colour crazy

If I was completely honest, I love my job so much, I would probably do it for nothing. Styling is such a fun thing to do, to create a story in your head (or interpret a brief) and then make it happen in front of a camera. The wonderful thing about working in a studio, is that you can almost start from scratch and create a space that would be next to impossible to create (without renovating a house) otherwise.

The ones that are the most fun are, of course, children’s rooms. Children are often my favourite clients in my “other” job as interior designer, but they can also be the most difficult rooms to navigate at times. I think we can forget that magazines are there to inspire rather than for us to copy. The things about creating a room in a studio is that, of course, there are no actual children or all their related possessions actually in the room!  There are beds that can be made exactly how we want, but can never be made by small children’s hands, there are artfully placed toys that would normally be a deathtrap for any unsuspecting adult in the vicinity and desks and bedside tables without piles of papers and notes and rocks and feathers (treasures in other words) that children really do bring home and want to keep.

So here are my tips with children’s spaces…

The more the child can control their own environment, the happier they will be. Put roller boxes under the beds (especially those great ones from Freedom with all that space underneath) to store all that LEGO that seems to multiple while the family is asleep.

Remember that our children have a lot more possessions (on the whole) than we did. They are small people and trying to navigate keeping a child’s room tidy is a tall order.  I had a shoebox in my wardrobe full of Barbie clothes, 6 board games and 30 books and I still couldn’t keep my space straight as a ten year old.  Imagine how our kids feel at time, a little overwhelmed I think.

Cull their toys – we try and keep a box in the attic that all the treasures can go into, because seriously, who can cope with that many soft toys? We have a high ratio of teenagers in the house now so that is less of a problem that goodness…

Think about wardrobe spaces – they are often ordered for adults, put a second bar down lower for hanging clothes they can actually reach.

Baskets, baskets and more baskets – put a tag on them so that things can be returned to them when playing is over.

Always go for wipeable paint finishes – all the brands have them. We never left felt pens anywhere but in the kitchen til they were older – more due to my own laziness – I just didn’t want to go down and check to see if there was any damage done!

The back of the door is often wasted space – put hooks to store bags and dressing gowns in an easy place. I like to paint them a fun colour too (what a surprise!)

Colour is your friend – all white walls and floors can be hard to keep clean with small people – colour is your truly your friend – and I mean colour on the walls AND the floors. Both RESENE and Porters Paints have paints that are now specifically for floors.  So go have fun 🙂 The paint colours below are from Porters Paints – the purple/pink is called Sophia.

The beds are both from Freedom, the bedding from Country Road, Wallace Cotton, Collected by LeeAnn Yare KMART and rug by The Ivy House. The lovely doll is by Dee Rolston from Needle and Nail

All the shots are from the last issue of Homestyle, shot by Mel Jenkins at Flash Studio (you can follow her on Instagram at @flashstudiosnz)

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