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smooth sailing

From Habitat magazine - issue 33, bright ideas for kids

Try these easy decorating ideas for a nautical-inspired kid's space.

In a nation surrounded by ocean, chances are that if you don't own a boat yourself you probably know someone else who does. And as kids young and old wait in bated anticipation for the next America's Cup competition, the excitement for all things sailing is especially heightened right now. Translate that enthusiasm into a fun and graphic room theme anchored with favourite Resene paint colours, Resene Sea Fog, Resene Explorer, Resene Tangaroa, Resene Raging Bull, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Half Black White and Resene Black.

A nautical themed childs room

Upper wall in Resene Sea Fog, lower 'wave' wall in Resene Explorer, timber floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, pendant lamp and DIY life preserver in Resene Raging Bull, dresser in Resene Tangaroa, Resene Raging Bull, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Half Black White, bedside table in Resene Half Black White and Resene Tangaroa, large plant pot in Resene Tangaroa, lidded basket and small pot in Resene Pirate Gold, lidded dish and vase in Resene Raging Bull. Pillowcases and duvet cover from Città, throw and blue cushion cover from H&M Home.

Make waves

This stylised wave wall is easy to achieve. Start with an aptly named canvas with two basecoats of Resene Sea Fog. Once dry, measure two thirds of the way up your wall and draw a line across using a pencil and a level. Then, line up an overturned dinner plate with one corner and the top of the pencil mark and draw a circle around it. Continue drawing circles next to one another all the way along your line. Next, use an eraser to remove the bottom half of every other circle and the top half of each one in between so that you end up with a wavy line. Use this as your guide for painting. To get a clean edge, use a wide high-quality painter's brush – one with plenty of bristles – to fill in your curves with Resene Explorer and work slowly. Feathering the bottom edges of your brushstrokes downward will help keep your painted finish smooth. Then, fill in the remainder of your wall with a roller. Once your first coat has dried, apply your second topcoat.

Flag it down

Starting with two basecoats of Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Half Black White, use high-quality painter's masking tape, a testpot brush and Resene testpots in Resene Tangaroa, Resene Pirate Gold and Resene Raging Bull to create the look of nautical flags on dresser drawers. We decided to paint a random assortment of flags that we liked the look of, but since each flag represents a letter of the alphabet, you could even spell out your child's name or a secret message!Work on one colour at a time and apply two coats before removing the tape. Allow the paint to dry fully before moving on to your next colour.

Find full instructions for each of these projects at or check out the videos on habitat TV.

Put a ring on it

Add additional charm to your child's nautical themed room with a rustic, ropey life preserver. Starting with a paper mâché or polystyrene wreath form, wrap the entire surface in thick cotton rope, tacking it down with hot glue as you go and tucking in the ends. Then, cover the entire surface in two coats of paint using a testpot in Resene Raging Bull. Finally, create a ring of rope that's a few centimetres larger and bind it to the outside of your wreath at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and tack down the ends of each section with hot glue.

Gussy it up with garland

Decorate your child's room with one of these adorable garlands by draping them across their headboard, along the top of their window frame or above their desk.

For the block garland, mask off areas of 35mm3 balsawood blocks and paint on your flag designs using Resene testpots in Resene Tangaroa, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Raging Bull, Resene Half Black White and Resene Black using the same approach as the flag dresser. Once the paint has dried, drill holes through the centre of one face of each block and string them together with cotton cord. Then, knot the cord on each side of the blocks to keep them in place.

If you're a whizz with nautical knots or know how to macramé, you can make this buoy garland out of natural cotton string and paper mâché or polystyrene balls painted in two coats of Resene Raging Bull.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

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Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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