When your children wake up, what do they see? Careful consideration of colour, style and quality can make children's bedrooms fun and comfortable now, and adaptable for their needs and wants as they grow older.
The environment in your children's bedrooms can affect their sleep and their moods. The look and feel of their bedrooms can determine their desire to spend quiet time at play there – that's peaceful time for you! – and to share their personal 'home' with friends.
Let's start with colour. Psychological research indicates that soft, soothing tones make an ideal background, while the ever-popular pinks, purples and lime greens are great for feature walls and accents. This allows your child to stamp their personality and preference on the room without overpowering it.
Red rooms can promote activity, which is probably not ideal when you're trying to get your child to sleep. By all means, use it as an accent, but save large doses for play areas elsewhere in the house.
Yellow used in small amounts or softer tints, such as Resene Softly Softly, is cheerful, sunny and inviting, and is a popular choice in nurseries. Too much really bright yellow, however, can be hard on the eyes.
Blue relaxes the nervous system – soft shades of blue, such as Resene Three Wishes, stimulate the body to produce calming chemicals. If you want to use stronger or darker blues, combine them with a lighter shade or bright accents to stop the room from closing in.
Green is the colour most strongly associated with nature and can have calming, relaxing effects. Try Resene Lucky Dip teamed with an off white like Resene Cotton Wool. Green works well if you're looking for a gender neutral space that you can pretty up with pinks and purples or team with blues for a cool and restful space.
Even if your child really likes a certain colour, you can use it without it going overboard. Use bright colours in feature walls and pick up decorative themes (think farmyard, fairies, cars, or butterflies) in linens, accessories and artwork.
The wall behind the bed is a great space for a feature wall – your child can see and enjoy it when they come into the room but it won't keep them awake if they are trying to go to sleep while it is light.
Duvet sets and accent pieces may be selected to last just as long as your child's fairy or farmyard phase, furniture should endure. Pieces with a classic style, in softer colours, are likely to outlast years of changing inclinations. And remember, you can always repaint furniture using Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) or Resene Enamacryl (gloss) to keep up with major shifts in childhood opinion.
When making decorating decisions, most parents want to guide their child's thinking to ensure a reasonable outcome. In terms of major purchases, it pays to visit stores without your child first, selecting a couple of options you're happy with, so your child can have a choice instead of free rein. For most children, as long as they have some say in the new look, they're happy.
Wall art – This can be fun, kid's-style art or more adult pieces, such as old-fashioned nautical maps to go with a boat theme, or textbook/encyclopaedia-style pages to complement a butterfly theme. A collage of fabrics, photos or other mementos can make a great piece of personalised art for your child's bedroom. Or let them play on the walls for themselves – try Resene Blackboard Paint or Resene Magnetic Magic Paint and let them create their own artworks in their own spaces.
Create a glow-in-the-dark effect with Resene FX Nightlight and give your child something to look at while they drift off to sleep.
Fun floor mats – Try, for example, surfboard style mats to go with beach-themed settings.
Do you remember having the same linen and duvet set for most (possibly all) of your childhood? These days, many parents replace their children's linen and duvet sets every two to three years.
Storage, storage, storage – Children need a little empty floor space to play in, so keeping toys and other belongings tucked out of the way is important. Storage units that slide under the bed, large-capacity wardrobes, dressing tables with plenty of drawers, and wall-bracket shelves can all help ensure that there's a place for everything in your child's room. Paint them in favourite colours from the Resene KidzColour collection and use them as a room feature.