For the Kids | Bedroom Color Combos

With the minimalist style taking over, there has been a lot more of the white and grey color palette being used in kids rooms. This goes from the nursery to elementary age because it's classic and simple.  However, color is coming back!  Brighter, bolder, more vibrant rooms are popping up all over and we don't want the kids to get left out.  So today we're discussing some colorful bedroom combos that are a little more current and updated for kids.  The minimalist style definitely promoted a gender neutral feel and we think these combos carry that versatility as well, just with more of a lively feel. :)

The first color combo is perfect for Spring but also a good gender neutral option--teal and yellow.  This would be the perfect color for a room shared by a boy and a girl because you can introduce other colors more specific to their gender without drastically changing the feel of the room.  This color combo is whimsical and playful, just like kids!

The second color combo is another one that works well with other colors--red and gray. So depending on whether or not it's a boy's room or a girl's room, it creates a good base!  Mix in some teal or yellow to make it more girly or add pops of navy or black for something a little more boyish.  Be sure to keep a lot of white in the space so the color doesn't get overwhelming but don't be afraid to pop in fun patterns!

This next combo is on of our favorites but it's more because of the statement it creates.  A black and white space seems like just a darker version of the grey and white minimalist look we said to move away from, but it's much more than that for a room.  Black and white is graphic.  It's contrast which is immediately more gutsy than the calm grey and white combo.  A big part of making this  palette work for kids is by introducing fun patterns within this scheme.  Instead of just black and white stripes, do other shapes--triangles, dots, stars.  Of course, you can definitely add any color to this basic scheme to make it feel more feminine or masculine but you don't have to.

The last scheme which is the most fun is going all in with a multi-color palette.  This combo is super relaxed and allows your child to contribute to the decor in their room very easily!  Those school art projects and crazy toys will work well in a space that isn't restricted to a particular color combo.  Our only caution with this mix is to ground it with a lot of a good neutral---white or black would be best.  It's important for the color(s) to be the focal point and too much of them will just become color confusion.  So try to edit it a little bit, but still have fun!

Designer Tips | Decorating Kids Rooms Without Breaking the Bank

Last week we talked about design ideas for teens and looked at everything from bed size to color combinations to seating options.  This week, we're discussing the younger crowd--the crowd that will still let you decorate their room and have most of the say over how it looks--the babies & toddlers.  Kids aren't little for long and don't always have the trust in your decision making that they do with they're babies & toddlers, so take advantage!  Obviously, because this time period isn't forever and there will come a time when they want to decide what their rooms look like, don't break the bank either.  This week we're discussing some crafty, money saving options for decorating kids rooms!

The walls are going to be the place to get your biggest impact and they're also going to be the largest canvas.  Wall decor isn't just paint and art anymore--there are other ways to decorate walls and they're not always that expensive.  If you know us, you know our first suggestion for walls is going to be the use of wallpaper.  Although, this time, not in the same way that we've suggested it for adult spaces in the past.  Wallpaper in kid rooms can be used creatively to where you don't need much of it and it can create a one-of-a-kind piece of decor that only your child has.  Use wallpaper to back bookshelves to add a little pattern, cut out a shape (or shapes) and apply it to the wall that way instead of in rolls.  Or, if you'd prefer something a little less permanent, try wall decals.  Just like wallpaper, these come in a variety of patterns but can be pealed off the wall fairly easily.  Create your own pattern on the wall or ceiling or even on the front of a piece of furniture.   

Closet doors are no longer being treated as a separate entity from the wall, so don't overlook this area when decorating walls.  Closet doors can handle the same application that the walls do or even something a little more unique and special to make them coordinate with the walls.  Either way, include the doors!

Washi tape is also a fun way to add pattern and different colors to the walls.  Washi tape is almost like a painters tape where it can be applied to something and, when removed, it doesn't leave any adhesive behind.  It's a little thinner than painters tape but still has a good stick.  It's also very inexpensive ...almost like a decal.  If you're one who can get creative with patterns, washi tape might be just the thing you'd love to decorate your kid's room.

