Kids rooms get creative
Designing a small space
It's a fact that kid bedrooms are often small and pokey, with minimal built-in storage and inadequate natural light. To compensate for this there are various ways that you can design a room that incorporates all the essentials and is bright, organised and a fun place to sleep.
Paint is the most obvious place to start first. Painting any room with bright colours instantly revitalises a dull space and warms up a cold one. Whilst boys tend to prefer blue and girls naturally gravitate towards pink - there are so many shades and hues of both blue and pink that allow you to steer clear of the traditional blue and pink bedroom.
Go Ahead, Draw on the (Chalkboard) Walls
Encourage creativity by adding a wide chalkboard stripe around the walls of your kid's bedroom. With masking tape mark off the width to be painted, then paint a layer of primer followed by a layer of chalkboard paint. With so many new colours of chalkboard paint now available, this project can work with the colour palette of nearly any kid's bedroom.
Don't add your fantasy into theirs.
Decorating a room provides a great opportunity for children to express their personalities, and can be a great opportunity for parents to learn more about their kids.
Keep themes to a minimum
Only follow the trends if they work for you, your child's age and your home. Children have a way of changing their minds at a drop of a hat, and what they might like today will be different tomorrow. If you want to avoid decorating the room every year, keep themes plain and simple.
Instead of a theme room, consider adding elements of their personality, such as a hobby or favourite pastime. Mount their skateboard on the wall or frame the artwork they're most proud of. Sometimes the addition of a special, magical element-a tea party setting or beaded lighting, for instance - makes a statement.
Be creative when decorating the room. Small changes can make a big impact.
Lime green walls topped off with a dividing, hand painted mural, add a dramatic contrast to the pink and zebra stripe accessories. Draw the design onto a piece of paper and trace onto the walls - so that the design remains consistent around the room.
Kids can be hard on rooms, so use sheen paints that are washable and durable.
Do get funky with accessories.
Accessories are a great way to introduce a trend, because they don't cost a ton of money. Beaded door hangings, or punch up a bed ensemble with cute pillow cases.
Make it or fake it
Don't spend a fortune on accessories that you can easily make yourself.
With a basic idea of what you want to make, a little imagination, and a few basic power tools and materials you can build accessories to fit in with the room.
LEFT: A chest of drawers is given a new look with acrylic craft paint.
LEFT: A funky mirror cut from supawood and painted with craft paint. Cost to make R400 - cost to buy R1200.
BELOW: Small mirror tiles framed mounted on supawood frames.
Invest in a bigger bed
Think ahead when it comes to a bed. Your child may be small now, but it won't take long until he or she outgrows the bed. It's important to think ahead to the future needs of the child and the future needs of the room. Invest in a three-quarter, or double bed if the room is big enough.
For teens, bear in mind that young adults are staying at home rather than opting for moving out. Think ahead and spend the money to get good furniture the first time around.
If your child has their heart set on a specific bed, make sure the room will hold the bed. Make a rough plan of the room, measuring from wall-to-wall and allowing for doors and windows. And don't forget to include lighting and plug points as these will need to have easy access.
Let your kids help
Give kids assignments, both to save money and to get them invested in their space. You can make inexpensive items for the room that add fun and interesting detail.
LEFT: Bamboo curtain with flower detail in colours that match the room decor.
Let the kids to create artwork for the walls and frame it, or ask them to collect items that add a quirky touch to the room.
LEFT: On the wall a stencilled chandelier adds a touch of drama. The previously plain ceiling chandelier has been wrapped with fake fur and dressed with glass beads.
roomzaar - janice anderssen