Heavily themed children’s bedrooms are moving aside for more future-proof looks.
Resene Coastal Blue and Resene Canterbury Clay are joined by trims in Resene Norwester and a floor in Resene Wan White. The bed linen is Vintage Retro Sky and Scarlet by Gorgi with a Vintage Inspired Zebra print.
Once upon a time, little girls were indulged with pastel pink fairy or princess rooms. Little boys had blue rooms dressed up with maritime, car or cowboy paraphernalia.
Now few of us have unlimited budgets to splash out on traditional themes that may not be appropriate as children grow. As interior designer and colour consultant Debbie Abercrombie says: “Parents are looking for longevity. Most want the room to last into the teenage years but that can be as simple as a paint colour change.
“Children are a joy to work with. They know what they like and aren’t afraid to pick exactly the colours that and they love. Every child I have worked with has their own ideas and very individual theme.” Girls, however, do tend to pick pretty, soft colours while boys go for stronger, more saturated tones, says Debbie.
“My challenge is to take the colours of choice and incorporate them into a theme that the kids love as well as work with the scale of the room, and mum and dad’s preferences, and what they have chosen for the whole house.”
“We are all attracted to certain colours for physiological and psychological reasons. Children intuitively choose colours that make them feel good.”
Says Meg McMillan of linen company Tea Pea: “A child’s bedroom is now treated as a stylish part of the rest of the house, and is therefore much more sophisticated than in years gone by. It’s not childish, but it is playful.”
Strong colour is big in children’s rooms whether it’s on the walls or painted on furniture. Shell Finderup of Room Design has created girls’ rooms featuring raspberry red or tangerine with hot pink. Lisa Rose of Patersonrose says that current colours are fresh and crisp with a lot of aquas and pinks against a white background. Navy and red remain popular for boys, but Meg McMillan says silver, grey and yellow are strong contenders. “Resene has some lovely clear colours,” she says. For babies, Shell says Resene’s Limerick, a lime green, looks beautiful. And she predicts purple is a colour we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.
Kirsten Bailey of Gorgi kids homeware and linen company says that the days of using pastels and safe neutrals are gone, as we now see more stimulating inspirational colours in children’s spaces. Retro colours such as yellows and tangerines create dimension and interest. Nautical colours in varying shades of blue including turquoise, teal, royal blue are great gender-neutral choices combined with yellows and charcoal.
‘Pink for girls’ is being replaced with plum, violet and lilac, says Kirsten. Romantic themes are still popular for girls with colours such as pink, light blue, lemon and pastels being used in floral patterns, dreamy blossom prints, birds and butterflies.
Colours that symbolise sustainability and nature are becoming more common with lime greens, off-whites and taupes balanced by reclaimed wood, ply and natural finishes.
In today’s homes, vintage is a huge trend, which is being carried through into children’s bedrooms. Vintage florals abound in pretty fabrics and beautiful bed-linen along with colours like old rose and faded blue. Strong retro looks for boys include a good selection of cowboy and transport prints in chocolate, yellow and orange. Then there’s the whole techno, text talk theme for teens.
Rather than adhering to themes and buying everything at once, people are taking their time. We’re discovering gorgeous hand-made toys, exquisite locally made furniture and affordable accessories. It’s about adding and layering, mixing and matching to create eclectic looks that are much more interesting than off-the-shelf themes.
Buy a range of timber or rattan cubes for storage and paint individual pieces in alternating colours. They don’t take a lot of floor space and they’re handy for stashing toys or clothes.
Pinboards keep the bedroom tidy and provide a handy place for school notices, party invitations, cards and photos. See how to make one using Resene wallpaper.
Resene has a raft of products designed with kids in mind:
When choosing colour, buy your bed-linen first. It’s a lot easier to find a paint colour to match as there are endless choices in the Resene range. Have fun pulling it together, playing with ideas by creating a storyboard with swatches of fabric and matching them with Resene testpots. Choose three colours – a main colour, and two accents.
words: Vicki Holder
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