Great looks for Children’s Bedrooms
“Parents aren’t interested in justice. Parents are interested in quiet.” Bill Cosby.
These rooms can be where taste goes to die. Garish monster curtains, psychedelic colours, toys everywhere and quilts from hell makes me wonder how some children sleep at all. Is it nature – are children born with a natural preference for Thomas the tank Engine soft furnishings or is it nurture? Do over zealous relatives themselves of questionable taste, impose it on the otherwise unblemished toddler? I haven’t a clue, probably both, all I know, is that somehow children’s rooms have gone from more or less an adult room with a few teddies to interior hell in just one generation. Obviously, children’s rooms do not have to be taupe -y neutral plinky plonk, but they are a space to rest as well as to play. Soothing as well as cheery therefore is the aim. Chaos both in colour and in stuff everywhere is arch enemy of calm and so when planning a children’s room you have to plan storage – more of this below.
Case Study – This room (right) would give anyone nightmares. A few drug dealers and the stench of urine is all that is missing for the full subway experience. The worms dripping in blood and ripped in half are the charming touch of a future psychopath – you can hear the documentary voice over now. There is something sad about the ordinariness of the pine bed against this which says, “I’m tough I am but I need my mum to buy the bed from Argos”.
Let’s start here with what to avoid.
- Red and Orange as a main colourway – unless you are someone who enjoys children running up and down walls all night, steer away from these at all costs. These colours are used to make sure people don’t settle too long, that is why they are used in fast food joints and post offices and anywhere else where people need to move along.
You can see how colour works by looking at this dining room below. Would you like to linger here? Of course not, you could not finish a meal here, let alone rest for eight hours. A really, really bad idea for anything other than a burger joint. Inflamed red and inflamed orange together are disastrous around soothing or restful pursuits such as civilised eating and sleeping. Red with blue undertones is not an inflamed colour, red with orange undertones (seen in the chairs) is.
2. Children appear to be surrounded with an array of manic colour ways. Lime green elephants and limey yellow one eyed dragon thingies seem to come as standard. The colours of children are soft, nudes, blush pinks, crystal blue eyes and blush pink lips. Go back to these natural tones as a starting palette.
3. Toys needs to go into a toy box at the end of the day, this denotes play is over and its
now time to rest. So many kids rooms feels as though there is a small clearing amongst the all stuff that they curl into like a squirrel. If you have five cubic feet of toy box and six feet of shelving then you can store five cubic feet of toys and six feet of books. A simple equation I know, and one used in schools and nurseries the whole time. Put another way 6 cubic feet of toy box + 11 cubic feet of toys = bedlam. Never, ever try and get children to put 30 pens in a pot made for 20. This is easier said than done with all the stuff we bring into our homes but before you buy it – ask where can I put it? Stuff everywhere is lethal to good design and calm environments, it drives you mad in the end.
Better Colour Choices for Girls
Lavender, chalky whites, pale lemony creams and chalky pinks are all good choices. Keep the tone muted (knocked back) and not too sugary so it is calming and settling. Little girls love pink but don’t Barbie-fy rooms with too much of it. Again keep it soft and skin toned and not too sugary. Keep the sugar pink in the accessories or fabrics. A durable emulsion such as Dulux Diamond Finish lasts ten times longer and its also a good choice in halls with children or lots of traffic.
I like to design a fun zone in rooms – a den/tent for under sixes. Little boys love tee pees, little ‘cafes’ for older girls are easy to do and go down well.
Boys – Pale blues, chalky whites, creamy tones. Then add some fun with curtains. Try Cath kidston Cowboys or , Harlequin’s children’s collections.
A great scheme here (below) is created using an adult, but fun wallpaper in grey and pink. These colours work really well in wallpaper together and the pale pink accent can be picked up in a girl’s room. Below again, crisp white have been used with a fun fabric in tasteful shades to create a lovely, fresh room.
Examples of Bad Rooms
Below the rooms have too many colours and are too stimulating. See for yourself how much calmer and conducive to rest the choices are below. The first room has too much going on and the second one, seems to have been done for a birthday, but you can see how it’s all way to overwhelming for the room.
GREAT SCHEMES FOR BOYS
I love, love, love this batman room. It’s so much fun but the polished floor is smart and practical, the brick wall screams sophisticated New York parents are still in charge and have not let a six year old design a room. Boys will be delighted sleeping here (providing they like Batman of course) and friends will think its the coolest thing – which is it. Get children up for school by calling the batphone – how else?