Colour your children’s dreams – imaginative ideas for updating playrooms and bedrooms

Thinking of updating your child’s room? As children are extra sensitive to colours, having a basic understanding of the principles of colour psychology can help you select a suitable hue for the walls and furnishings.

According to a Dulux research, 92% of children say that they would spend more time in their bedrooms if they had helped to plan it themselves. Sharing ideas and decision making not only helps them to develop a sense of ownership, but also allows them to use their own creativity and imagination helping to design a space they can call their own.

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From superhero red to princess pink, there are some colours which tend to be popular amongst children, but sometimes it can be a challenge for parents selecting a shade that works at scale or finding the right balance to avoid a room that’s too loud.

 Choosing a particular colour, not only has the power to change the appearance of a bedroom, it can also evoke emotions and affect moods. Colour choices for a child’s environment can either excite, inspire, soothe, or even agitate.

 The behaviour of children, particularly children with special needs have also demonstrated benefits associated with integrating specific colour and light into their environment. One parent reported that her son was more emotionally stable, ready to do his homework and could wind down for bed more easily with a bluish charcoal room. Soft lighting with no overhead lighting also worked best for him.

Scientific research has also revealed the effect of coloured green light on migraine symptoms.  Using psychophysical assessments in patients with normal eyesight it was found that green light exacerbates migraine headache significantly less, than white, blue, amber or red lights.                                    

Children’s rooms do not always have to be dressed in bright colours in order to invoke a sense of fun. Bold colours can create a lively feeling to the space but don’t discount the power of neutrals. Clever storage and a carefully chosen theme, can turn a playroom into a realm of fantasy for children, and a magical family escape for adults.

Let your children’s personalities come through and let them help you to pick out paints and furnishings that help them create the space that they want to live in. Play around with a combination of bold colours and subtler accents to create a room where your child can feel awake and alive but still get relaxed enough to sleep at night!


Soft whites typically have a soothing effect, while cool whites can aid in concentration. White walls also act as a great canvas to play around with brighter forms of furniture and rugs.  Don’t be afraid to get experimental.


Red is a vibrant and especially stimulating colour. It can be good as an accent colour in a room but too much may be over stimulating for some children. For instance, an exposed brick accent wall can add a splash of red without overwhelming the entire space.     

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Orange is a bright and cheerful colour that has been shown to enhance communication, and socialisation. Children who play in rooms with orange colour schemes tend to be more cooperative, extroverted, and confident, but too much orange may overwhelm them and cause them to feel irritable. Try pairing orange with soft shades of green, lavender, or a neutral cream colour.


Yellow adds an upbeat and sunny vibe to any room.  However, if a room is too bright some children may find it difficult to calm down. Yellow works well as an accent colour when it is paired with grey, blue, or green.


Topping the list of most girls’ colour choice for rooms is pink, although both sexes can benefit by being exposed to rooms with a pink colour schemes. Pink is calming, and encourages feelings of empathy, nurturing, caring and considerate behaviour. Pink is associated with the heart and love.

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Brown is a classic and earthy tone which can help children feel more stable and grounded in their environment. Brown also works as a wonderful backdrop for splashes of brighter colours.  Too much brown can darken a room significantly, making the space seem smaller and even claustrophobic. Pair with bright accents such as cheerful hues of orange and yellows to complement the earthy tones.


Green is a soothing colour that brings the freshness of nature and the outdoor environment  to a room. Choose from cool mint greens, to forest pine’s, and soft sage colours. Mint or tea green can create a cool and relaxed feel to a room. Harmonize with yellow tones to inject some fun into the room. 


When it comes to boy room colours, the list often starts and stops with blue. However, both sexes can benefit from being surrounded by this calming and reassuring colour. Blue has been shown to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and slow breathing when anxious. Too much blue can become a little depressing, so keep the tones light, or try balancing with a splash of cheery yellow, or a confident red.


Purple and lilac are often considered to inspire thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and spirituality. Adding soft shades to a child’s room can often help them relax. Be mindful when choosing the tone - anything too dark could lead to morose feelings and physical sluggishness.


If you are considering Grey for your child’s room, try using grey accents.  Grey can be used to even out a bright yellow room or can help break up an overwhelming colour scheme such as turquoise or magenta.

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