Cool spaces for happy kids
A good paint job can last for years, however, a child’s taste can change overnight so choosing colours for their bedroom requires a bit of thought to avoid having to repaint their room to suit every new fad.
Anna Abelha, owner of Funky Kids, said most customers opted for modern colour palettes rather than the popular pastels of years gone by.
“For nurseries, simple paint colours are popular, ” she said. “White, cream, beige with an accent colour like chocolate, latte or pale green, which are neither boy or girl (colours) but blend in more with the modern decor of our homes.”
According to Dulux Australia’s Andrea Lucena-Orr, the biggest trends for kids’ rooms included blues, greens, aqua and silver metallics for boys, purples, pinks and reds for girls and darker shades, including metallics, for teenagers.
She suggested using feature colours to create a look children were less likely to outgrow quickly.
“Often when they are little they want pink for a girl, then coming into seven or eight pink is for ‘babies’, so purples are key, ” Ms Lucena-Orr said. “Only having to change one or two walls is a lot faster and more efficient and can change the total look of a room.”
She also recommended not tying in the paint to a particular theme, such as spaceships or fairies because these could become outdated. “Try to be generic but colourful, ” she said. “Don’t forget to ask your child what they like. I’ve seen many situations where parents have had to repaint because the child was not consulted and didn’t like the outcome.”
Bed linen is an easy way to add colour and a sense of fun to a child’s bedroom.
Bedlam owner Kay McKelt said parents looking for bed linen a child would not outgrow quickly should choose simple, neutral linen teamed with bright, colourful accessories.
“As the child’s taste changes the accessories will also, ” she said.
“Changing accessories is an easy way of getting a new look.”
She said “flamboyant” colours were popular with girls while it was best to keep boys’ bed linen simple. Comfort should also be a consideration.
“Sleeping bags are very popular and natural textures like 100 per cent cotton are popular because it’s breathable, ” said Creations by doffie owner Doffie Athersmith.
Safety is also an important factor when it comes to choosing bedding for the nursery. “The temptation is always there for many parents when decorating to buy fancy cot quilts and cot bumpers (but) these are not recommended by SIDS and Kids’ safe sleep guidelines, ” Bambini Pronto director Julie DeSilva said.
Furniture is undoubtedly the most expensive part of a child’s bedroom but practical, hard-wearing pieces will be a solid investment.
Ms Athersmith said the change unit and where the baby was going to sleep were the essential furniture pieces for a nursery.
Although many parents chose a cot, a Moses basket or bassinet were also practical choices. “I like the bassinet or Moses basket because they can be moved around the home with you, ” she said.
Ms DeSilva said cots that could be converted into a toddler bed and then a sofa were also popular. Ikea interior design manager Ulrika Thor said easy-to-reach, practical furniture was important for a parent to provide the best care. “A changing table with storage compartments means you won’t have to leave your baby for a second, ” she said.
For older children and teenagers, Ms Thor said the addition of a desk in neutral tones could provide a work space for homework and study without detracting too much from the style of the room.
“It’s also wise to use furniture with neutral tones and then accessorise around the furniture to create a look, allowing a child’s bedroom to change as they grow without the need for a complete makeover, ” she said.
Storage is an essential component of a functional kids’ room, keeping toys and other clutter in order and leaving more space for little ones to enjoy their bedroom.
Ms DeSilva said the most popular were storage items with clean, sleek lines, while Ms Athersmith said practicality was always at the top of most parents’ wish lists.
“A little bit of flexibility with storage is good, as it means you can take toys with you wherever you are in the home, ” Ms Athersmith said.
Trundle beds were also a good option, said Ms Abelha. “(They’re) always handy for extra storage and double up for sleepovers.”
Choosing the decor for your child’s room can be fun for big kids as well as littlies.
According to Ms Abelha, ‘themed’ rooms, such as cars or fairy themes are definitely out.
“There has been a big move into plain, modern colours with a minimalist feel accented by a variety of keepsakes to give the room an eclectic and homely look rather than a matching themed room, ” she said. “Removable stickers are huge at the moment. They can create a focal point to a room without the mess of wallpaper and borders. The other advantage is that they are removable and are great for people renting.”
Mobiles were also big for the nursery, said Ms Athersmith.
“Children spend a lot of time on their back looking up so mobiles are a great way of stimulating them.”
Ms DeSilva said personalised pieces remained popular. “Custom-made names easily transform a room into one that belongs to your child, ” she said.
Tips to create a bedroom which your child won’t outgrow in a hurry:
• Keep it simple when it comes to paint and furniture items and add colour with floor rugs, homewares and accessories. It makes updating the look a lot easier than repainting the entire room or buying new furniture.
• Removable wall decals can easily incorporate a theme and be removed without fuss.
• Solid furniture and convertible pieces such as cots which convert into beds and change tables which convert into storage pieces are good investments.
• Personalised pieces, such as custom door names and canvas art, can make a room unique to your child and will most likely be kept for years to come.
•Ball & Skittle: buy online at www.ballandskittle.com.au
•Bambini Pronto: 1800 777 107, www.bambinipronto.com.au
•Bedlam: 9388 3144 (Subiaco) or 9371 3100 (Mt Lawley), www.bedlam.net.au
•Bholu for Porter’s Paints: available through Painted Earth, Fremantle, 9430 5353
•Dulux for Linen House: available from Myer
•Funky Kids: 9284 0051 (Wembley), 9364 2025 (Booragoon) or 9204 2281 (Karrinyup), www.funkykids.com.au
•Ikea, Innaloo: 9201 4532, www.ikea.com.au
•Little Design Horse, North Perth: 9228 4832, www.littledesignhorse.com
•Mr Sparrow, Subiaco: 9381 6362
•Outliving: 1300 760 186
•The Natural Newborn: buy online at www.thenaturalnewborn.com.au
•The Source Products: buy online at www.thesourceproducts.com
© The West Australian
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