Use paint for maximum impact
Paint makes a big impact. But parents don’t have to settle for neons and loud colors, instead guiding kids toward a compromise that will have longer appeal. “One little girl wanted turquoise and leopard in her room, which could have been a strange looking combination,” Beth says. “To better match that color, we steered her toward a snow leopard, which is more white and gray and goes better with a bold turquoise color. Most kids start over the top, so you can gently steer them towards a more toned down or muted version of what they want.”
For the most part, Beth recommends starting with a very neutral color for any room of the house. “I stick to some kind of neutral color including several whites, grays, and beiges, and sometimes navy if they want a bolder color,” she says. “You can do an accent wall in a different color if you like.”
When you start with a neutral foundation, you can then let the accessories serve as the color and focal point of the room. “You can spruce up a neutral color with pillows and bedding and prints on the wall. Curtains are another place to have a bolder pattern and curtains take up a lot of room visually so you can have fun with them.”
“If money’s no object, then I would definitely wallpaper,” Beth added. “There are so many fun patterns that would work only in a kid’s room, and you can have so much fun with it.”
If wallpaper is outside your kids’ room budget, try stenciling for a similar effect. Beth hand-stenciled her daughter’s bedroom wall, which saved the cost of wallpapering. “I ordered a stencil online for $20 and used vintage gold craft paint and it looks like cool wallpaper,” she said. “My daughter won’t outgrow the pattern for a while—if ever.”
You can also paint your furniture or knobs to add interest. “Paint can change anything,” says Barden. “I bought an inexpensive, unfinished dresser for one child’s room and painted the drawers all different colors. You don’t have to buy the most expensive dresser, and if it’s a cheaper piece, you won’t feel as scared to put your own touch on it.” Swap out dated cabinet pulls and knobs to update the look with the paint.