With the recent arrival of Baby Sussex (or Archie, as we like to call him), we thought it timely to discuss the angst-inducing subject of decorating children’s bedrooms. What should be a joyful experience can often become a trial as we ponder such dilemmas as how to choose a decorating scheme that won’t clash with the rest of our home, how to make it last until our children leave home and how much free rein to give them in making decorating decisions.
Here are the Stitched team’s top tips to ensure that decorating these special spaces is a fun experience for everyone:
We’ve talked before how a sense of flow in a home creates a more relaxed environment and this is usually achieved by sticking to a limited palette of colours. The question is should we continue this idea into our children’s bedrooms?
A tried and tested approach is to use a more neutral colour on the walls - one that ties in with the rest of your home - and choose a bolder colour for furniture or furnishings such as a raucous rug, bold blind or colourful pair of curtains. Not only will this really make the bold colours ‘pop’ but they can be changed easily as your child’s taste evolves.
Another reason to keep the walls neutral is that children’s toys are so full of colour that bright coloured walls and equally bright toys may be too great an assault on the senses. And in using the term ‘neutral’ we’re not restricting ourselves to off-whites and light greys; dark neutrals such as navy, charcoal or deep green can work brilliantly. These colours can create a cocooning environment and brightly coloured toys look great against them too.
The general consensus is that we should involve our children as soon as they are old enough to articulate an opinion. This might be as young as four or five but it is their bedroom after all and having a say it what it looks like will engender confidence and given them ownership of the space.
But what to do if they opt for black, orange and lime green? The answer is to edit their choice! So give them a paint chart of colours you like and use bolder colours as accents, as described above.
Recently, one of our team asked her six year old twins what colour they wanted their bedroom painted. Their answers were red and green! She decided to stick with a soft grey on the walls, painted their wardrobe in a red from her favourite paint supplier’s colour chart and introduced green in the form of plants. Everyone was happy and one of her sons, who’s a budding botanist, is doing a great job watering the plants!
Ceilings are definitely having their moment and are another vehicle for expressing personality. Even the subtlest colour on the ceiling will give a sense of individuality and a stronger colour will provide an element of surprise. Using a gloss paint will give a ceiling a jewel-like quality and reflect light around the room. If your child’s bedroom has a relatively low ceiling, gloss paint is a particularly good idea.
Painted stripes or other shapes that start on the wall and extend onto the ceiling are a playful touch and provide the opportunity to use bold colours that can easily be changed. You may only need one or two tester pots to create a striking look.
And what about wallpapering the ceiling? Admittedly a more expensive option but there are some fabulous wallpapers and murals available - plus it’s far easier to update a ceiling than four walls
Lighting is one of the most critical elements in any room but particularly in a children’s bedrooms as they spend a lot of time in them. There needs to be sufficient light to play, study, read, relax and dream. It needs to be flexible enough to stimulate on the dreariest day whilst atmospheric and inviting enough to provide the perfect sanctuary.
If you have a central pendant or other ceiling lights, make sure they’re on a dimmer switch for maximum flexibility. If you have downlights, try to avoid placing beds under them. Ensure you have plenty of sockets for night lights, reading lights, desk lights and table lamps. As your child grows, the position of furniture in the room may well change so the more sockets you have, the better.
Finally, don’t forget purely decorative lights. Children’s bedrooms are the best place to have fun with your lighting. So what about a plug-in LED ‘neon’ sign, oversize pendant, or a fibre-optic constellation of stars on the ceiling? Perfect for your child to gaze up at as they’re drifting off to sleep.
You can never have enough storage in a child’s bedroom and it has to be adaptable as your little darlings grow. A baby’s ‘junk’ will be replaced by toys, clothes and other bits and bobs over time.
So, much better to opt for a chest of drawers with plenty of storage and a changing mat on top than a dedicated changing table that will have run its course before you know it. A wardrobe with built-in shelves will house toy boxes for a number of years and clothes later on. Peg rails are a great addition to children’s bedrooms, enabling clutter to be cleared off the floor whilst ensuring belongings remain visible and within easy reach.
In short, don’t expect your carefully considered decorative scheme to last forever. Children grow up and their needs and tastes change. Don’t spend lots on money on items that your child will quickly tire of or that will easily spoil. Keep patterns for bed covers and cushions that can be changed relatively easily.
Invest in things you need that will last. A good cot that can be turned into a children’s bed when they’re a little older is a good starting point. As are highly quality blackout blinds or curtains. No matter the age of your child, a good night’s sleep is important. The Stitched team are pros at blackout and would be thrilled to help you achieve that perfect blackout solution.
Need more inspiration?