Close Give Feedback
Resene Paints - home page
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube

Magic places

Craft - inspired by Resene, from Little Treasures magazine

The winners of our dream-room contest show off their fabulous makeovers.

Blasting off

Tommy's mum launched the plans for his space-themed bedroom, then his dad and grandparents pitched in.

A space themed kid's bedroom
Space-themed walls were painted in Resene True Blue

Thomas Donnell loves space, particularly the moon. In fact his mum Lisa remembers "moon" being one of his first words, so it seemed the obvious theme for his new room.

The Auckland family already had a special Tintin "Walk on the Moon" poster and some reasonably new space-themed blackout curtains, so the new room evolved from there.

Tommy is one of the three lucky winners of our Resene kid's room makeover competition. Each winner received free paint from Resene and $750 cash for the project.

Before the makeover, Tommy's room was sunny with a high stud and polished wooden floors. But with no built-in storage and a neutral colour scheme, it wasn't particularly child-focused.

Tommy's mum Lisa, an architect, sent in a fun moon scheme featuring built-in storage with bright colours inside and lots of room for Tommy's toys and clothes. The new bed frame would be made to resemble a moonscape and painted with Resene Crackle Glaze Effect, which allows cracks of the bottom colour to show through a contrasting top coat.

Lisa and husband Scott also planned the room to last Tommy through the school years by including a built-in desk space with a back wall in magnetic paint. The end result is a more spacious and organised room with special touches and splashes of colour to make three-year-old Tommy feel at home.

A painted rocketship decoration

Space themed room with shag-pile rug

A space themed kids bedroom

Rocket ship: A rocket is ready to launch from the wardrobe.  Bean bag: Tommy and Kate enjoy the shag-pile rug.  Desk: Tommy and the Tintin poster.

The room was a collaboration between Tommy's parents and grandparents, who all put time into sewing, painting, building and helping to look after Tommy and his baby sister Kate while the work got done. Scott's professional eye – he is also an architect – came in handy when he was making the cabinetry.

Winning the competition was a real help for the single-income family and Lisa worked hard to stick within the $750 budget, hunting high and low for bargains online and at second-hand shops. What she couldn't find for the right price, she made herself, including the beanbag, cushions, mobile and artwork. Her best buys were the $150 orange shag-pile mg, (which runs under the bed) from the Rug Warehouse in East Tamaki, and the 1970s orange globe lights, bought off TradeMe for $45.

The biggest outlays were for the MDF board for the cabinets and bed surround and all the hinges and drawer runners. The handles were proving a problem until Lisa's dad whipped up some little wooden ones on his lathe.

A planet mobile
A planet mobile hangs above the bed

Project Description
Lisa with Tommy, three, and baby Kate

"We tried to stay within the $750 we were given, "Lisa says. "It showed us what we could achieve, but on the other hand there was a lot of time involved."

Lisa and Scott found the hardest part was getting the work done around little people. And even the best-laid plans had tweaks along the way. Some of the colours were changed for different shades once the original testpots were on the walls.

Because the curtains were already in place, Lisa kept experimenting until she found the right blue from the Resene range to match them. "I would definitely suggest getting the fabrics first rather than trying to match fabrics to the paint at the end."

The family has been enjoying the room. "It's such a fantastic space that is now full of light, colour and, my favourite, storage."

Resene Colours:

Princess Katie

Pink-mad Katie's dream has come true with a fairy-tale makeover of her once-grotty bedroom.

It's hard to imagine Katie Graham's beautiful new bedroom was once the grottiest in the house. With it's fairytale mural and girly gorgeousness at every turn, there is no doubt this princess room is the ugly duckling turned swan.

A princess themed bedroom

Katie's mum Sarah says the room was cold and dark with dirty white paint on the walls and desperately needed some TLC to make it a special place for Katie. On the plus side, there was some great character features – a high stud, timber floors, character sash window and a tongue and groove built-in wardrobe.

