Project Baby’s Room – Week One: Inspiration

Here is the third bedroom in our house which has slowly become the Junk-Hub Room. Actually, hub isn’t the right word, because things go in and rarely come out. But all this is about to change and there is much to be done. As you can see we have successfully completed phase one of the room overhaul and that was to a) polish the floorboards and b) paint the ceiling (here’s a before shot). We actually did that last Easter and it has sat like this ever since, slowly accumulating more and more homeless stuff. So now it’s time for a big clean out, put in some skirting boards, replace part of the window frame, hang a new (recycled) door and paint the whole lot. Plus there is all the furnishing and decorating stuff to be decided on and done. Quilts? Curtains? Shelves? etc.

I love choosing paint colours. I love collecting the swatches and then painting big squares of cardboard from test tins to hang on the walls to see how the colour looks in a specific light. I love the satisfaction of finishing a room and feeling the colour is just perfect.

Amelia’s room is painted in a beautiful green and a clear white. Eventually she will have a pinkish quilt and in Summer she has bright pink fuchsias in flower outside her window. So she has a distinctly green, white and pink room. I was pondering the idea of an obvious contrast to pink and green and came to the conclusion that orange walls or blue walls and orange accents would work as a basic colour theme. So while we have to be a bit careful because the room is quite small I am pretty excited! Do we go for the crazy orange walls or a more conservative blue?

Mmm, lovely orange:

From Martha Stewart Kids, Summer 2005:

And from the book Children’s Spaces by Judith Wilson is this fun, orange space:

But the serene blues are hard to beat…

From Martha Stewart Kids, Summer 2005 again:

And from MS Baby, Fall 2002:

And MS Kids, Spring 2004:

Ah! Pink, green and orange on grey blue… I think I have died and gone to heaven.

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61 Responses

  1. Orange definitely. I absolutely adore orange walls and plan to paint my dining room orange one day. I think the brightness is so cheerful. And if you worry about soothing the child, perhaps paint the wall the crib is against blue so that it’s not quite so overpowering.

  2. I’m loving both…but leaning towards blue with orange/butter yellow toys/bits and pieces…trims or orange shelf? fun.

  3. Claire,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but have never left a comment. I just had to say something because I completely agree with you about painting and choosing paint colors! It is so fun… Thank you for the lovely pictures and for sharing your color thought process. 😉

  4. says:

    ORANGE!!!!!!! The softer oranges wouldn’t keep a little awake, I think. And blue on walls makes me…well, blue. Orange is warm and cozy and makes you want to snuggle.

  5. says:

    The lovely thing about paint is that it can easily be painted over. I have two kids myself so I know that may be easier said than done but even so, it’s still true. Both the color schemes your thinking of are beautiful but if you find yourself regreting your choice once it’s up on the walls there’s nothing permanent about it. Change is only a few gallons of paint and a day or two of rolling away.
    Even though I adore the last image of the orange flower with the green stem and leaf on the blue background, I’m still going to add my voice to the orange chorus. Yes, orange is kind of an up and coming color, the new pink as it where, but there’s still something quite unique about it. It’s just got a wonderful warmth about it and if you choose your shade carefully, it can be a warmth that soothes rather than shouts.

  6. I’m going to vote for orange and warm tone accents on blue. Orange is one of those “wake up” colours which are cheerful, but potentially not soothing if kids are meant to fall asleep in the room.

  7. hmmmm. . . i LOVE both of these color schemes. personally, though, i sometimes tire of the brighter colors more quickly so i’d probably go for the more serene blue with orange accents.

  8. I like the orange, but the blue really does it for me. I don’t think there are many things that are more satisfying than creating a colour scheme that works. I love painting walls! It’s very soothing, and ends up looking so good!
    Have you thought of wallpaper?

  9. Everyone has or had blue, Go orange. But this is from someone who changes her mind a lot and has even painted the same room a couple times in one month. What can I say. I need more rooms because I like to many colors & styles.
    Can’t wait to see it finished.


  11. says:

    I think the grey-blue is a few sad.

  12. says:

    I think I have died and gone to heaven. I love the MS images – where can I get those fabrics? Am going to copy your idea, blatantly, and do up #2’s room in orange and blue. So fab.

  13. says:

    We are in the same place – third room is in the clean out phase and hopefully it will be painted in the next three weeks. I don’t know where we are going to put all the stuff!

  14. I am so loving orange now. Its the new black. :*)

  15. says:

    I’m in the same boat – twins are coming in April and we have yet to decide on colours. Funny that you and I have the same MS photos cut out – I love that orange!

  16. says:

    Oh wow! The orange is fantastic. My five year old has maintained for as long as she has been able to talk that orange (or ondinge as it was known back then)is her favourite colour, standing up against the kinder peer group pressure of pink. Although I love it, it may be a bit much in a small room. The blue/grey is so soft and soothing and to have it accented with the orange would be great. An orange quilt would be beautiful. The Amy Butler Charm range had some gorgeous oranges in it. Looking forward to watching the transformation.

