Another stunning kids’ decor book: Rooms Your Kids Will Love

November 3, 2015

Sam Scarborough has just released her fifth book, and I think it’s my favourite one so far (I’ve written about some of her other books here and here.

Called Rooms Your Kids Will Love, it features 50 projects that you can do to decorate kids’ rooms, and includes ideas for nurseries, toddlers, pre-teens and young adults. There’s an Afrikaans version too, and each project has step-by-step instructions (these really are step-by-step directions that include materials and tools you need, methods and tips) that your child can help with if they want.

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Sam has included bits of everything here, and you can find ideas for anything from creating storage and lighting solutions, to brightening up walls, recycling old furniture, and showing off your children’s art and hobbies. There are also picture templates at the end to help you along.

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Perhaps it’s my favourite book so far because I’m the least crafty, arty or DIY woman, yet surprisingly it inspires me and with most of the projects, I think  to myself, “Hey, I could do that”.

Rather than just talking about the book here, I thought I’d ask Sam some questions too, and get more tips and trends from her:

Is this book only for crafty and creative parents?

The book is for all parents, with easy to follow step-by-step information and loads of other tips as well. Everyone is creative – sometimes they just need to be inspired!

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Are there specific kids’ room or decor trends at the moment?

Yes, there is a trend towards minimalism, and grey and black baby nurseries. This theme and colour scheme looks easy to put together, but can become very stark and needs more layering that expected to create a nurturing space for a tiny soul.

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What are your best decorating tips for nurseries and onwards?

I always try to create a serene environment for a baby’s first room by using soft colours and plain bed linen – bringing colour into fabrics in the curtains and blinds, rather than cot bumpers and cot linen. I go for the ‘less is more’ with a baby’s room – a wallpaper wall or a painted feature wall is enough to bring a theme together, and then as your child grows up and their needs change, you can add bookshelves and storage solutions, tables and chairs.

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What are the biggest decorating “mistakes” that many parents make?

Fabrics and paint colour can easily go wrong. I always recommend choosing a duller version of the colour you are wanting. Once paint is on the wall, with the light in the room, bright colours can easily become garish, or too icy blue. Fabrics also need careful consideration as sometimes patterns are chosen that are too mature for a little person. Stick to 100% Cotton as much as possible, and also to washed out colours rather than the bold brights and stripes.

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Do you think it’s a good idea to involve kids in room decorating?

Yes, to a certain extent. I always say that a room is easily updated with a coat of paint, so if your child is having a purple phase, why not paint just one wall a purple colour. In a year, the same wall can be updated with a new colour. Paint is one of the easiest ways of updating any room.

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A lot of parents are looking for storage ideas in kids’ rooms. What are the best ways to create storage?

The first step when considering storage is to do a thorough clear out of items your child is not using anymore. Less is more. I like open storage solutions, with baskets and boxes for smaller items and things you want to hide away.

Other toys, books and play items can be displayed, which will encourage your child to play with them. Toys that are stored in dump bins will never be played with, but if they are displayed or organized neatly, a child will naturally play with them. Packing up and tidying away is also an important part of play!

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On a tight budget, what are the best ways to still create amazing kids’ spaces?

Most of the ideas in the book are easily created on a tight budget. Wall art can be made from fabric pieces or your own children’s art, bookshelves can be made from recycled crates, photo displays can be made with recycled jars, all these ideas do not require a huge budget, it is about getting creative with your décor ideas.

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What was your favourite project in the book, and why?

The doorway puppet theatre. I always encourage creative play, and this is such an easy project to make, with any fabric you have lying around. I love spotting potential in every corner of a room, so to turn a doorway into a play space is a great idea, and it is not a permanent feature as it can be packed up and stored away.

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Rooms your Kids will Love is published by Human & Rousseau and costs around R270 from leading bookstores, and on Loot and Takealot.

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