Room with an 'OOH'
What are the best options when it comes to decorating children's room? Deirdre Nolan spoke to Lorna Sixsmith of Garrendenny Lane Interiors to find out
IT'S spring again, so it may be time to spruce the house up. In most rooms this means a good clean and tidy will suffice, but when it comes to children's bedrooms it can be a different matter. These areas of the house suffer a great deal of wear and tear, so it's not surprising they need redecorating more often.
If you're thinking of doing up your child's bedroom, the first thing to look at is the walls. A new coat of paint will liven up any room, instantly updating it and making it look fresher. But what kind of colours should you go for? "I'd tend to keep it fairly gender neutral for colour on the walls because it's the sort of thing that's going to need a freshen-up reasonably frequently. Children's bedrooms don't often tend to be the biggest rooms in the house, so it's better to bring in colours through things such as rugs, carpets, curtains or bedlinens." says Lorna Sixsmith of Garrendenny Lane Interiors
A splash of colour
"A lot of girls like their pink!" explains Sixsmith "If you're putting pale pink on the walls and it gets a bit overpowering, the trick is to introduce some greens. If it's a soft pink bring in soft greens, be it in the duvet cover or cushion or whatever; the green will calm it down and neutralise the overwhelming pinkness that parents can hate. If it's an older child and she prefers hot pink then you can tone it down with lime green." lots of parents When it comes to boys' bedrooms, automatically reach for pale-blue paint, but Sixsmith advises going for a more neutral warm grey. "A lot of people don't think of grey for a child's bedroom because they think it's very, well, grey! But, while some greys have blue in them so they look cold, others have a slight pink or lilac tone in them, so they're nice and warm."
When it comes to the soft furnishings, she warns against using too many strong colours. "Children's rooms tend to be quite bright because bedlinen in often quite bright, so you can go overboard on the colours. Keep it fairly neutral or go for designs that are going to last. For example, the Designers Guild primrose range has plenty of pinks, but it's also got plenty of limes, so there are a good few different colours in it and it's the sort of design that can last a child through from when they're two until they're 14."
Are themes such as pirates or princess a good idea in a child's bedroom? Yes and no, says Sixsmith. "If a child is really into pirates or dinosaurs or something and it's a theme that's going to last for a long time, then you can get a lot out of it. For example, the Dya-think-e-saurus really works because there are so many children who are into dinosaurs. Because it's just two tones it's not in your face and it's not tacky. But if you've got the sort of child who hops from one thing to another, then you're just going to be breaking your heart! As the child goes through all their phases just update with less expensive items such as cushions and lampshades," she advises.
Bunk beds are a feature of lots of children's rooms, and they can be a great space-saving idea. Sixsmith says bunk beds are great because kids go through a phase where they love them, but it's a good idea to buy the beds that divide, so that they can have them separated if they prefer that at a later stage. "I also like the beds where you have space underneath them, so children can play there. As they get older, you can also put a desk underneath the bed."
Obviously, a lot of storage is needed in a child's room to try and keep all the toys, books and clothes off the floor. What does Sixsmith suggest? "Lots of the shelves, And have partitions between the shelves, so that each partition is for a designated item. Those units you find in IKEA or B&Q are also handy as they have lots of little plastic tubs in them. They're great because you can segregate items: for example, put Lego into one tub and dolls into another tub. Then you can cover them and they look tidy!" A tidy child's bedroom – well, we can all dream!
Mother & Babies