Finally, decals are a super easy way to add pattern.  They come in small geometric shapes that, just like wallpaper, can be applied to the wall or ceiling.  But they also come in larger scale mural-style images--trees and clouds, even people.  Regardless of the style direction you're taking your child's room, you can most likely find a decal that will coordinate, make a big impact, and cost very little.

Making your own artwork may sound scary but it doesn't have to be.  Fabric comes in all sorts of patterns and colors, just like wallpaper, so this can easily be your artwork.  An inexpensive frame and some fun fabric can instantly brighten up a space.  Get creative with how you frame it, too.  Instead of just framing one small piece or even one large piece, frame multiple pieces and hang them in a gallery wall look the make a big impact.

Don't forget about going back to basics to save money, either.  Re-purposing a piece of furniture that you used in another space--a fresh coat of paint still works wonders.  Or, swapping out some hardware to jazz things up a little--dresser hardware, closet hardware, or even door hardware.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it!  Your kids are only little once and, like we said earlier, there isn't a whole lot of time in their lives that they'll let you have complete control of their rooms so take advantage!

Design Trends | Middle School & High School

There are normally 2-3 big room updates in the life of a child.  The first is usually sometime between sleeping in the crib and transition to a big kid bed.  The second usually happens once they reach middle school and have outgrown their "baby room" and the the third is normally sometime in high school.  As parents, we usually have a lot of say in the nursery and "big kid bed" room, but after that, we're at the mercy of whatever is popular on TV, basically.  So today, we're going to discuss what those trends are currently for the middle school bedroom transition and the high school bedroom transition.  If your kids are in either of these categories, here's a little heads-up of what you can expect to hear once they decide they've outgrown their current room design and want something older.

The first thing to be able to accomplish in a bedroom for this age group is multi-functionality--kids this age typically do a lot in their rooms, whether it's sleeping (obviously), watching tv, doing home work, or entertaining friends (sleep overs and what not), they use it a lot.  It's also their safe place, an area they can call their own and escape their parents, if only for an hour and their area to express themselves--display sports memorabilia or trophies, get artsy, hang posters or get the point.  So yes, it needs to be a variety of things.

It used to be that, if you were a kid, you had a twin bed.  I mean, isn't that why they invented twin beds...for kids?  But now, lets be honest, no teenager wants a twin bed in their room.  Kids sleep, a lot!  And they want to be comfortable when they sleep.  They also sit on their bed to do homework, work on creative projects or watch tv, so a space large enough for 1 isn't very fun or practical.  So bigger beds are where it's at for a teenager.  Bonus is that it gives their friend a place to sleep when they spend the night, too!

More and more kids are getting interested in the look of their room.  They want to be proud of the way it looks when their friends come over--girls especially, really care about how stylish it is.  For this reason, the feature wall is becoming increasingly popular in teenager rooms.  By feature wall we don't necessarily mean an accent wall with just a different paint color, we mean something that's really different than the rest of the walls that sets the room apart.  Sometimes this is pattern wallpaper, or it could mean a mural, maybe it's an entire wall of pictures or whatever other creative thing your teenager dreams up.  Whatever it ends up being, expect to have a wall that screams at you a little louder than the rest when you walk into the room.

When I was kid, desks were all about the storage, the keyboard drawer, the file drawer and all the other little drawers that stored junk.  Not to mention the hutch with a cork board and open shelving that just ended up collecting dust.  Today, don't be surprised if your kid selects a desk that's just the opposite--something very minimal and open feeling.  Why?  Because technology has come a long way since then and kids don't need the book and paper storage that they used to.  Plus, they're probably working off of a laptop instead of desk top so storage for the tower and keyboard are unnecessary.  Something sleek and streamlined is where this piece of furniture is headed in kids rooms.

