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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

A Room For Growing Up

So, the kids are growing up & feeling a bit uncomfortable with their pink or baby blue decor? They’ve grown past the Wiggles, Toy Story & Dora the Explorer? While it’s a little sad it’s also wonderful at the same time, as you can help them to update their room to suit their taste in a smart and effective way, whilst still creating a space that fits with the styling and mood of the rest of the home. It's time to introduce our kids to the wonderful possibilities of 'muted tones' and the 'power of contrast'.

I work with lots of families building and renovating their homes & know too well that all children have a preference in colour. One possibility, to allow them to express themselves without it being overwhelming or expensive to change later, is to paint a feature wall in their chosen colour. That way when your daughter goes from “Barbie Pink” to ‘Billie Eilish Black” (which we’ve gone through with our daughter) repainting just one wall won't be such a big task! So, my advice here is to always choose finishes and furnishing which allow for easy change, as growing is an exciting and experimental time.

However, to suit the growing taste, try suggesting a neutral wall-colour, but create the mood wanted with the decor; this way every time it is needed, it will be very easy to update the room by simply changing the style and colour of the doona cover, or the cushions and the wall-art. Note: the older doona cover, cushions and blankets could be stored and come back out years later to much emotional 'ooh-aah' and 'I loved this one!!'

First of all we should remember that kids are kids and despite their wanting to feel older, in their room they should still be allowed to a keep a collection of their favourite things, have space to play and why not, choose a styling that suits their taste [or let them think so].

Choosing the accent-colour for a room should be done carefully, so try suggesting different not so predictable options that still offer the drama and mood that your child might feel comfortable with, like muted yellow, orange and green. But if your child is still in love with pinks and blues and you're keen for something different, try considering greyed shades of these two colours.

If your child is in their mid teens and wishing for an 'older mood' for their room, then try offering darker hues, like mustard instead of yellow, forest green instead of mint or maybe squid-ink-blue instead of Tomas-the-Tank-Engine-blue. And instead of a light background, consider placing these against a dramatic option of black or charcoal... very grown up!

Ultimately, it is their room, and if their choices do not fit with your understanding of style ... so be it! Let them explore their taste and the trends and phases, and if you wish, add boundaries and compromises that will make it work for everyone. Maybe select the feature wall to paint as the one not seen from the hallway, that way nobody else will have to see it when walking past. Finally, learn from your past: where you allowed to choose the colour and decor for your room while growing up? How soon did you outgrew that look? How many looks did you go through? Well, now is your time to allow for some out-there choices. I wasn't given the option, and what a shame! I'm sure my colour choices would have created the best room in the house [LOL].

A Treble Of Tips:

  • don't take their taste for granted, but ask your children for their opinion on colours and decor

  • a decor that is too old for them will make them uncomfortable; if too young, they'll be upset

  • find images of rooms you like and try suggesting those as a starting point

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


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