Cindy Bailen
Color Consultant
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Are you thinking about painting a child's room in the near future? Children spend lots of time hanging out in their rooms, doing homework, listening to music, and just playing. Redecorating a kid's room gives us a chance to put our adult inhibitions aside and just have fun. Whether you're helping to pick colors for a toddler or a teenager, you can create a great new environment for a child with little more than wall paint and accessories.

There are many color schemes that work well in a child's room, from primaries to pastels, with themes are varied as patriotic red, white and blue, or a sophistic beige and brown for an animal-print motif. Where do you begin?

Your child's own artwork can inspire color choices for walls and decorative accessories. Frame a bright tempera painting from art class and hang it on a wall that's painted to pick up one of the colors. Your child will be proud to show off her work in this way. A curtain fabric, wallpaper border or beautiful quilt can provide great ideas as well. For the most versatile approach, which will take a child through several years of growing up and allow the room to be updated regularly with a minimum of work, do the walls in a solid color. You can pull in pattern and theme with a strippable border and all kinds of accessories, and you're not stuck with Barbie or the Incredible Hulk when your child's taste changes. If two children are sharing the room, you can provide sheets and comforters in complementary patterns and colors to make the room look more interesting and allow each his individuality.

Many parents default to pink or blue when selecting color for a child's room. That's fine, if that is what you or your child decide. Think pink to create a calming space. Benjamin Moore's Opal is a beautiful very pale rose color which is perfect for a bedroom. Use Atrium White on the trim, and you've created a lovely backdrop for a girl's room. Accessories in raspberry and acid green will add a vibrant touch. Blue is a relaxing choice for a bedroom for either a boy or a girl. Light blue walls in Benjamin Moore's 2054-50 will remind your child of summer and the beach all year. 2067-60 (Windmill Wings) is another beautiful blue. I also love the idea of a rustic Ralph Lauren-style room with denim blue stripes painted on a white wall. Use a level and blue painters tape for even stripes. Two or three inches is a good width for stripes. Don't make them too narrow, or they will appear to vibrate on the wall!

Since kids love bright colors, think about going beyond pink or blue, to peach, periwinkle or purple. Glidden's Apricot Ice is a soft, pretty look for wall color. For a peach room, I also love Benjamin Moore's 085 or the slightly darker 086. A peach room will look great with periwinkle accents, and vice versa. Maybe your child would prefer bright orange on the walls instead. Benjamin Moore's Mandarin Orange (2018-20) is extremely bright and happy. Just be aware that it will take three or four coats of white paint to cover it someday! Lots of kids of both sexes love purple. My favorite warm violet paint color is Pratt & Lambert's Wafted Feather. You should also look at Benjamin Moore's Purple Lace (2068-60). If you're looking for a really bright purple crayon color, go for Benjamin Moore's Grape Juice (2074-10). Think about using it on unfinished wooden furniture to add spark to a pink or yellow room.

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Green is a great color choice for a child's room, since green is the color of growth and energy, and kids have plenty of both. Benjamin Moore's Pale Vista (2029-60) is a bright kiwifruit green that looks gorgeous on the wall. Dill Pickle (2147-40) is bright and fun, too. And you couldn't go wrong with the gentle green of Soft Fern (2144-40).

When I redecorated my six year old son's room last month, I went with a sunshine yellow called Chelsea from C2 paints. It was a difficult choice between that and Benjamin Moore's Lighthouse, Laura Ashley's Cowslip 3, and Benjamin Moore's creamy, historical Concord Ivory (HC-12). I compared dozens of yellow color chips, and tested out a few sample boards. Ultimately, we made a good choice. That room has a northern exposure, but now it looks bright all the time. It's trimmed with white, and has a cloudy sky ceiling that I painted last year. We both enjoy hanging out in there!

When you decorate a child's room, use your imagination, bright colors, and durable paint!. And take the opportunity to work with your favorite kid to create a magical environment, inexpensively, with color.

If you do your own painting, you'll be pleased to hear that a national consumer magazine gave high ratings to interior paints from Behr (Home Depot), Valspar (Lowe's) and Dutch Boy (Wal-Mart). If the urge to paint a room hits you late at night or on the weekend, know that you can hit the home center, choose a wall color, and be assured of good results.
Images and text 2004-2020 Cindy Bailen, Color Consultant - web spun by jb