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Use colour psychology to decorate your child’s room

Last Updated on : 5th October 2019

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.


Decorate your child’s room


Inspiration – The Adventurer
Clockwise from left: Adventurer colour palette; Children’s Animal Cushions, Not on the High Street £15.00 each; Wirrian Cube Unit, Wayfair £101.99; Farthing Wood Children’s Teepee, Not on the High Street £155.00; Ames European Single Mid Sleeper Bed, Wayfair £459.99; Intrepid Blue wall mural, Murals Wallpaper £36.00/m2.


According to a Dulux research project, 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.

There are some colours which tend to be popular amongst children, from superhero red to princess pink, but sometimes it can be a challenge for parents to select 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 but can also evoke emotions and affect moods. Colour choices for a child’s environment can excite, inspire, soothe, or even agitate.

Integrating specific colours and lights into a child’s environment has been demonstrated to show positive effects on their behaviour. This can be particularly beneficial for children who are sensitive to the 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!


child’s room


Inspiration – The Dreamer
From left: Vasco Dream Catcher, La Redoute £20.00; Large Dream Catcher, Amazon £9.99; Wichita Handmade Dreamcatcher, Pineapple Island £29.50.


Colour palettes to consider

Soft whites typically have a soothing effect, while cool whites can aid 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.

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.

While pink is a colour that has been traditionally reserved for girls’ rooms, both sexes can benefit by being exposed to rooms with a pink colour scheme. Pink is calming and encourages feelings of empathy, nurturing, caring and considerate behaviour. Pink is associated with the heart and love.

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.

From cool mint to forest pine and soft sage, green is a soothing colour that brings the freshness of nature and the outdoor environment  to a room. Mint or tea green can create a cool and relaxed feel to a room. Harmonise with yellow tones to inject some fun into the space.


child’s room


Inspiration – The Astronaut
Clockwise from left: Face shelving – make it yourself with 18mm thick plywood, from £11.41 m2, B&Q; Outer Space Rug, from £263.58, Crate and Barrel; Rocket Cushion, £34.00, Amara; One Small Step Astronaut Light, £24.99, Mercoid; Astronaut colour palette, J&D Design; Moon Light (5.9 inches), Amazon £24.99; iwallsticker 3D Universe Galaxy Wall Sticker, Amazon from £6.66; Ball Chairs inspired by Eero Aarnio, Onske £625.00 each.


Blue is a calming and reassuring colour. It 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.

Try using grey accents if you are considering grey for your child’s room.  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.


How to imaginatively use colour psychology to decorate your child’s room


Inspiration – The Pastel Punk
Clockwise from left: Pastel Punk colour palette, J&D Design; Teenager definition pillow for teens, Zazzle £55.15; Stompa Uno S-Plus High Sleeper Bed with Pull-Out Desk and Chair Bed, John Lewis £1,099.00; ICON Hacienda Faux Fur XL Bean Bag, Bean Bag Bazaar £99.99; The Feather Floor Lamp, A Modern Grand Tour £4,200.00; Rock on Rug, Houzz £29.95; Chunky Knit Blanket (40×60 inches), Etsy £184.00; Pink Leopard Print Lip Cushion, Limelace £55.00.


Visit our Design & Build Guide 2019 for more 

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