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Interior Colour Advice

Vancouver Colour Expert on The Best Paint Colours for Kids Bedrooms

By 04/26/2009January 23rd, 201727 Comments

It has always been my opinion that kids should have the colour they want in their room, but within a reasonable intensity! Not the screaming yellow or lime green they are currently waving at you, but a toned down version of that.  I always tell my clients, ‘your home is your decorated, personal space but your child’s bedroom is their personal space, so it should be an expression of their personality’.

I’m showing this first room (above) simply because I love it, but most people want colourfull walls for their children’s rooms.

My favourite periwinkle blue is 2067-50, Summer blue (above).

Sometimes a client is attached to having their child’s room  flow with all the colours in the house.  Since most people don’t paint their house varying shades of primary colours then your child’s room needs to look like a sophisticated room to grow up in.   Then it could be like this one (above) by David Kleinberg.

2005-60 Pink Pearl (above)  is my favourite pink for girly girls, it’s soft and far from being a ‘bubble-gum pink’ which you get if you don’t gray it down enough to begin with (room by Phoebe Howard)!   And here’s another room without wall colour (below) it’s just a nicely decorated space!

There is a big urban legend in the colour world that yellow makes babies cry.  This is completely false.   Lee Eisman said that a colour expert once announced this in a talk and the press picked it up and went with it.  She said he completely made it up and said it simply for drama.

My opinion on why this myth is out there, is that people have so much trouble with yellow (see my previous post about that) and/or if you painted any bedroom a bright screaming, primary yellow, well we would all cry in a room THAT yellow.  If you want just a nice soft, butter yellow like this one, try Straw from Benjamin Moore, 2154-50.  It will give you this effect (below):

2071-60 Lily Lavender is  the perfect lavender for a little girl that loves purple!

My favourite kids room green?  Dill Pickle, 2147-40.  It’s a great yellow/green which I’ve specified so much the paint store’s know it’s my colour chart before they look at the name.

Related Posts:
Why is Choosing Yellow Paint Colour so Hard?
Effect of Natural Light Exposures on Colour

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  • Brillante Home Decor says:

    They are all beautiful colours for a child’s room. Butter (Straw) yellow looks great in that baby’s room and the soft Pink Pearl for the luuuucky girl. When I was a kid my room had damask wallpaper “off white”…a bit of a grown up look for a child!(I did love it though)

  • Awesome Sara says:

    I think whatever color the kid wants that what is best. the pics are pretty amazing though. look there i commented!! i say i was going to be mia for a bit. geez, you miss me that badly huh?

  • Lisa says:

    This is so great. I am forwarding it on to a mother-to-be who is planning her nursery.
    I see the lovely pink room by Mrs. Howard. Posted that photo back in February when i had just discovered her. Love it. I am considering a hint of pink in our master bedroom. Needs to be sophisticated!
    Megan at Beach Bungalow 8 says the color of cheap blush is a great pale pink! What do you think?
    Sorry my comment has turned into a consultation….
    Anyway, thanks again for showing us some great photos for inspiration. My friend will be thrilled.

  • Lauren says:

    hahaha I'd never heard that about yellow!! too funny

    love the first bedroom with the white walls- it may be because i'm moving & am feeling lazy about painting my son's bedroom & was considering keeping it white for a while!! 😉 😉 but seriously, it's just beautiful.

    love the dill pickle green too-

  • Emily Johnston | EJ Interiors says:

    I love Dill Picke too!! By the way, I painted all of my paint samples (and my mom’s and my sister’s) on white sheets this weekend (took forever) but I have a good start to a paint sample collection! Thanks for all your advice on how to do it. :)]


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I’ve never heard that way of choosing pink before (colour of a cheap blush) but whatever gets you there, I always say, go for it!

    The lightest colours are the hardest to choose, so I would definitely do some test samples before you commit to one. 1184 could be one if you have a room with a lot of light?
    Happy painting!

  • DesignTies says:

    All these kids rooms are so nice. Love the room with the fuchsia pink dressers and purple chair 🙂 And I really like the room after the Phoebe Howard room. The headboards look like they want to hug you 🙂


  • Meade Design Group - Iván Meade says:

    Great advice! (as always) I agree, kids need to have their own identity in their room and a paint colour is a great way to expose them to start developing their own sense of style.

