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How I use colour in my kid's rooms

So let me clarify this first, I am no expert when it comes to interior design! I don't know the techniques, the processes, or the boxes that get ticked by qualified Interior Designers during the design process. 

What I do know is that I love making special spaces for my daughters and through Instagram I have found an audience who seem to love them too! I'm lucky to have this platform to share my passion and love of kids decor with you all and in return I often receive messages asking how I choose colours, what makes me decide to put the colours that I use together, and do I have any advice/tips to help. A lot of it may seem simple and straight forward but I don't think you need to over-complicate things and stress yourself out when decorating!

So, this is me, spilling my brain out to you all...


Choosing paint colours

So you've seen a room you love on social media, you've asked the creator what paint they have used and you are off to make your purchase... Stop right there! Despite loving a colour, there is never any guarantee that it is going to look anything like that in your own home. You need to consider the direction the room faces and what the light is like, your flooring and ceilings, the furniture you have in the room, what room it is (ie. is it for play, sleep etc) and also, please don't forget that photos on instagram have been edited and may never show a true likeness. But what social media is great for, is bringing colours to your attention and showing how they can be used in different ways. So once you have a colour in mind, head out and grab a few testers within that colour group and you'll discover the shade that will work best for your room.

Can't decide on a colour? If you find yourself gravitating towards a colour - then be brave and go for it! There's a reason it's calling to you. If you are unsure because it's a bit more bold to what you're used to, consider using it to a smaller extent, you can try a half wall (horizontal or at an angle), a top border around the room, painting the ceiling or a feature wall.

A top border of mustard on white walls in our home.


Mixing Paint Colours

If you are planning on using more than one colour (excluding white) then I would suggest to keep the most neutral/lighter colour as the dominant colour. With half walls, I think the lighter colour should always be sat above the darker, this way once you add prints and decor onto the walls you will avoid a feeling of everything being a bit top heavy and overbearing. 

In terms of colour mixing, don't be afraid of being too out there, or picking colours that you would typically expect to clash. So long as they are of a same tone then you can have a ball! For example, if you are looking at bright colours, keep all the colours bright, or keep them all muted, cool, or warm. So if pink and red was taking your fancy then here's me telling you to go for it!

I have mixed yellow and terracotta in our playroom by picking out two warm tones.

In Delphie's room I have mixed peachy/pink and lavender, both within a pastel tone.


Decor and accessories

My favourite part!! Accessorising and dressing the room! 

So have you heard of the '60-30-10' decor rule? It states that 60% of the room should be the dominant colour, 30% should be the secondary colour and 10% should be an accent. If you look at a lot of rooms you'll be able to see where this has been used and I do think it can be helpful at tying a colour palette together. However when I think of this technique all I can think of is the decor you see in show homes where there is always a big lean into a theme or colour palette, now there is nothing wrong with that look but personally it's not for me. It is too matchy-matchy for my taste and lacks character.

So here's my rule, '50-25-whatever the hell you want'. Yes, you will have a dominant colour on the walls, and a secondary colour which is likely to be featured within the furniture or on textiles (bedding for example) but as for the accent colour, throw caution to the wind and fill the room with things you love! Don't worry too much about what colour something is, or what texture, or what theme.. The best thing about kid's rooms? They are there to be enjoyed, they are there to stimulate and spark joy in our children, they are there to serve as memories of wonderful spaces they had growing up. This way they will be eclectic, loved and make you feel truly at home.

When it comes to accessorising, I often like to put a contrasting colour into a room. Delphie's room is full of pastels, the walls and her furniture are all very ice cream parlour colours, so to prevent the room becoming overcome with pastels I added mustard flower wall decals (not seen in this picture), some deep mustard cushions and a darker canopy and bedding.

Vida's room has a lot of bright blues, yellows and turquoises, so to pull these back I added some hints of rust and rattan furniture.


Most of all, have fun with your kid's rooms. If you like my style and the rooms I create then stick with that rule and you won't go wrong! Don't panic about steering away from a colour palette or a theme, I find it very difficult to style a space limited to three colours and am never pleased with the result, throw in a bright pop of yellow and a rainbow here and there and I'm happy.


I really hope you've found this helpful and it's given you the confidence to go ahead and create a perfect space for your little ones. If you have any questions, pop a comment below or come and find me on instagram @bowinthesky.

Dominy x

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