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Transitional spaces – from toddler to teen

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

As your child’s personality develops, their room can become more of a reflection of their individuality and tastes.

Themes are a really fun way to define a kids’ space. Try to pick things that they’ll likely enjoy for a few years rather than just the flavour of the month. Sometimes more generic themes will work better than ones based on pop-culture. Look beyond TV and movies to imaginative worlds of jungles, deserts, sea, space, animals or royalty for inspiration.


Toddlers bedroom Mood board
Mood board Toddlers bedroom
Paint: Walls in Resene Bone, Floor in Resene Blanc, Bed in Resene Cashmere, Toy Box in Resene Sante Fe, Book ledges in Resene Kalgoorie Sands, Bedside cabinet in Resene Sante Fe, Pendant light in Resene Moccasin, Kids Round table in Resene Sante Fe and stools in Resene Moccasin, Peg hook hanger in Moccasin.

Often, a second opinion is invaluable at this stage for picking the right paint colours that will change the space to make it truly theirs. It is fun to have your child’s involvement too, and taking them for a visit to a Resene ColorShop can be of great benefit. Start with small projects and look for ways your kids can help out.

Creamy off-whites and dusty peachy pinks, while trendy, are an easy colour to use in a little girl’s room that can still be made to look cool as they get older. Walls in Resene Bone and a floor in Resene Blanc make the ideal starting point for this transitional colour scheme and a great base to start building up layers of desert and sunset-inspired hues, such as the pendant light, coat hooks and stools in Resene Moccasin and the toy box, bedside cabinet and play table in Resene Sante Fe. When the room’s owner gets a little older, you can swap out the kiddie furniture for something more mature, such as a cane mirror in Resene Just Dance, a cane chair in Resene Kalgoorie Sands and a vase painted in Resene Twilight.

Bedroom accesories
Books and shelves
bedside table
Accessories: Round rug From H&M; Tilly home basket from Farmers; Cotton net bag, sage and clare palo linen pillowcase in terracotta, Rhapsody throw in marsala from Shut the front door; Round rainbow cushion from Little Peach and Pip; Single stonewash cotton single quilt cover, Genoa vintage washed fringe cushion in clay, Desert sky euro pillowcase, Home Republic Stonewash cotton euro in pink all from Adairs; I can fly, Gaston, You’ve all my favourite, How to be a lion, Antoinette books on picture ledges, Iconic wooden tea set, camel, Maileg bambi girl and fabelab rope basket all from Little Whimsy; Skipping rope, blocks, rainbow pencil pot, wooden rainbow all stylist own.

Flexible furniture, either in its ability to transform from one thing to another or for its multi-tasking qualities, can also be a great investment during this phase. When your child has grown out of their cot, wooden bunk beds are perfect for freeing up floor space and can be painted to suit your child’s personality. As your child gets older, simply lose the bottom bunk and add a study nook underneath the top bunk. Children love their privacy, too, and often enjoy having their own hideout. Bunks can easily convert into forts with a few blankets and boxes. And in the transition to a teenage bedroom, they will probably appreciate that privacy all the more. This unique house-shaped bedframe painted Resene Cashmere would make for the ideal fort when your child is young and can then be draped with gauzy fabrics to create a canopy as they grow.

Teen room...

Teenage room Mood board
Mood board Teenage bedroom
Paint: Walls in Resene Bone, Floor in Resene Blanc, Bed in Resene Cashmere, Pendant light in Resene Moccasin, Cane table in Resene Moccasin, Cane mirror in Resene Just Dance, Cane chair in Resene Kalgoorie Sands, Vase painted in Resene Twilight.

To get your child organised, incorporate plenty of shelving and storage. Wooden crates are easy to stack and don’t take up too much room, while box or honeycomb shelves make a fun DIY painting project and can be arranged in different patterns on the wall. When your child is very young, lipped shelves in Resene Kalgoorie Sands can be used to display favourite story books. When they’re a bit older and have outgrown the traditional toybox, underbed storage boxes painted to match their colour scheme can help keep small possessions tidy and out of sight. We used Resene Moccasin, Resene Just Dance, Resene Twilight, Resene Sante Fe and Resene Apache to dress up a set of wooden boxes so they coordinate with the theme of the room.

Colours to use
Seating and wall hanging
Accessories: Home Republic Cotton Single Quilt Cover in Clay, Stonewash Euro Pillowcase in Clay, Mercer and Reid Boracay Mustard Fringe Cushion, Home Republic Belgian Vintage Washed Linen Cushion in Rust, Mercer and Reid Bombay Velvet Linen Cushion, all from Adairs.

When you and your child have agreed on a colour scheme, pick up a few Resene testpots in colours that coordinate with their walls, floor, furnishings and bedding and let them paint up something especially for their space. The abstract ‘palm tree’ was painted onto a round canvas painted Resene Sorbet in Resene Moccasin, Resene Kalgoorie Sands, Resene Just Dance and Resene Cashmere while the sunset banner was creating using a cut piece of blank canvas painted Resene Sante Fe, Resene Moccasin, Resene Cashmere and Resene Apache stapled around wooden dowelling and hung up with a length of wool. They’re the finishing touches that tie the space together.

Resene Just Dance

Resene Sorbet

Styling by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Melanie Jenkins. 2019

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.

Latest Looks Gallery

Filter:  kids & teens | greens | blues | yellows | neutrals | oranges/browns | pinks/reds | greys/blacks | violets | pops-of-colour/multi-colour


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Teen to office space
When your child enters their teenage years


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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