  • DesignTies says:

    When I see lovely girly rooms, like the pink room you said was designed by Phoebe Howard, I wish I had a little girl! The baby room and the lavendar room are also both fantastic! And… another great lesson in colour!
    Victoria @ DesignTies

  • Imogen Lamport says:

    Gorgeous rooms – but do real children live in them?

    The best thing I ever did for my kids room was to put up lots and lots of in boards so they can hang all their artwork up – that’s what THEY want on the walls!

  • Julianne says:

    I love all these colors. I agree about letting the child pick their room color scheme, even if it doesn’t go with the rest of the house, which is difficult to live with, but it is their space. I however, had to say no when my son wanted to paint all his walls black ha ha.

  • Angela in WA says:

    Great post Maria! I too love dill pickle and straw! I’m workking on several children’s rooms right now, and what I typically do is talk with the kids about the colors they want and then allow them to select the final color from two pre-approved selections. It allows them to feel involved, but prevents highlighter yellow and green.

  • Rebecca Sherman says:

    My favorite room turned out to be one I’d never imagine — the lavender and red one. It’s a sophisticated color scheme, yet I bet a kid would love it for its boldness.

  • Michelle says:

    I love that first bedroom in blue…of course it’s nautical!! I agree, kids bedrooms have to be spaces they can grow into, and not be too trendy.

  • Hill Country House Girl says:

    The yellow baby’s room reminds me of my daughter’s room 14 years ago. The same daughter would LOVE the lavender room now! I am crazy about the cherry red dressers. As much as I love serene rooms that are decorated in neutrals, I am just drawn to, and want to live with, the yummy colors you have shown in this post. Loved it!

  • Bethany says:

    thanks for sharing the your favorite colors with us!

  • J.Covington*Design says:

    These are fabulous bedrooms – just love the first one… has a great feel to it.

  • ~ Patricia Gray ~ says:

    Hi Maria
    I love your signature ‘Dill Pickle’. I am also glad the yellow fallacy is a myth as I grew up in a yellow bedroom and I have the happiest memories of that room!
    If the child is old enough I always ask for their input of the colors they like. Kids are pretty receptive and open to colour.

  • Live In Full Color says:

    I love color for a kids room, but I think that the colors have to be serene and cozy. I’m not a huge fan of using intense primary colors because I find them very stimulating.

    Kid’s rooms should be a place to daydream on a rainy day and have a restful sleep at bedtime. For that reason-I love muted blues and greens-colors from nature, the sky and sea. The great thing about these colors is they tend to go with everything…making them easy to ‘grow’ along with kids!

    Also I think kids tend to lay on their beds awake more than adults…so painting the ceiling can be another really fun way to add even more color.

  • Cristin says:

    just getting around to reading this one. Great colors indeed for the kids' rooms.


  • EAC says:

    We just painted our 4-year old daughter's room "Love and Happiness" (1191) and we couldn't be happier. Love it. Big change from "Wales Green" that I painted it two years ago when we moved in so that it would be the same as her room in the old house. Now she has her own opinions (how much should I indulge this?) Plus, it's very funny to hear her telling people her room is "subtle pink". Save the brights for the playroom. It looks much pinker on the walls than the chip- standard for pinks I guess. Funny, beacuse every other time I select paint I try to go darker than I think I should so it doesn't read as white. Very contrary to past experience. Kids will teach you things…

  • pennermag says:

    I have a nursery in just that butter yellow. I'd love to know where you got that window shade. I've been contemplating shades and it's just perfect.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Pennermag,
    I'm sorry that image I found somewhere on the web so I don't know where the fabric is from.

  • periwinklemoss says:

    I am thrilled to bits 1)to have found your website which contains a wealth of information about colour which I have been obsessing over as of late 2)that all your colours are BM 3)that this very day, I walked into a store and bought a gallon of paint for my daughter's room and it is …. dill pickle… and you approve!

  • Vicky says:

    I love everything about this kids bedrooms, notably the color palette, adorable style that exactly kids wants to have it,absolutely those are the soothing bedrooms that kids wants to jump in!thanks for posting.

  • Lord Twig Design says:

    Love your ideas, as a Baby Nursery & Kids Bedroom Designer, I'm sometimes amazed how the rest of the home is so stylish, but the kids rooms just clash! I think children can develop a sensitivity to colour and design at an early age and should be encouraged by their immediate surroundings!

    all best from Vancouver BC!


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