  17. I love these photos. Great inspiration! Your site rocks my creative world. Can’t wait to see what you do with the kidlet’s room.

  18. I love the orange too!! Did you tell us what you are having?! Are you going to find out? I still need to finish the nursery from when Myles was born 21 months ago!! 🙂

  19. says:

    I love the orange! It’s a happy color!

  20. Yes, orange! My in-laws just painted their kitchen with a shade that can be best described as “Kraft macaroni & cheese”, but it WORKS! Of course, you could go with something more subtle, like a bright sunflower… but orange, yes.

  21. That first orange wall is lovely. Blue is very soothing but it makes me want to scream after a while!

  22. It’s going to look gorgeous – such a fabulous colour combination. That top picture from MS Kids is one of my favorite kid’s rooms ever, too… how great is that quilt?

  23. says:

    Ah — I’ve had such a trying day and looking at all those lovely colors has calmed me. I really like that last image. I can picture a little sherbet-colored childrens desk against that cornflower blue. Lovely. (And, can I be Amelia for awhile? I love that green.)

  24. says:

    Oh, Orange–definitely! It doesn’t have to be “crazy” it can be a mellow sherbet orange if you’re attached to “conservative”, but not into blue. Just an idea, but crazy or not, my vote is orange.

  25. I love those colours, and the idea of bright orange, it’s so “not” calm and tranquil. My son loves orange and I have always put off using it as I don’t want to over stimulate him. I think I may have a change of heart after seeing your great pictures.

  26. ooh, i love orange and blue together so so much. i say, do both! blue with one orange wall.

  27. The best part about choosing colours is finding a name on the little card you love. We once painted a room in “windjammer” a hideous name however a lovely pink shade… we had to paint over it in the end. That same room is now “seed pearl” & we LOVE IT to bits! Happy painting.

  28. I think warmer tones are perhaps better, cos of the cheerful emotions they create. yeah blue might get a bit depressing. have fun painting

  29. Ohhh I’m impressed by the images you have collected to inspire your room design (mental note if I want to be a proper designer I should do this).
    Although I adore orange and have painted my own walls orange in a few flats (I need the colour when the days get short during our winters),I found it a bit too over stimulating in the bedroom. My preference are the colours in the last two photos. The orange aginst the pale blue is breathe taking.

  30. says:

    I vote for the pale grey/blue with the orange accents. The orange is lovely (it’s my favorite colour and I’d love to have walls the colour of your first photo) but the blue is more soothing and will make the room look bigger.
    Also, since the room’s north-facing it will always get plenty of light so the blue will never feel cold, but the orange might be a bit too much on sunny days?

    I wish I owned a house like yours and could spend time decorating it just how I want!

  31. I’m paint-crazy too and just finished my living room/kitchen in a mellow aqua. Very nice.
    I know all of these well meaning commenters want orange, but they’re missing out on a very important fact. I lived in a house with an orange bedroom, and the walls actually cast an orange glow onto your face when you were in the room. Pretty ick. So while it looks great in magazines and books, when you’re actually standing in an orange room, you could have an orange reflection on your lovely pale skintone, too. Not cute.

    I vote for loads of orange accessories instead.

  32. The second photo makes sense to me. While the orange element is a vital part of the scheme and not at all subtle, it is not visible from the sleeping child’s vantage point. A perfect way to inject a very high-energy colour into the room without keeping the kid awake while you’re reading stories to him/her.

  33. ORANGE!
    And here’s why…
    1) I’m sick of blue! lol!
    2) It doesn’t have to be totally, screamingly bright.
    3) If you have a boy, you can add in blues, sage greens, browns. Which look good in any design scheme or it can go ‘safari’.
    4) If you have a girl, throw in some pinks. I love orange and pink together. OR you could also add the blues, greens and browns for a modern design.

    Can’t wait to see pictures!

  34. Ilove orange! my bathroom is painted bright orange and pink..both…together..on the walls! it’s craziness! I will try to post some pics later…but, i really like the pale blue walls with the bright orange accents! nice combo!

  35. says:

    I’d go with a lovely, soft orange. I actually just painted my baby Ana’s room a very soft, light blue/periwinkle/gray and although the colour is just beautiful during the day it’s kindof moody and dark when the sun isn’t shining…if I were to redo it it would be in a butter yellow or warm rose or apricot….I’m sure that whatever you decide will look great. Good luck! Susan

  36. Love all these inspiration rooms. I just used the blue room from MSKids as the inspiration for painting my sons’ room. The wall color turned out beautiful; just wish I could afford that awesome orange rocker in the magazine. Oh well. I’ll settle for a few orange accents scattered around the room.
    I have to say, I am in love with the orange room. I couldn’t see it working for a boy’s room, but maybe that’s just me. I think I would’ve gone that way if I had girls or if I were braver. Do you know what you are expecting?