Like most dour year olds, Katie has changing interests but her one stipulation was that the room had to be pink. Her wish was granted with with Resene colours – Resene Princess and Resene Pretty in Pink. The main feature of the room is a fairy-tale mural, which Sarah designed and painted herself. But before the mural could go on, the walls had to be sanded and prepped, including pre-painting with three coats of Resene FX Magnetic Magic paint.

A princess themed bedroom mural

A princess themed bookshelf

Bookcase: Katie's combination dolls' house and bookcase.

The mural had been scale drawn and Sarah measured out the distances to make sure the design went in the right place. In a stroke of luck, Sarah's friend, a professional muralist, offered to add some wonderful finishing touches to the artwork.

"Her work really made the room, it made it really magical. She gave the mural depth and details that I couldn't do."

Sarah then copied and laminated fairies from a book and attached bendy magnets to the back so that Katie can move them around the different scenes in the mural.

A princess castle mural

Chandelier for princess room

Family photo

Castle: A room fit for preschool royalty.  Chandelier: The $80 chandelier Sarah found on TradeMe.  Family photo: Sarah and Paul with Katie and Sophie.

The built-in furniture, courtesy of Dad Paul, ties into the mural, with the bedside shelf making the drawbridge, and the existing wardrobe having a set of ramparts added to the top.

One of the sweetest features of the room is the dolls' house bookcase. Sarah and Paul took a plain MDF bookshelf, added some MDF panels as doors and then cut out window holes. Sarah edged them with photo frames from the Warehouse, which she painted white. With the doors open, the bookshelf becomes a dolls' house with little curtains on each window, all hand-made by Sarah and tied with little ribbons. The frames are repeated on the mural walls as windows for the castle and Sarah has put photos of Katie, and her sister Sophie and their friends in them.

Sarah also made the floral blind, the curtain, the window seat cushion, and the padded toadstool seat. "This competition is the best thing I have ever won because I won it for my ideas and what I wanted to do with the room. It was obviously about doing something nice for Katie but also because I wanted to do something creative for me."

Princess Katie loves moving the fairies around the walls and playing with dolls' house cupboard. "Katie and Sophie really enjoy and I do too," Sarah says. "I'll often slip in there and have five minutes' peace during the day. I would have loved to have a room like that when I was young."

Sarah's best buys were the chandelier for $50, both off TradeMe. The mural can accommodate a change of interests from Katie. "We can easily paint out the pink but I really don't want to paint over the mural" she says.

Resene Colours:

Bunks on a budget

Brayden's bunk beds have built-in whizz-bang features dreamed up by his innovative mum and dad.

Kids bunk bed with built-in bookcase
Brayden has a built-in bookcase in his cosy bunk

There's no doubt which part of his new room two-year-old Brayden Ross loves best. It's the car stereo and speakers his electrician dad Tony built into his new bunk set.

Brayden already knows how to put CDs in and likes to lie on his bed and listen to Jack and the Beanstalk in surround sound.

The stereo is just one of the features of the bunks, which Tony and Brayden's mum Stacey, from New Plymouth, designed after getting inspiration from the internet.

The bunks also have a nightlight, a bookshelf, power points and storage boxes for toys in the bunk steps. The bottom steps can be moved away to baby-proof the room.

At approximately 2.5m square, the room was quite snug, but introducing bunks has made the most of the floor space. With Brayden moving out of his cot and out of the baby years, space to play was more and more important. Stacey and Tony wanted to create a room that would last Brayden through childhood. And because they were operating on a budget they wanted to reuse, revamp and recycle what they could to add to the room's appeal.

The bulk of their $750 prize money was spent on MDF for the bunks and wardrobe shelving, plus $300 for a new king single mattress for the bottom bunk. Their best bargains were vertical blinds from a demolition site and a chair and table set Stacey bought off TradeMe for $4 then repaired and repainted.

Kids bunk bed with whizz-bang features
The steps, right, can be removed to baby-proof the room

Tony cut the blinds' track down to size and using a sewing machine, the couple shortened the drops to fit the window. Stacey gave them a couple of coats of Resene So Cool metallic paint, which gives them a shimmer when the sun hits them. Padding from an old waterbed was recovered to provide soft sides for the new bunk beds.

