The 5 style lessons every child needs to learn

You want your child to grow up with a strong style sensibility? Then you've got to start 'em young...

We make so many decisions for our children – do this, do that, eat this, wear that! – when it comes to decorating their rooms, you need to give them a well-deserved break. Yes, you might be a minimalist, you might hate pink/graffiti art/flowers, but if your little tyke is into them, allow him to indulge his passions. Simply let him in on a couple of these style lessons, take a deep breath and give him a free reign to plan his own scheme. You’ll be the best mum/dad ever and you’ll be surprised what he comes up with…

1. Shake it up, baby

Image credit: Matthew Williams

While Junior must toe the line at school with his spruced-up uniform and polished shoes – when he’s in his own space, school’s out! If you let him experiment and find his own way (with the odd subtle nudge in the right direction), he’ll not only feel super-liberated, but you could just be inspiring the next Jonathan Adler. This will come in very handy when he flies the nest and you have to downsize. So if, say, he’s a Wimpy Kid-obsessed skater boy, encourage him to make his punchy boards a feature on his bedroom wall. We’re loving the skater-wheel detail on the bedside tables here. This look rocks.

2. You can never have too much bright colour

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Look, little children just love bright colours, okay? And if your little prince or princess stamps their feet and promises to scweam and scweam! until they get the pink/blue/orange/green bedroom of their dreams, why say no? Bright colours are so uplifting, anyway, who can fail to smile when they see a really nice hue? They’ll learn a lot about how effective a single palette can be. How the trick is to use a combination of shades and, just as in this fairy tale-perfect space, tone it down with hits of white and black. The result? Sweet dreams all round. And look forward to the teen years when they’ll go through their ‘black’ phase…

3. There’s no need to be afraid of the dark

Image credit: James French

We don’t mean that ghoul-, goblin- and gremlin-infested world that comes to life after lights out – that’s real… We mean that if Junior asks if he can experiment with strong shades that might not look that promising on the tin, the answer should be a big yes. This blue may be quite grown-up and more than a bit on the dark side, but teamed with slick white furniture, it makes a really strong statement and best of all, it makes the talented kid’s artwork really pop.

4. Less is more

Image credit: David Giles

If you’re lucky enough to have a minimalist child, way to go. A clean white space might not be your first choice when planning a children’s room – what about those sticky fingers, what about the mud! But think about it – what a great way to encourage your charge to dip their toe into the pared-down look and keep things neat and tidy. Here, the pristine white walls are offset by an array of toys (organised chaos!), a chalkboard and a rather tiny chair. Looking good…

5. But sometimes more is more!

Image credit: Colin Poole

If on the other hand, you have a little one who wants to prettify their space with flowers, more flowers and yet more flowers, indulge them. But cunningly encourage them to steer clear from the matchy-matchy look and team oversized blooms with itsy-bitsy ones and to punk things up with neon accents.

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