Published: September 2009
Whether you prefer to stay neutral or you’re going all-out girl or boy, HGTV design expert Krista Watterworth will help you create a cool space for your little one.
“All kids love animals which makes them a great gender-neutral theme. And kids respond well to contrasting colors, like the ones found in most animal-inspired prints. There are more options than you imagine–rainforest, jungle, farm, ocean and domestic animals–the list is nearly endless. Wall decals can be photo realistic or animated. And don’t forget about bugs! Kids also love them and they make for fun inspiration, too.”
“Everybody likes trees! Materials inspired by nature are a fabulous solution when you want a neutral inspiration. The basic color scheme can be earth tones–sage, cream and tan–then add pops of bright orange accessories like lights, rugs, or curtains. Natural materials like baskets can be swapped out later and used in adult spaces. So can paper lanterns, bamboo shades, a sea grass rug, or a rattan chair.”
“Simple is better when it comes to themes! Avoid patterns that may grate on you later. Instead, think larger and three-dimensional. For boys, choose one big airplane decal (leave out the clouds), fun aviation bedding, or a collection of spacecraft models hung from the ceiling. Apply a theme without overwhelming the space00and the brain! In a girls’ room, instead of wallpapering the entire room with a bold pattern, use a lighter, quieter counterpart on one accent wall. It will have more lasting appeal.”
“Wood, not white, is a good rule of thumb even for girls. Many companies, like Pottery Barn and IKEA offer wonderful finishes. No need to purchase from their “kid” lines! I recently used an IKEA wardrobe in birchwood finish for a child’s room, and dressed it up with a removable tree decal in white. Buy it cheap and make it chic!”
Krista Watterworth is HGTV’s host of Save My Bath and an interior design expert. She’s also mother of 1-year-old Griffon. For more tips, check out her blog at roomrecipes.com.
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