Stacey and Tony wanted to keep the heavy curtains they already had and worked the scheme around them. They also had patterned carpet, which runs through the rest of the house, but a nice bright mg took the focus away and tied Brayden's new colour scheme together. As Brayden loves planes and helicopters, the room has a flying focus.

Family photo

Aeronautical themed bedroom

Painted desk and chairs for kids room

Family photo: Brayden's clever mum and dad, Stacey and Tony.  Shelf: A stripe of Resene So Cool gives an aeronautical feel to the room.  Desk: Stacey repainted the table and chairs she bought for $4.

Open shelving and easy-to-reach storage, both in the bunk stairs and inside the wardrobe, makes it easy for Brayden to find his things and, hopefully, put them all back again!

One of Stacey's most time-consuming jobs was removing all the old wallpaper, which was stuck on tight. She spent three weeks of evenings and weekends soaking the paper with Simple Green spray and painstakingly removing it shred by shred. From there the couple patched, sanded and skim-coated, which gave the walls a much better finish prior to topcoats. They used Resene Broadwall Surface Prep and Seal. Then Tony put in a mammoth weekend to get all the painting done.

For Tony, the difficulty was trying to get all the work done around Brayden's sleep needs, which meant lots of late nights. He designed and built the bunk set in the garage, using only a circular saw, handsaw and jigsaw.

Stacey says since the room has been finished, she often finds Brayden in there playing and hanging out. "I guess he has found he now has a cool place to chill out, which is what we wanted to achieve for him, so I am taking that as a sign of approval."

Resene Colours:

Make it happen

Get stuck in and do it yourself with tips from our clever winners.

Finding the time

When you have young children, it's really hard to find time to redecorate, but Stacey and Tony Ross found that making a timeline helped. It doesn't mean they stuck to it, as there were hiccups along the way, but it gave them an idea of what they needed to have completed at different points. While our competition winners were working within a short time-frame, sometimes it helps to have a self-imposed deadline to spur you on. Get family to take the kids for a day so you can get some serious work done. Make use of the evenings, even just to do the prep. It's amazing what you can get done once the kids are in bed.

Don't dilly-dally

Bargains, like Brayden's good quality plane duvet at half price for $62.50, can help a room come together on a budget. And when you find a good deal, be prepared to pounce because chances are it won't be there when you go back. Stacey went back for a second duvet to put on the top bunk but they had all sold out.

Colour on hand

When you're doing up a room, paint your colours onto A4 cards and carry them with you when you are trying to match bedding or accessories. It can be hard to get a good match based on a tiny paint-chart square, and as Lisa Donnell found when trying to find matching accessories and bedding for Tommy's room, "orange is not always orange!"

Magnetic attraction

Resene Magnetic Magic paint was a popular product in our winning rooms. Used under topcoats, it enables the walls to be used as a big magnetic board afterwards. Sarah Graham used the product to great effect in Katie's princess-themed room. She says it's vital to give a strong magnetic base and and to use the ratio specified on the back of the tin, rather than being hung up on how many coats. Sarah worked out how many litres they needed based on the square metreage of the walls. She used a roller to apply each coat, ensuring she used all the product specified. She says the the three decent coats they did gave a good sticking ability.

Reuse and recycle

Working on a budget can be restricting, but gives you the perfect license to get creative. Sarah Graham and Lisa Donnell made a lot of the great accessories in their kids' rooms, while Stacey Ross turned old into new with revamped table and chairs and the painted vertical blinds.

Created by Karen Burge. Photography by Trevor Read and Stuart McKellar-Bassett.


Kid's Bedroom Decorating Ideas
View more decorating ideas for kids from Little Treasures magazine in the Resene kid's bedroom inspiration gallery.

More ideas


Order online now:
Testpots | Paints | Primers and Sealers | Stains | Clears | Accessories

Get inspired Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints Ltd   –

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Videos on how to paint and stain your house

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

What's new | Specifiers | Painters | DIYers | Artists | Kids | Sitemap | Home | TOP ⇧