Decorating Kids’ Rooms

Tips provided by Ewa Pohl Art Studio.

Tired of pink and blue? If not – you may stop reading now, but if you are not keen on treading down that time honored and well travelled path, we have a few ideas for you.

First of all, look around the rest of your house and take note of your style. The nursery and kids rooms do not have to be a parallel universe disconnected from the rest of your rooms.

Palette Pleasers:

  • If you prefer clean, modern lines then, by all means, bring them to the children’s quarters. You can liven it up quite a bit with bold, trendy colors – there is absolutely no evidence the little ones are gaga about pastels! On the contrary – there is plenty of evidence that the developing brains are greatly stimulated by high contrast.

  • Crisp white furniture pieces look fantastic against fuchsia, lime, or Tiffany blue.

  • If you are not ready to commit to the whole room of fuchsia – pick one wall for an accent, or reverse the situation – paint the furniture a strong color, and it will really pop against a soft, pale gray or clean, white background.

  • You can have a ton of fun transforming all sorts of hand-me-downs or thrift store finds into a stylish and cohesive grouping with a few coats of paint and some elbow grease.

  • To avoid sensory overload stick to a limited palette of two contrasting or complementary colors relieved by a neutral. Also keep in mind that it is always easier to select your textiles first and match the wall color to them than the other way around.

Wall Décor:

  • When it comes to the dilemma about decorating the walls – the sky is pretty much your limit, which can present a problem. Here again it makes sense to take cues from your general decorating style.

  • If you love a rustic, country, or old world look, pictures of vintage teddy bears, double wing planes, or cute farm animals will be right at home. But if you are leaning towards modern decor you may want to go for flat silhouettes in a deeper hue of the colors you are using in the room.

  • Don’t be afraid to try 3-D. Hang floating shelves and arrange large toys on them. Can you picture a collection of crayon-yellow Tonka trucks against a charcoal gray wall? Yum. Or dust off that scrawl-saw. Trace an outline of a bunny on a thick piece of plywood and cut away (don’t forget to put those safety glasses on!). Trust me – after you paint it with a sleek glossy orange and hang it on a cool brown wall – it will not be your mother’s bunny.

  • Animals or toys too much of a cliché for you? Fun sassy patterns or large black and white photographs of the nursery occupant’s adorable mug are great too! Babies love black and white and they love faces!



  • Murals are always a dramatic way to turn any room into an enchanted wonderland, but if as hip and modern parents you are a bit weary of the usual fare of elaborate pink castles, fairy princesses, and busy jungles – there is a different way. A gigantic graphic outline of a fuzzy dandelion with a few seeds floating away as if blown by the wind, or colorful map of urban street-maze and metro lines will give your baby a lot of very satisfying study time without offending your modern sensibilities. It will also hold up longer than a mural clearly designed to appeal to a baby or a toddler – you might even stretch its expiration date into the teenage-hood. 

  • If you are reluctant to invest in something which will have to be painted over in a few years, take the heirloom route and commission the same artwork on a large canvas. This way it may be passed on and grace the nurseries of the future generations. It can also move with you if you decide to pull up stakes, giving your baby something familiar and comforting to look at in the strange surroundings of a new home.

  • With help from technology you can have a massive mural printed on sheets of self-adhesive vinyl, which can be peeled off when the time is ripe without any damage to the walls. There is also a plethora of fun, large scale decals on the market to choose from.

  • All that said there is a certain magic in murals, which cannot be easily reproduced any other way…

Turn on the Lights:

  • Last, but certainly not least – lighting. Take care to provide all the necessary light sources without making them look like an afterthought. This is your opportunity to put really stunning finishing touches in the room. Make sure lights don’t clash with the overall style, and that they make a statement.

  • You will need a good reading light for those story times, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be a sculptural beauty, rather than a purely utilitarian bore.

  • The ceiling fixture also deserves careful consideration, as your baby will spend a lot of time in a horizontal position staring at it. So give your little person something beautiful to stare at. Just make sure the pieces complement each other, rather than compete for attention – every story can have only one lead character, the rest have to play supporting roles.

Ewa Pohl holds a degree in Fine Art from Corcoran College of Art + Design, and has been working in the decorative painting field for nearly two decades. The Ewa Pohl Art Studio employs only professionally trained artists and specializes in murals, trompe l’oeil, gilding, Venetian plaster, and a wide range of faux finishes. They also offer complete home, kitchen and bath design services, from small cosmetic changes, to complete remodels and new onstruction space layout. For more information, visit or call 703-474-7000.


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