Mini masters of the house
No pressure parents, but your children secretly have big dreams when it comes to their bedrooms. If they could wave a magic wand, they'd be kitted out with tree houses, Narnia-style wardrobes, a slide, swing and a stage - and that's just for starters.
According to research by Dulux, they’d also love a pirate ship, a space rocket or a jungle, and a glass ceiling and a trapdoor.
Granted, most of that ‘wish list’ is probably beyond the average parent’s budget, but w hile you may not be able to pander to all their whims, one wish is certainly possible - involving them in choosing their room’s decor, so the space truly feels like their own little kingdom. That doesn’t mean you have to let them loose with a paint pot and brush; just let them give their opinions on a colour scheme and theme.
“Helping choose and influence the decor for their room is a special experience for a child. Our research discovered they regard it as the second most important milestone after a big, memorable birthday party,” says Marianne Shillingford, creative director for Dulux, who’s conjured easy-to-achieve playful schemes to appeal to youngsters.
“Interestingly, if kids have a say in what their room looks like, they’re more likely to spend time in it. Just as an adult bedroom should be a sanctuary, so should a child’s, and it also needs to be a place where they can relax and their imaginations can take flight.”
UP IN THE CLOUDS
Send their spirits soaring, with an up-in-the-clouds bedroom.
“This dreamy, blue skies theme captures the mood of an endless summer holiday,” says Shillingford. “Fluffy clouds drift in a sky of warm sky blue, a colour which has the magical quality of looking equally beautiful during the day and night.
“Clouds are a wonderful feature because they instantly dissolve the walls of a room and allow the imagination to create endless worlds above which they float.
“Once the walls are painted blue, simply add the cloud detail. You don’t have to be precise, as clouds come in all shapes and sizes, but chalking out rough shapes will help, so you have a guide when you apply the white. Then use a small sponge to apply soft grey tones to make the edges visually soft - just like the real thing.”
PLAY & DISPLAY: Dulux’s ‘Storybook’ room features cloud-covered walls created with Jasmine White, Polished Pebble and Goosedown, from the hard-wearing Dulux Endurance+ range, from £20.99 for 2.5L.
If you’re not confident about your painting skills, B&Q has a lovely Clouds Chalk Blue Wallpaper, £18 a roll.
Follow a ‘high in the sky’ theme with a Blue Cloud Print Single Bed Set, £60, Not On The High Street. Fluffy white clouds adorn a Farg & Form Clouds Cushion Cover, £14, and matching Set Of Storage Suitcases, £29, from And Shine.
Take them up to the treetops with a Mathy by Bols Children’s Tree House Bed, £1,650, and Tree Bookcase, £565, Design55. Made has a white cloud-shaped Hollywood wall lamp, £69, and for the perfect finishing touch, Ceramic Cloud Drawer Pulls, £4 each, The Contemporary Home.
Shoot for the stars, with a room which explores far-flung galaxies.
“Creating a space theme captures the boundless possibility of exploration,” says Shillingford. “Making the cosmos come to life looks stunning, and yet is ridiculously easy to achieve. The most difficult thing can be taking a giant leap to paint walls black - but don’t abort the mission, trust me, your bravery will pay off!
“Create the solar system by simply spattering thinned emulsion tester pot colours, from deep blue to white, over a black background. The wonderful cloudy shaped star systems literally appear from the end of the brush as if by magic.
“Deep colours in a bedroom have a magical quality that aids restfulness, and blue is both calming and receding, which means the space appears bigger.”
PLAY & DISPLAY: Dulux created their ‘Space’ bedroom with Rich Black emulsion, using splatters of a range of shades, including Purple Pout, Striking Cyan and Lost Lake, and White Cotton for the stars, all from the Dulux Endurance+ range, from £20.99 for 2.5L. For the stars, 250ml samples can be purchased in stores, from £6.
If journeying to another decor galaxy feels too daunting, you could simply paint walls deep blue or white and add stickers. Spin Collective has a brilliant Coloured Spaceships Wall Stickers Set, £24.
If the sky’s the limit on cost, Cuckooland has a Discovery Astronaut Children’s Cabin Bed, which incorporates a rocket and launch pad, £1,595, or a cute Blast Off Tent, £145. Seating also needs to be space-age, and a funky bright yellow Lina Children’s Moon Lounger, £128, Amara, could be perfect. They also have an Astronaut Duvet Set by Snurk, £49. And for a finishing touch: a red and black wooden Playsam Rocket, £42, Rume.
JOIN THE CIRCUS
Roll up, roll up for a playful, colourful ‘big top’ room, where your child’s the ringmaster.
“Red and white combinations in a decorating scheme are like a visual sweet shop,” says Shillingford. “And fun, bold, bright stripes of colour instantly conjure excitement.
“The effect is achieved with stuff that’s easy to get hold of: string, coloured chalk, cardboard, masking tape and red paint. Decide on the position of the red stripes of the big top using string, taken from a central point like an overhead light, and then mark out the shape of the red bands using masking tape.
“The secret to success is avoiding too much clutter in the furnishings, accessories and artwork - allow the imagination to fill the space.”
PLAY & DISPLAY: To copy Dulux’s ‘Circus’ room, Pepper Red, White Cotton and Banana Split are ideal shades, all from Dulux’s Endurance+ range, from £20.99 for 2.5L.
In a spacious room, you could give them their own Big Top Tent by Field Candy, £295, and a Circus Kids Bean Bag by Woouf, £65, both from Cuckooland.
Animals are a must for any circus owner, and The Babar Elephant Table, £115, is a charming piece from The French Bedroom Company. Another of my favourite’s for this theme are the Memory Balloon Ceiling Lights, £155 each, available in a variety of colours, Not On The High Street.
Bring in a further splash of colour with a red Star Rug, currently reduced to £87.75 from £135, Cox & Cox, and My Little Day Red Bunting, £7.60 for three metres, Molly Meg.
Fancy recreating the Dulux kids’ bedroom themes? For instructions and video demonstrations, visit Dulux.co.uk
Amara: 0800 587 7645/amara.com
AndShine: 07765 530 607/andshine.co.uk
B&Q: 0845 850 0175/diy.com
The Contemporary Home: 0845 130 8229/tch.net
Cox & Cox: 0844 858 0744/coxandcox.co.uk
Cuckooland: 01305 231 231/cuckooland.com
Design55: 01422 375 940/design55online.co.uk
Dulux: 0333 222 7171/dulux.co.uk
The French Bedroom Company: 01444 415 430/frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk
Made: 03442 571 888/made.com
Molly Meg: 07971 691 327/mollymeg.com
Not On The High Street: 0345 259 1359/notonthehighstreet.com
Rume: 01273 777 810/rume.co.uk
Spin Collective: spincollective.co.uk