  37. says:

    The blue is nice and soothing, and maybe a bit easier to decorate with, but the orange is… well orange! It’s a warm color that makes you feel cozy and snuggly, and at the same time I feel it’s a very “creative” color. Think of the artistic stimulation the baby will get.
    You could go with a nice orange tone with the blue/grey accents and have the best of both worlds. For an idea of how it would look together, rent the 1996 movie Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow) and check out the sitting room of the Misses Bates. It’s painted a warm nutmeg with a vivid pale blue accent and just looks lovely.

  38. says:

    Oh, how I have loved orange for so many many years. Somehow the blue seems like it may be a bit more adaptable, though. I think with two wee ones, it may be a long time before you can re-decorate all the way down to the paint.Still, I think the orange is fantastic and interesting and different. And I think of a friend who had really crazy poppy wallpaper in her childhood room, and she was always so happy and pleased that her room was so distinctive and interesting.
    So I may be no help at all!
    But you’re definitely on the way to a lovely, lovely room!

  39. I love the look of those orange walls, but the blue just seems more soothing (nap time and teething phases come to mind), plus easier to hang pictures on. But it’s really hard to say no to that orange….

  40. I love the look of those orange walls, but the blue just seems more soothing (nap time and teething phases come to mind), plus easier to hang pictures on. But it’s really hard to say no to that orange….

  41. love the blue and orange ideas! if you want that perfect gray blue, we painted oscar’s room gossamer blue from benjamin moore and couldn’t be happier with the color. the bright orange is so good. I’m going to have to send this along to my sister who just found out she’s having a baby girl. of course, she’s a little afraid of color but who knows, a little inspiration goes a long way. can’t wait to see how the room turns out!

  42. Beautiful tear sheets! I think that in the interest of peaceful slumber I’d vote for pale blue walls. But for a shot of pizzaz why don’t you paint the interior of the closet one of those brighter sherbet oranges? And some orange window treatment. It’ll be beautiful either way. 🙂

  43. says:

    Blue, definitely blue with accents of orange. Beautiful!

  44. We have a room like that! It is called the “Catch-all.” We have moved 3 times and the frickin’ “Catch-all” continues to follow us. I love the green in Amelia’s room, we are in the process of painting our dining room the same color!

  45. ohhh! I love decorating! You’ll have so much fun. With all of your talents, there is no doubt in my mind that it will turn out fabulous! And those pink shoes are sooo adorable!!

  46. Had to delurk to throw in a vote for the lovely blue with all those fun orange accents. Such pretty images! Did I miss the announcement somewhere? Do we know if Wee One is boy or girl?

  47. I love the orange! I almost painted my own bedroom orange and then decided on purple instead. How I miss my purple walls (I’ve since moved and now my walls are boring white.)

  48. says:

    Go the orange

  49. Hahaha! So many opinions! I always like your ideas, and your sense of color is pretty darn great. Whatever you choose it will be sublimely gorgeous I am sure. Personally I like to add a touch of red against orange, with lots of white to rest the eye upon. Yum.

  50. I would love to live in the orange room! Its so cosy and nice.. 🙂

  51. says:

    They had a color contest recently on where lots of people sent in pictures of their variously colored homes. Lots of them were baby/children’s rooms. You could look there to get ideas. I’m pretty sure there was at least on orange room! It’s in the archives under “contests”

  52. I love the image with the pumpkin in it! I like the brighter blue accent on the railing. I also like the orange accents in the accessories. You could always paint one orange accent wall then there wouldn’t be too much orange. Accent walls look amazing!

  53. ORANGE! Yummy. Much more unusual and striking. Go for it!

  54. They are both so fun, but I really love the blue with the orange accents. The blue is so relaxing, but the little bursts of orange give it the energy that it needs.

  55. the orange looks great – so striking! However, blue is one of the most popular colors for bedrooms for the simple reason that it is one of the most restful and serene colors. I might steer you more towards the blue, and then you can kick it up with orange accents. (and maybe some cocoa brown? I am loving blue and brown these days.)


  57. Hooray for Orange! Hello from new blogger! I am a friend of The Shopping Sherpa (that’s how I heard about your blog – I love your art – it’s wonderful!) Cheers! from SewThrifty!

  58. I also vote Orange… but you know, you could do one accent wall orange and the others blue, and tie it together with fabric that has both colors

  59. Can I also add, at my daughter’s child care centre they recently painted a 16 foot wall in the 2-3yr old’s room bright orange and the kids were just apes after that. Psychotic apes.So they switched it to purple, and used the orange on an exterior closed in play space and that worked much better.

    You could always leave it white until the baby decides what it likes later on. Put the money towards brightly coloured accessories! (or a spa treatment for you)