When I was little I had a huge alphabet banner, where each letter was an animal, which spanned across two whole walls of my room. I remember jumping on my bed reciting it, and even the excitement when we redecorated and I was allowed to choose any colour of carpet I liked (I went for an almost neon blue, which I suspect didn't survive long after we moved).
My bedroom was my happy place - no matter what had happened I could go there when I was wee to dance around, draw, read, dress up and open a 'shop' selling my teddies. As a teenager it's where I learned to do make up (still a work in progress), discovered hair straighteners (amen!), and spent countless hours staring out the window to the soundtrack of Boyzone imagining what life would be like as Mrs Keating. It's the most fun room in the house to change and you can afford to be brave and go a little off-beat.
This summer Freya, who's almost 3, moved into her 'big girls room'. Up until now it's been the spare room, a forgotten beige box that's been a bit unloved. Just in the nick of time one of our Small City readers and fully qualified all round interiors guru Aishling O’Sullivan (thegingerelephant.co.uk) got in touch with the suggestion of an article giving her top tips to help parents update those rooms without blowing the budget (or a gasket). We've also included contact details at the bottom for some local businesses who can help. Over to you Aishling!
One of the best ways to add wow factor to your child’s space is happily also one of the cheapest. There is nothing kids love more than creating pictures full of colour that they are super proud of.
Create a gallery wall with some empty frames for them to fill, or simply hang some lines of string across the wall with some brightly coloured pegs for them to hang their favourites. This little pegframe from Poundland is perfect for displaying photos, drawings or even certificates!
Not only does it create fabulous pops of colour to the room, but you also get the added ‘good parent’ bonus points of showing your wee ones just how proud you are of all of their efforts.
At places like For Art Sake you can also help them create their own artwork or painted ceramics to put on display!
The biggest problem when designing a kid’s room is scale. Much of the furniture and accessories we choose have been designed to fit the kids which can make the space feel disjointed. One trick to counteract this is to ensure that you have something going on at grown up eye level as this will balance out the space.
There are lots of options to choose from, gorgeous bunting to funky prints or garlands. Quince Living, an online shop based in Perth, has some fabulous options like this mouse print, perfect for adding some fun to any room.
Kid’s toys tend to be a bit loud in the colour department and so most of us have a tendency to keep the room colour light and neutral to avoid a kaleidoscope of colours from assaulting us every time we enter. The reality is, kid’s rooms can handle some deliciously darker hues and sometimes going dark can offer the perfect backdrop for all those toys to pop against.
For anyone looking for a little bit of drama, but not brave enough for those stronger colours all over, a feature wall can be the answer. Adding a darker tone to part of the wall can help to create a focal point within the space.
Not everyone has the budget or the time to haul in the decorators every time their little one grows and the room needs a refresh. Wall stickers are a relatively cheap option that can create lots of impact, particularly if the backdrop is a neutral one. This map of the world one from Jojo Maman Bebe is perfect, and even has fun animals and graphics to represent the countries.
Stickers can be added for lots of wow but are easily removed down the line so much less of a commitment than wallpaper. Use them to add a touch of colour, or alternatively to create an eye catching feature without having to wrestle with the pasting table.
It is incredible to witness how such tiny humans can collect such an extensive range of belongings. With bits and bobs everywhere, sometimes their rooms can resemble a disaster zone rather than a child's room.
Creating dedicated, organised spaces in their room can help not only to manage clutter, but it can also help with things like sleeping and quiet time by showing your little one that different spaces within their room are for different activities.
Using your storage ideas to display some of their toys can also be an easy way to add impact and allows them to choose their favourite toys and books to keep on display for ease of access at play time (in theory this should also encourage them to keep their room tidy - fingers crossed!)
The key to any great kid’s room is that the lighting should never be boring. There are so many great options out there, choosing the right light means that the lamp or ceiling light can make a statement day or night.
String some cable lights above the bed, introduce some funky marquee light letters, or invest in a special little night light, transforming your kid’s room with light is one of the easiest ways to add some character and colour into the room. This awesome Batman light costs just £4 in Primark!
Seating is a must in any kid’s room design. Whether it is a beanbag in the corner for them to relax with a book, or something more structured at a desk for epic bouts of Lego-making or some homework, it is important that kids have somewhere comfortable that they can sit for some down time.
Turn it into a fun mini-camping adventure with the addition of a tepee or add some additional hidden storage with a bench seat filled with cosy cushions. There are lots of fun, practical, and stylish options no matter what size and shape their room. Why not pick up a quirky old stool somewhere like Underneath The Arches and have fun up-cycling it with the kids? They even do classes now to show you how it's done!
The bed is most likely to be the biggest piece of furniture in the room, it takes up the most space and therefore has one of the biggest impacts. Try adding pops of colour with your linens or some chunky coloured blankets on top to add layers to the bed. Kid’s bedding has transformed in recent years, gone are the days of girlie hot pink or boring boy blue.
So many retailers have jumped on board to create thoughtful, well designed bedding that will sit beautifully in any scheme - there are so many options for you to choose from! This 'Jungle Friends' set from Dunelm Mill is the perfect example of funky, unisex bed linen!
Overall, the joy of updating your kid’s room is that you are allowed to use lots of creativity to make a vibrant happy space. It is the most fun room in the house to change and you can afford to be brave and go a little off-beat. Perth is lucky to have a great mix of local independent shops offering great interiors products, so there is plenty of help available to help you turn that idea into a reality. Relax, have fun, and involve the kids...the results are sure to make you all smile!
Perthshire is full of local businesses, of all shapes and sizes, brimming with everything you need to make your child's room their favourite space. Here's some of our favourites, just click through for more info and their contact details;
Quince Living> | For Art Sake> | Sarah Peterson Design> | Solas Lighting> | Boo Vake> | Perthshire Flooring> | Fraser Ramsay Painter & Decorator | Poundland> | Tayberry Gallery> | Primark> | Jojo Maman Bebe> | Underneath The Arches> | Terkan Lighting>
Inspired by Scotland and Highland dancing, the classes are energetic and focus on basic movement, rhythm and fun.
Part of the wider Growing up with Quarrymill project which is a partnership between RSPB Scotland and the Gannochy Trust.
November 28th Tuesday 2017
Snow Babes classes for kids aged 2-5 take place on the Olympic standard ice at Dewars throughout the winter months.
November 15th Wednesday 2017
After Schools Sports Clubs are a great way for kids to keep active and reduce the risk of obesity. They also help them to learn social skills and work as part of a team. Live Active Leisure offer a variety of brilliant clubs and we've highlighted some of them in today's family article.
November 1st Wednesday 2017