room needed for toys, books and nappy changing equipment. In this nursery, Anna opted for versatile Lundia cube boxes for shelving. Two further Lundia cubes have castors on them, creating easy-to-move toy boxes.
To contrast with the straight lines and white in the bedroom, Anna chose the curves and beech wood timber look of the Stokke Sleepi cot and Stokke Care change table, from My Room, in Takapuna.
Designer: Anna Welsh from Anna Welsh Design Ltd (AWD) Interior Architecture and Design. Phone: 09 620 email@example.com.
Circles and dots of intense colour give this original baby's room a playful feel.
Sesame Street fabric stashed away for 15 years by partner Geoff was the starting point for Christchurch-based designer Bridget Sullivan of Room Interiors when she designed a nursery for her second child, due in August. The couple’s daughter Bella is 20 months.
Now hues from the Resene KidzColour range embolden the former guest room, which Bridget admits she hadn’t done much with beforehand, other than design and install a wardrobe and dark-stain it.
Bridget doesn’t know the sex of the baby they’re expecting, so opted for a feature wall in green – Resene KidzColour Dizzy Lizzy. The other walls are Resene Albescent White. Geoff’s retro Sesame Street fabric was made into curtains with eyelets for ease of use and a modern feel. The designer also added red taffeta to create a deep band of colour at the bottom of the predominantly brown curtains.
Further splashes of colour are provided with a row of 220mm diameter dots in four Resene KidzColour shades – Resene Dizzy Lizzy, Resene Chaos, Resene Chocolate Brownie and Resene Blue Jeans around the walls and entry door. Painted by a graphic artist, these dots are a fresh alternative to borders of a solid mass of wall.
The entry door is painted in Resene Blackboard Paint. Coloured flags and art-work, as well as toys with an old-world handmade feel help personalise the room. Paintings of Sesame Street characters by local artist Daniel Boyd, and flags (made by Bridget for around $30) add to the festive atmosphere. Toys gifted by the baby’s grand-mother, and a yellow chest made by Bridget’s father, bring a family feel.
Interior designer: Bridget Sullivan of Room Interiors, in Christchurch.
Try these tips to achieve a classy, original look in your child's room.
Thanks to Auckland members of Master Painters New Zealand for the professional job they did helping us with the painting in this feature. Pictured above is Alan Garner at work in Ruby’s room.
If you have the time and energy to paint your nursery yourself, here are some tips from the Master Painters:
If you want the best painting result possible or are too tired, busy or pregnant to get up a ladder yourself, it pays to get expert help. Master Painters NZ is made up of regional associations that represent painting contractors throughout the country. Members have years of experience, with some companies in business for more than 50 years. All members must conform to the association's high standards and give a written specification of the work to be carried out before they start. Master Painters NZ independently moderates any disputes.
Scanning online auctions or second-hand stores for furniture bargains can be quite addictive, especially when you see the fruits of your labours in your child’s room. Stripping, sanding and painting pre-loved furniture is a cost-effective way to provide original storage solutions. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all match exactly, you can tie it all in with paint and with some common themes. Look for similarities such as rounded edges or the same sort of legs. Steer away from veneer furniture and opt for good old-fashioned solid timber with not too much borer damage. Borer-infested furniture can be dipped, but it can be an expensive process. Failing that, inexpensive new MDF furniture can also be smartened up to suit.
Lovely fabric is an excellent starting point for a nursery design, but you don’t have to buy special cot linen. If you’re trawling through the stock at a bed-linen sale, keep an eye out for king and super king-sized duvet covers in colours you like. If you’re handy with the sewing machine you can easily convert one into two single covers (ideal when kids share a bedroom) or even a roman blind.
So you’ve painted your child’s nursery and don’t want the walls ruined with drawing pins? Try a hanging board for art and photos. Buy an inexpensive corkboard and paint the frame to match the décor, or cover one with pretty fabric. We painted this in Resene KidzColour Abracadabra.
When you’ve got kids you can’t have too much storage. Paint your own wooden boxes to match your décor or buy a decorated box like this one from www.thebabybox.co.nz.
Co-ordinated & written by Penny Lewis. Photography by Stuart McKellar-Basset.
Kid's Bedroom Decorating Ideas
View more decorating ideas for kids from Little Treasures magazine in the Resene kid's bedroom inspiration gallery.