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Creative Colors For A Child's Room

What colors should be used in a child's room? The color scheme selected should be based on the child's own preferences, then tempered, if necessary, by a parent.

Q: We are about to redecorate our daughter's bedroom. She is 5 years old. We would like to use color, but we really don't want to choose anything that she will outgrow in a few years.

A: Your daughter will probably have some suggestions on which colors she would like to use in her room, however, you will want to make sure that she doesn't tire of the color scheme too quickly. One of the best ways to do this is to make the color scheme in the room flexible by allowing a neutral or neutralized color to become the anchor. That doesn't mean that you need to be conservative when choosing colors, but you will want to use neutralized colors for the expensive items that may remain for years. If she wants her room done in pink and lavender, it would probably be wise to purchase expensive items (like the carpet) in a neutralized shade of the pink or lavender or even to use a true neutral, such as beige. Neutrals and neutralized colors are essential to a well-balanced color scheme. When we envision neutrals, we typically think of white, off white, beige, gray or black. However, any color can become a neutral if it is muted enough to enable it to complement most other colors. If the carpet is a neutralized and muted pink instead of a bubble gum pink, it will not be as limiting in the future if she wants to change the look of her room. Envision all the diverse shades of gray. For instance, a color called steel gray is actually a very neutralized and muted blue.

Q: My twelve year old daughter would like to be able to do something different and creative in her room, but our "redecorating budget is limited. She is very creative and would like for her room to reflect her artistic abilities. Do you have any ideas for her?

A: It is wonderful that your daughter wants to have her room reflect her personality. And it's wonderful that you support her creativity! There are many things she can do to use her talents and make her room special without spending a lot of money. One project that is fun and, with some assistance from you, is easily accomplished - tie-dyeing. Any fabric that is washable and a manageable size can be tie-dyed. She may even have the items to tie-dye already and won't need to purchase anything, except the paint. It looks wonderful and festive for the bed coverlet to be dyed in this way. If it is a heavy bedspread, I wouldn't recommend it. However, if it is a duvet cover, or a lightweight and thin bedspread, it should do just fine. She can also tie-dye pillow cases in a accent color to use on the bed as accents. Lightweight and unlined curtains also look nice when done in this effect. It could be a wonderful project for the two of you to work on together and the best part of it is that it will be a one-of-a-kind item that she has created herself for just a few dollars. There are several sites on the web that offer advice and supplies for tie-dyeing. You may want to go to for some wonderful tips and advice. Have fun!


Q: We have just moved into an older home with wood floors. Some of the floors are in fairly good shape and will be refinished, but the floor in our 6 year old son's room is in poor condition and we are not going to be able to refinish it. Besides carpeting, what other options do we have?

A: I rarely recommend painting wood floors unless they are past the stage of being refinished. If the floor in your sons' room falls in this category, you might as well look at it as an opportunity to be really creative and pull out the paints! Painted floor designs can hide imperfections in the floor that otherwise would stand out. You don't have to be artistic to make his floor a unique place and you can save quite a bit of money by not installing carpet, which may not hold up so well for an active boy anyway. Here are a few ideas to get your creative "juices" flowing: Paint a birds-eye-view of a town with streets and shops that your son can actually play on with his toy cars. It is really fun to paint his own neighborhood and streets! Paint a zoo with paths. Paint different sections of the zoo with lions, tigers and bears! Paint an oversized checkerboard or hopscotch on which he can actually play. Use a stencil to paint the alphabet around the perimeter of the room as a border. Other ideas for a border around the edge of the room could be his hand prints (child-friendly, non-toxic paint!), race cars or train tracks. Or paint the floor a solid color and draw a faux rug on the floor with any design on it you like. If you would rather use stencils, you can purchase them in almost any design. Check out

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