I'm so excited about all the terrific entries pouring in for this year's Small Kids, Big Color contest (and you still have plenty of time to enter) so I wanted to look back at some rooms from past color contests. None of these ended up the top winner, but they're teeming with ideas you can use in your own home to enhance a room's color and bring it to life.
1. Ophelia's High Contrast Nursery. It's in the details. This bold honeycomb ceiling is for sure the showstopper in this room and I don't think I'd have the guts to do it. But painting the back of the built-in shelves black - yes. Butterflies flying off the edge of one wall and spilling onto another - yes.
2. Evan's Leafy Arbor
. Mix patterns
. Cole & Son birch wallpaper, Marimeko curtains, DwellStudio bedding. These parents could have chosen one of these patterns to use around the room, but combining them really elevates this room's style quotient.
3. Pretty in Purple
. You don't have to go whole hog.
If, like me, you're unsure how you feel about purple, remember that you don't have to cover the whole wall. This homeowner smartly left the top quarter white which accentuates the prettiness of the purple but offers a little relief from it, too.
4. Finn's Soothing Sleeper
. Neutrals are colors Too!
At first glance you might say to yourself, "nice room, but not particularly colorful
." Don't fall into the trap of thinking a colorful room has to have bright, bold colorful walls or large pieces. These neutral tans and blues create their own, quieter, color story.
5. Sullivan's Giant Robot Room Mix primaries and pastels.
Many parents choose between primary colors or pastels, but combining them like these parents did is truly modern and both punches up the lighter-hued aqua and adds some sophistication to the primary reds, greens and blues. These neutral tans and blues are indeed soothing and create their own color story.
6. Poppy's Room: Goodness and Light
: "Not all pinks are created equal."
Great advice from this parent. If you don't care for soft pinks, don't write off the whole color. Bright, vibrant pinks especially mixed with other colors you like, reds and oranges in this case, may have you reconsidering pink.
7. Scarlet's "Girly Not Frilly" Nursery
. Bring light in.
You will appreciate your beautiful room more if you maximize your light. Especially if your child's room does not get morning light, go practically sheer with your curtains to bring as much light as you can in. Also note that the curtains are hung higher than the actual window top for a bit of added drama and elegance.
8. Sadie's Warm and Cozy Bedroom
. What caught my eye in this room was that it had a double bed - for a 2.5 year old. And why not - skip that extra piece of furniture by going straight to the "big kid bed." The bed guard used here barely registers visually and can be removed as soon as your child is ready.
9. Olivia's Modern Pink Nursery
. Handpainting for non-artists
. You don't have to be a great (or even confident) artist or muralist to make a statement with paint. Try some basic shapes like these cloud-like forms for real impact.
10. Isabella's Beautiful, Blue Bedroom
. Don't assume your kids want kiddy surroundings.
Kids' spaces should be fun and playful, but many kids enjoy more adult-like spaces, including this 8-year-old. It reminds me of some of my friends' rooms growing up, before there was a whole industry of children's furniture.
Want more inspiration, colorwise or otherwise? Check out all the Small Kids, Big Color Contest entries from previous years: