Kids rooms trends
When it comes to decorating children’s spaces, it helps to see a room through the eyes of a child. Beyond pint-sized furniture and hip toys, a stylish mix of colours, patterns and fabrics can create the perfect blend of cheer. Old or new, bright or pale, it isn’t necessary to conform to any design rules. The sky is your limit and the key is to simply have fun.
“I really really feel that kids need to have a room that they love and that it’s individual rather than the same as the rest of the house, with just a few toys in it,” says Resene colour consultant Sarah Gregory. “They’re only young once. And letting their imagination run away with them, that’s the most fun. I love working with kids on their rooms. You can really let loose in a kid’s room.”
Think cool motifs and bright hues, and this year’s trends: maps, globes, buntings, garlands, glittery letters and chevron stripes, and paper pompoms and patterned rugs. Hard on the heels of the popular geography-themed room (maps, flags, globes) comes a new trend towards the sciences – biology, ecology, entomology, zoology and botany. Animal and nature-themed rooms have become increasingly fashionable, with trees sprouting up everywhere (often in the form of bookshelves or decals), and birds (in particular owls), bugs, butterflies, woodland critters and faux animal heads big winners.
Wall art has also become a quick means for dressing up a child’s room. Wallpapers and decals, for example, are a huge trend, with vibrant patterns, animal alphabets and vintage typography, plus animal and insect motifs all providing a happy medium. And the usual go-to princesses, pirates and familiar characters are ever popular.
“We do have quite a few books with children’s prints now,” says Sarah. “We also have the Disney collection, which is beautiful.”
You'll find all the well-loved Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella, Lightning McQueen, Rapunzel and Buzz Lightyear in this range which includes wallpaper, murals and peel and stick wall decals so you can mix and match to suit your space.
“Decals are great because they’re not permanent,” says Sarah. “You can use them for a certain age and when they grow out of them they come off the wall quite easily. It’s not like stripping a whole wall of wallpaper.”
Sarah also observes that stripes are as big a trend as ever.
“When people don’t want to do a whole feature wall, the stripe is really great,” she says. “One thing I’ve been doing lately is applying a stripe not in the middle of the wall but a foot down from the ceiling line. That way it’s not in your face but it’s adding just a little bit of colour.”
Orange is a popular colour for a children’s room, but if you don’t want to paint a whole wall in that colour that’s where stripes are useful. Sarah suggests Resene Orang-atan, a striking orange hue that’s both bright and fun. Other strong choices are Resene Splish Splash, a bold clear blue, and Resene Get Reddy, a scorching fire-red.
“Another thing I’ve done a few times in kids rooms,” says Sarah, “is musical stripes. You team up three or four colours and make the stripes different widths. You apply a broad stripe in one colour and team it up with a thinner line and another really thin one. All this on a white background with your pastels – that looks really nice.”
Fun accents also include magnetic, blackboard and write-on paints, which are not only useful for the boardroom but the schoolroom and a child’s room too. For Resene Write-On Wall Paint, for example, you simply apply it over your existing light-coloured wall paint.
“You can make your own whiteboard by applying Resene Write-On Wall Paint to whatever colour is on your walls,” says Sarah. “You could actually do a strip of colour and put Resene Write-On Wall Paint on top of that and your kids could write on the strip.”
Resene Blackboard Paint and Resene Magnetic Magic paint is also great for kids rooms. “Even if it’s on the wardrobe door. If you don’t want to do it on the wall, the inside of a wardrobe is quite nice.”
For babies’ rooms comforting pastel pinks and calming blues (such as Resene Pretty In Pink and Resene Three Wishes) are still favoured, but gender neutral colours are becoming increasingly popular. A palette of greens, blues (also for girls) and yellows (such as Resene Smiles) are balanced with creams and other neutrals, wrapping the room’s occupant in soft baby blanket colours.
As children mature, the colour choices tend to be brighter.
“When they get to between 3 and 10, says Sarah, “they tend to really funky up the room, either with a feature wall or the stripes.
“If you’ve got a really high ceiling with an old villa, just putting colour up on the ceiling makes a statement. So maybe a bright green or bright blue, just on the ceiling, that works in with the colours that you have in the curtains. It has to be a high ceiling though. You couldn’t do it on a normal stud.”
Child-typical brights feature in Resene’s KidzColour – a range of colours and metallics designed for kids of all ages. From racy reds like Resene Chaos to quirky greens and preposterous purples like Resene Grass Stain and Resene Topsy Turvy, this colour range has been designed with children for children. But the range also has the pastel-lover in mind. A cosy palette of pastels is included – the colours may be mixed and matched with each other or used as a base for one of the brighter accent colours.
But if all this is slightly overwhelming for the parents or child, Sarah points them in the direction of Resene’s website, which features plenty of decorating ideas as well as an Inspiration Gallery.
“It has lots of ideas for kids’ rooms so that just starts them off thinking. The kids come out with the most amazing designs because their minds are so open to everything.”