Decorating our children's rooms is sometimes the first thing we do for them, before they're even born. It stands to reason, then, that our decorating is sometimes about us, more than it is about them.
We decorate for the child we want to have, or for the child we used to be, or even for the child we wish we had been.
With schoolchildren, this can lead to conflict. If we want a sophisticated look or a romantic one reminiscent of illustrations in old children's books, and our kids want a colour scheme pulled from their favourite cartoons, we can have trouble reconciling the two ideas. What's more, a fondness for poison green can be fleeting, and there you are with a freshly painted room and a child who's grown out of it. Repainting is always an option, but you might not want to do it every few months.
Here are some tips for choosing paint colours for your child's room that you both can live with:
- Let your child choose the basic colour family. Then together you can choose a shade within that family. A softer version of the bright orange or purple will work better with the rest of the house than the brilliant shade your kid likes to wear.
- Use soft furnishings to punch up the colour intensity. If your daughter loves pink and purple, and you've painted her walls a soft rose, bright pink curtains and a purple duvet will give her room the lively colouring she wants -- and still work when she declares that she has grown out of the pink and purple phase.
- Consider a complementary colour scheme. Choosing colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel makes both colours stand out more. Your son's love for bright orange may be satisfied by a deeper burnt orange if it's combined with a royal blue.
- Choose a neutral or greyed-down version of the favourite shade, and add a wallpaper border or frieze in the bright colours. It can easily be replaced when your child's tastes change.
- Remember that you can always shut the door. If you decide to indulge your child with a beloved paint colour that simply doesn't flow with the rest of the house, close the door to the playroom and know that next time you repaint, you can go a different direction entirely.