Well, it all depends on who you are decorating the room for. If you are planning a decor theme that starts your portfolio bid to become the next Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen or Anouska Hempel. From a child’s perspective the classic design no no won’t matter one jot so if that’s what they want then you should go ahead and use your next dining room make over to kick start your portfolio.
When it comes to planning the decor in your child’s room it’s hard not to think in terms of themes. You need to start with something that will be of interest to them so why not ask for ideas. If you don’t get any (and don’t be surprised if you don’t) you need to be inventive. Think of their favourite clothes, favourite toys and special interests and begin to plan ideas around these. Try to avoid the obvious and look to identify a colour palette that works across all of the ideas. Keep your colours “background” for walls and ceilings and stick to white for the woodwork. This way you can re-style the room quite easily by changing the emulsion used on the walls as white woodwork will work with all colours.
Pay special attention to the size of the room, especially how high the ceilings are. A busy wall patters with a low ceiling will create a cluttered feel to the room. You might want to paper one wall in a themed wall paper or perhaps with a mural and then keep the remaining walls plain, even white. Murals can be readily found on the internet, ready to hang like wall paper or as stencils that you project onto a wall using an overhead projector.
Accessories are where you make a real difference and if your theme is reflected in the accessories you choose it makes re-styling the room much easier. Look for bedding, light shades and window blinds and don’t feel obliged to spend a fortune on new. Online sites can be a treasure trove of quality used items and they also take a lot of the leg work out of the task.
Remember to include some interesting display space in your design scheme. All children like to collect things and having somewhere to put them on show is a great way of motivating a collecting interest in your child. Interesting shelves in various shapes are readily available and can often be painted to blend in with your chosen colour scheme.
If you want to add some depth and textures to your room (be careful though – remember who the room is for) you can use a variety of textiles. Rugs on the floor are great for this and they also help divide the room into “zones” for different types of activities. Homemade fabrics such as crochet and patchwork can also add a feeling of sumptuousness to a room.
Don’t forget safety when you design your room. The younger they are the more important it is.
Safety tips are always welcome and the most important is to make sure that all electrical cables are stowed neatly with able ties so that little feet can’t be tripped up. For even younger children electrical plug blanks are also a good idea.