Blue for a boy – pink for a girl
Or so the saying goes.
But how far have we moved away from the more traditional view of colours when it comes to decorating our children’s bedrooms? Nowadays we’re bombarded with a seemingly never ending range of shades and sparkle and glitz galore. And, if we are to listen to the experts, this type of choice should be a shared decision between you and your child, the opportunity to allow them to express their personalities – which could be a challenge if your child may be in a lime green stage or purple frenzy.
The common sense approach has to be a compromise. Factors like cost, longevity, function of the room and flexibility should all be taken into account as re-decorating becomes an unnecessary chore and expense if it has to be undertaken on a regular basis. A wise tip is to really think ahead – is your daughter’s potential sparkly bright pink palace really going to suit when she has moved on to the latest pop idol and wants her own space to escape to for a girly gossip? By the same token, it’s unrealistic to expect your kids not to grow up and move on, but a practical approach would be to plan and budget for at least three years ahead.
Planning for the nursery/toddler ages would appear to be the simplest, not least because Mum and Dad are more likely to be in the driving seat at this point on décor choice. Soft shades, pastels and neutrals are the logical choice when it comes to rooms where babies will be sleeping. These choices are soothing and easy on the eye as opposed to bright colours which you will probably tire of before your child.
As your child develops they will start to identify preferences of their own. Expectations have to be managed, but letting your child put their own stamp on the decorating scheme could mean they’ll be more likely to take care of it. If it has to be red – try looking for a more sophisticated red, something more grown up than an overwhelming, harsh fire engine red. You could also consider toning the overall look down with other walls in neutrals or warm greys for example, or even just using the signature colour on certain elements within the room rather than a whole wall.
Then how about yellows and oranges? These colours are a great compromise that can suit boys or girls. They usually have a huge shade range and can take you from the bright and bold, through to the darker or softer, lighter hues.
However selecting a few colour options for a child’s room and colour blocking them helps keep your options open and avoids the need for full re-decoration just because the bedding needs replacing for example. Alternatively creating a striped effect with different shades of the same/similar colour can really add a grown up feel without it becoming too hectic.
And finally don’t be afraid of the black or white. A black wall is a great backdrop for colourful pieces of furniture or pictures whilst a white room with splashes of colour can be fun and vibrant for the younger child.