Choosing a colour for your baby room walls is probably one of the first steps you will take to achieving your dream nursery. It is also a choice you should think carefully about. Paint is expensive and you don't want to have to budget a repaint within a year!
There are many ways to bring colour into a room without it costing the earth. Here are some ideas and tips to muse over while you make your choice.
Buy a paint tester pot.
Paint is expensive. Save yourself hundreds of rands, hours of labour, and feelings of disappointment and regret by buying a small tester pot of your chosen colour(s) first. Shop lights can be very deceptive and it is really important to see your colour in the right setting. Most paint brands will sell you very affordable small tester pots. Do yourself a favour and get one - you won't regret it!
Go for quality.
Do not be tempted to go for the cheapest wall paint. A good paint job is an investment that should last you many years. For starters, make sure your paint is lead-free and child safe. Luckily most brands do not sell lead paint anymore, so you are unlikely to have a problem in this regard. Secondly, make sure your paint is washable. Ceiling paints are cheaper for a good reason - most are not washable and mark easily. While this might be perfectly adequate for a ceiling, your walls (especially in a nursery!) must be washable. Check the finish of the paint as well: you can get anything from gloss to ultra matte. This is a case of taste and has no real right or wrong, but we usually recommend a satin finish for an overall classic look.
Your main theme colour doesn't have to be on the walls.
Lets say you are expecting a little princess and are in love with the idea of a pink nursery, but hubby isn't quite on the train with you. There are ways around this! Choose a neutral colour for the walls instead, like soft gray or cream, and then bring in the colour with your curtains, linen and accessories. This way you won't have to repaint the nursery if your princess gets a little brother in a few years time, but you still get your perfect pink nursery. It's a win-win!
For a quick pop of colour that is easy to change later, consider painting a strip of paint at the top or bottom of your wall. A painted border like this is very effective and won't cause an overpowering effect with the colour. Another idea is to leave the walls neutral and get creative with the moldings/skirting boards. Small bits of colour go a long way to bring a room together.
Create a feature wall.
Feature walls have always been a favourite of interior decorators and for good reason - they always look amazing! Choose a very neutral or light colour for three of your walls and then get a fun and bright colour for your feature wall. You can then add pops of this colour in the decor accessories to bring the whole look together. Don't be afraid to go bold - a bright turquoise is a great unisex colour, lime green would add a splash of fun, and vibrant orange would cheer up the gloomiest room. Don't want a plain wall? Try stripes, chevron, polka dots or marble effects... show off your personal style!
The best part... if you want to change the room colours later you only need to repaint one wall, thus saving you hundreds of rands!
Renting a house and don't want to spend money on paint?
Just because you are renting does not mean you can't have a perfect nursery! Sure, spending money on paint for a room you won't be living in for very long doesn't make much sense, but there are ways of working around this. Use your budget wisely for colourful items that can be taken with you. Also, make the most of the wall colour you already have and choose a complementary fun shade that will work with it. Instead of wallpaper or paint, splurge on some fun wall stickers or wooden cut-outs. A few large wooden letters to spell your baby's name out can totally transform the look of a wall - and the letters can come with you if you move.
Our wooden cut-outs are particularly versatile wall decorations that can go with you when you move and don't requite any paintwork. Affordable and smart, these cut-outs, or motifs, are cut from lightweight 3mm wood. They can be put up with prestick or double-sided tape for an instant nursery transformation. We personally recommend using prestick, as the cut-outs are very lightweight and double-sided tape will likely cause damage to your paintwork when you try to remove it.
Our cut-outs also look fabulous on cupboards or furniture - your imagination is the only limit! Choose from our hundreds of different designs to create your own scene and design. Another plus point: our wooden motifs can be used on walls with textured paintwork, where stickers just fall off. Score!
Consider your lighting and atmosphere.
Remember to consider your room's natural pros and cons when choosing a colour scheme. Dark rooms with small windows should always be painted in light and airy shades. Think creamy ivory, icy blue, baby pink or dreamy turquoise. If you have a very large room with ample light you can afford to try more deep shades: bright orange, lime green, dusty purples, or even a warm vine green. To lower high ceilings choose darker colours, like navy, bright pink, deep grey or chocolate brown. To add height to a low ceiling it is best to stick to classic white/cream.
Choose a colour based on what you love, not what is trendy.
Trends come and go... right now it may be all the rage to paint your nursery a vibrant red (I hope not!), but if you surrender to the urge to be "in" you may very well be regretting it before too long. Stick to colours that you really love. You will be spending more time in that room than you now realize, so make sure it's a place you really feel at home and happy in. You (and your budget!) will thank yourself for this!