Over the years, there have been drastic changes in how Australians decorate children’s rooms.
In the past, I was selling lots of coordinated packages, such as matching curtains, cot bumpers, bed covers, and maybe murals or wallpaper borders. They would often be based on a theme such as jungle animals, pirates, cars or princesses. There is still a small section of the market that looks for this type of story.
This can be a costly exercise, especially since the child will eventually outgrow the theme and require something more age appropriate. My own daughter had a décor change approximately every four years until she hit adulthood.
However, more recently (and it seems to be directly correlated with finances), children’s rooms are being decorated with slightly different end results. Sure, clients want to use kid-friendly colours on the walls, and even consider murals representing a theme. Window coverings are generally plain and practical. Clients are looking for window treatments that can outlast childhood, so it stands to reason that simple and subdued colours are often sought, as well as simpler styles.
The most popular choice currently is white block-out roller blinds. This treatment not only cuts out the light, allowing children to sleep more effectively, it is easy to use and maintain. Another salient aspect is the ability to coordinate many other treatments over the top of the blind. White roller blinds do not designate the gender or the décor of the room, giving the client more flexibility to decorate other parts of the room according to gender, personality of the child or other considerations.
I have often mixed white roller blinds with colourful sheer curtains that can be easily removed and possibly changed when an update is required. Similarly, roman blinds or heavy drapes can be teamed with white rollers, depending on the look you want to achieve as well as the budget constraints. Of course, many clients simply make do with just the white roller blind, preferring the simplicity and the fact that it possibly matched the décor in the rest of the house.
The colours selected for children’s rooms can be critical; and I am not just talking about the window treatments. Gone are the days of pink for girls and blue for boys, as modern parents avoid gender stereotyping. Yellow is a common colour for children’s rooms, but it is important to note that it is a stimulating colour and therefore not conducive to rest. Children in yellow rooms are often restless and hyper active.
By looking at colours across the colour wheel from yellow, such as purples, one can find a suitable alternative. Shades of mauve, mint and powder blue are great alternatives as they calm the nerves and incite a more restful sleep. By using this little bit of colour theory, the conclusion seems to be that pastel tones are far better in a young child’s room than bold hues. It's not just colour theory; it's colour therapy.
Early on in my career, when I was working in a paint shop, we had a regular client who had a gorgeous but very wild little girl of about three years of age. The mum was agonising over a colour to paint her room and was wanting something bright to match her daughter’s obviously bubbly personality. Funnily enough, the little girl kept taking the paint chips with light mauves and lavenders. When I suggested that maybe she was sending a message to her mum, the customer agreed and purchased a gorgeous lavender colour paint. A month later, they returned to the shop and we couldn’t believe the change in the little girl’s behaviour; she was quiet and well behaved. Her mum claimed it was all to do with the paint colour!