Style

Paint project: Modern children’s rooms with retro charm

Looks from eras past make a welcome return in these fun kids’ spaces – with some 2020 give and take.

In association with Resene.

Fresh ’50s

Complete with a cosy nook, this space channels a mid-century domestic mood with
a nostalgic palette of pastels punctuated by bold accents.

In children’s bedrooms, nooks such as this offer a nifty way to separate play and study zones from the sleep space. Or you could have a desk built into a wardrobe or add a games area under an elevated bed.
Painted triangles on the floor are a fun take on the Formica surfaces that gained popularity in the 1950s. To achieve this look, paint the entire floor in two coats of Resene Walk-on in Resene Half Spanish White and allow to dry. Use painter’s tape to create a large-squared grid on the floor, then more to make triangles in random corners of the squares. Use Resene testpots (we chose Resene Nourish, Resene Aura, Resene Raindance, Resene Soulful, Resene Sunbaked and Resene Moonlight) to paint each triangle with two coats of paint. Allow to dry, then remove the tape.
Savvy shoppers will be surprised how easy to find and inexpensive vintage Kiwi school desks are. We refurbished this one by removing the legs then sanding down the timber. Prime the timber using Resene Quick Dry primer and the legs with Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, then paint them in your chosen colours; we opted for Resene Aura for the timber and Resene Soulful for the legs.

PAINT SWATCHES FROM LEFT: Resene Half Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Spanish White, Resene Soulful, Resene Sunbaked, Resene Nourish, Resene Raindance, resene.co.nz.

BACKDROP Main walls in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue; nook wall in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Soulful; nook window frame in Resene Lustacryl in Resene Atlas; desk in Resene Quick Dry primer, Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, Resene Aura and Resene Soulful; floor in Resene Walk-on in Resene Half Spanish White, Resene Nourish, Resene Aura, Resene Raindance, Resene Soulful, Resene Sunbaked and Resene Moonlight, resene.co.nz. MAIN IMAGE, FROM LEFT Apartment building blocks, $229/set, dappermrbear.com. Vintage desk, $10, trademe.co.nz. Form light triangle, $169, fatherrabbit.com. Lines Dusty Blue notebook, $16; Cahiers notebooks, $38/set of three; Super Sprinkles notebook, $24; bookmark, $26; paperplanestore.com. Classic Skyline fountain pen, $59; Hang It pegboard, $89, fatherrabbit.com. DLine kitchen twine, $10, spotlightstores.com. Epoca P ballpoint pen, $10, fatherrabbit.com. Penco scissors, $23; cards, $8 each, paperplanestore.com. Apple Of My Eye washi tape, $35/set of six, littlewhimsy.co.nz. Tip Ton chair by Vitra, $459, cittadesign.com. Globe cushion, $195, madegood.co.nz. Silk Yoryu fabric (used as curtain), $24/m, thefabricstoreonline.com. Straw Botanical pillowcase, $89/pair; flat sheet, $125/ single, fatherrabbit.com. Quilted linen blanket, $169, cittadesign.com. ADDITIONAL ITEMS ABOVE Shell Kisses pillowcase, $89/pair, fatherrabbit.com. Disc Squab cushion, $160, madegood.co.nz.

Overt ’80s

Reference the statement hues and geometric patterns of the Memphis design movement while maximising a small space for small people.

Think outside the box with rings suspended from the ceiling, adding gym mats underneath to protect daring little monkeys.
A built-in desk lets a bedroom evolve as children grow, graduating from colouring-in and crafts to more serious study.
Use a magnetic wall to display art or create an ever-changing mural. We used two basecoats of Resene FX Magnetic Magic followed by two topcoats of Resene Thumbs Up to make our wall magnetic, then made magnets using magnetic sheets and mat boards painted with Resene Shabby Chic, Resene Poppy, Resene Submerge and Resene Despacito.
A grid on the floor can provoke all kinds of play. Paint the floor in two coats of a dark shade — we used Resene Walk-on in Resene Charcoal. Once dry, use painter’s tape to mask a grid pattern over the top, firmly pressing down the edges of the tape. Use a roller to paint the entire surface with two coats of pale paint — we used Resene Walk-on in Resene Poured Milk. Allow to dry, then remove the tape.

PAINT SWATCHES FROM LEFT: Resene Shabby Chic, Resene Poured Milk, Resene Poppy, Resene Thumbs Up, Resene Submerge, Resene Charcoal, resene.co.nz.

BACKDROP Left wall in Resene FX Magnetic Magic and Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Thumbs Up; remaining walls in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Shabby Chic; floor in Resene Walk-on in Resene Charcoal and Resene Poured Milk; desk in Resene Lustacryl in Resene Shabby Chic and Resene Submerge; bench seat in Resene Lustacryl in Resene Poppy; magnets in Resene Shabby Chic, Resene Poppy, Resene Submerge and Resene Despacito, resene.co.nz. TOP, FROM LEFT Magnetic sheets, $11/set of 10, spotlightstores.com. Crescent Black Core mat boards, $25 each, gordonharris.co.nz. Expressway track, $119/16 pieces, dappermrbear.com. Hot dog van, $35; sedan, $23; doughnut truck, $35; police car, $23; egg carton, $19, littlewhimsy.co.nz. Gym rings, $95/pair, torpedo7.co.nz. Arnold Circus stool, $250, paperplanestore.com. Craft paper, $6/5m, spotlightstores.com. Crayons, $13, littlewhimsy.co.nz. Balance board by Wobbel,  $279, dappermrbear.com. ADDITIONAL ITEM ABOVE Number cubes, $99, littlewhimsy.co.nz.

Styling Sam van Kan
Photography Melanie Jenkins