Extra, comfy seating.  Like we mentioned earlier, kids in middle school and high school like to have their friends over to "hang out" (in their rooms), so the more places for friends to sit is always a plus in any teenager room.  This could be fun bean bag chairs, little moveable ottomans at the foot of the bed, a window seat, or even a bunch of oversized pillows in the corner that everyone can just lay on.  So yes, seating matters.  And the more diverse, more fun it is, the better!

As far as current color trends for teenage rooms, we're still in the grays but with a pop of something fun.  Kids still like the bright, fun colors and patterns--whether it's beach inspired or has to do with their favorite movie or video game, they're still kids and most want something a little more playful and whimsical.

Sometimes parents dread decorating their teenagers room.  When they're that age they have a lot of opinions and can be pretty determined in what they want.  Let them have a space that they can call their own, though.  As adults, we like our rooms to be a little hideaway and escape, why not let our kids have the same thing?

When Kids Takeover | Take It Back

We're all designers over here but we absolutely understand the realities of a home with children.  Children are cute but they also require lots of stuff, aren't the best at cleaning up after themselves, and can quickly takeover your home, if you're not careful.  Now, we don't want this to turn into a counseling session but we do want to tell you, take it back!  Your home should be comfortable for your kids but you also need a little space to yourself.  You need areas that aren't ruled by your kids and their toys, if only for your sanity!  So today we're talking about play areas.  Play areas are great because they are a safe place for kids to play with all of their toys without getting in your way while, at the same time, creating a boundary for playtime and showing your child where it's appropriate to pull out every single toy and where it's not.

These play areas that we speak of can be cute too, you know!  If you don't have a room that you can dedicate to toy-dom, that means you need a space in your home where your child has access to their toys and feels comfortable playing with them but doesn't takeover.  First of all, be sure to have furniture with lots and lots of storage!  We love storage tables because they offer storage for toys and a surface to play on.  If you can throw in some shelves or assign a few shelves to your child for their stuff, that's even better!

Even you do have a little corner or nook area that can be solely devoted to kids stuff, don't let the big box stores take over your design.  While Toys R' Us and Buy Buy Baby have got it all, there are plenty of other smaller shops out there that offer kid items that are much more attractive and might blend better with the rest of your space.  Some retailers even have mini versions of their adult furniture pieces, so if you can make your child's space look and feel somewhat adult with all of the conveniences of it being kid-sized, that's a plus for you!

Yes, we all get it, kids like brightly colored items.  And this is ok.  We like colors and we don't mind bright, but balance it out when styling your child's space.  A brightly colored rug with a fun pattern is perfect when  mixed with some other neutral items like a bean bag or table & chairs.  Mix mini with over-sized to create a whimsical juxtaposition and give your child a unique space that mommy made.

Kids need to be creative and we're all about THAT! But there are some other cool ways to allow them to access their creative side than crayons and coloring books.  Have you ever considered an entire wall devoted to creativity?!  A chalk wall is a super simple way to give your kid a big "workspace" without taking up any extra floor space.  Chalkboard paint can be purchased from any hardware store and instantly gives your kids a giant creative outlet.  Don't like the thought of chalk dust in your house?  What about a whiteboard wall?  Again, whiteboard paint is available at Lowe's and Home Depot and requires a simple wall application to be ready for creativity.  Want something even safer?  A magnet wall!  Buy a large piece of metal that can be mounted to the wall and your child instantly has a way to spell words and play with letters without using pen & paper.

Remember when your parents built a fort for you with sofa cushions and blankets and you begged to sleep it at night but stayed up playing instead.  Of course!  Because every kids loves a cozy corner.  Now, instead of tearing your family room apparent you can create the same fort feeling with a little teepee.  These cute tents are available online and in many local retailers and can even go in your child's bedroom.  They can bring their toys and books in there and have their very own space where they can play without being in your way and it looks cute too!

All the stuff is always hard to figure out what to do with.  Kids need stuff but you also need space.  We hope we've given you some cute ways to allow both in your home!