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How to make a room look larger and lighter (shared child bedroom)

(16 Posts)
ShastaBeast Sun 11-Dec-16 13:58:46

We are decorating our daughters' bedroom. It only has a smallish inset window out to the side of the house so can be dark. It's around 2.5 x 3m with 2.7m high ceilings. We are going for bunk beds and will be spending a small fortune in Ikea on storage - sliding door pax, highest frame with internal drawers so no chest of drawers needed is a plan.

It's currently a box of smooth drying plater and concrete, my imagination is struggling. We will probably leave it white until the new year, the flooring will be light wood. Any ideas on how to use colours, paint, wallpaper etc to best create a sense of space and light where both are lacking? Any storage tips welcome too.

The girls are 5 and 7 so sophisticated but girly would make them happy.

NapQueen Sun 11-Dec-16 14:01:46

I've just done my kids room in Dulux Goose Down. It's a beautiful silvery grey and very reflective of the light.

Maybe you could add some little touches like fairy lights and nice bright picture frames with photos or prints in them?

sashh Sun 11-Dec-16 14:16:23

Mirrors and lights will make it look bigger. You might want to use plastic mirror tiles or mirror on a roll with young children.

A couple of mirrored areas surrounded by fairy lights would look girly and brighten up the room.

If you have white walls you can use coloured spot lamps to 'wash' a colour on a wall.

If you have Indian cloth shops near you they often have shiny fabrics or ones with bits of glitter that could be draped around the window or to make curtains for the bunks.

ShastaBeast Sun 11-Dec-16 19:34:03

I probably should've added my eldest has ADHD and when DH mentioned mirrors I had images of broken glass, plus there is no wall space with the storage furniture needed - I have framed pictures from their old room which probably will stay in the shed for that reason. Fairy lights and other lighting is a possible addition if out of reach but I was hoping for things we don't need to switch on to make the difference, like colours, types of paint, patterns or textures of wallpaper. At the moment I'm planning everything to be white as I'm worried anything could make it seem darker or smaller. I love grey and have seen stuff I like but worry it will be too dull. I also like black and white so polkadot or stripe wallpaper would be bold but perhaps too much, even on one or two walls only.

ShastaBeast Sun 11-Dec-16 19:40:13

Just flicked through the dulux paint chart and there's a little feature on Goose Down. Reflective would be good. I love grey. Would it be ok for the whole room? I can balance it with the white and a pale pink theme. I did consider the light and space paint but saw negative reviews.

NapQueen Sun 11-Dec-16 23:50:13

We have it on 3 walls of the kids room, and also three walls of the lounge. They are both big rooms (5m x 5m with 9foot ceilings) and handle the colour well, though I'd imagine it'd also look good in a smaller room and on all 4 walls.

NapQueen Sun 11-Dec-16 23:51:58

This is it in the kids room. Goose Down on the left, alcove is white and I did a cardboard stencil of a cloud and raindrops. Clouds are Goose Down and the rain is just tester pots of bright colours. We used our favourite of the brights for the chimney wall.

NapQueen Sun 11-Dec-16 23:53:11

This is it in the living room

namechangedtoday15 Mon 12-Dec-16 15:23:30

I was just about to say Light and Space by Dulux but see you've discounted it. Recently used it in First Frost (a very pale blue) in DDs room and I really think it has brightened it considerably.

Also, if you want to go grey (this is the theme in my other DDs room) then we did something very similar with lots of white and pale pink - we have something like this on one wall which makes the room look wider (and girly)

blossom tree

ShastaBeast Mon 12-Dec-16 16:58:44

Had a meeting at school and calm and simple would be best - def no spots, stripes or glitter sad The grey is lovely, I might go down to the lighter polished pebble, or even F&B cornforth white if it's worth it. We'd only need one tin for the whole room. We almost painted the front of the house in an F&B grey but the builders scoffed and bought something cheaper but similar.

I do like spring rose from the light and space range but the bad reviews were on MN so scared me off. We can always paint again if we like, the painting is the easy bit.

trixymalixy Tue 13-Dec-16 11:55:25

Calamine by farrow and ball is a lovely colour for a girl's room. It's pink, but quite sophisticated too.

SeaEagleFeather Sat 17-Dec-16 18:35:06

I love the F&B stuff, having lived in a very dark house you could see that it picked up the light and reflected it beautifully in a subtle sort of way. It did help lighten corners which were very dark.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 19-Dec-16 10:38:44

I wouldn't use F&B in a child's room (she says bitterly!) unless you can colour match it. I did my DDs room in Middleton Pink and it did look lovely - until she put her hands on it, or scuffed a shoe against it by accident. F&B paint is beautiful but not at all hard wearing so unless you're prepared to touch it up quite often to get rid of little marks, I'd avoid.

SeaEagleFeather Mon 19-Dec-16 12:14:19

I was told that the Modern Emulsion is better for children's rooms, namechangedtoday; harder wearing.

Can I ask what you used?

BumblebeeBum Thu 22-Dec-16 12:01:24

What about grey at bottom of wall and white at the top, like this?

Photo from Alice in Scandiland Facebook page.

I'd think about minimising furniture if you can - to maximise sense of space. So wall mounted bedside lights so no bedside table needed and so on. As you have high ceilings, what about a high shelf with 'treasures' on display?

Different textures in bedding and curtains will keep it soft and 'grown up' for the girls. Pale pink or pale turquoise are both beautiful with light grey.

A bright light bulb will make a difference too.

ShastaBeast Tue 27-Dec-16 11:44:02

Thanks for the messages. With Christmas and a mini break I has been hectic. We went for the polished pebble as the builders were there doing the painting anyway. It looked a little blue tinged initially but with some pink etc from moving the kids (mountain of crap) back in the colour is more neutral. However it's very pale with the light on full but still quite dark if it's overcast outside. I have to accept the need for lighting. We will work on the white furniture and see how it goes. It's a hideous mess right now, and Christmas = more crap to store sad it just gonna be a longer term project to get it right. I have an ikea pax wardrobe combination in mind and we could add lights inside that.

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