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The cat that got the cream

Craft - inspired by Resene, from Little Treasures magazine

A giant, colourful feline is just one of the stunning talking points in this room a graphic designer dad made over for his wee daughter.

Sylish kid's bedroom

Everyone knows that all a kid needs in a dad is someone who’s kind, thoughtful, loving and supportive. But if they could also be a graphic designer, that would be the ultimate. That way they may get a stylish bespoke bedroom like the one Resene Dream Room winner Scott Simpson has created for his daughter Mia in their Greenhithe, Auckland home.

Scott’s one of those clever creative types – forever thinking of projects for the home, a dab hand at whipping up artwork and a perfectionist who won’t settle for second best. But sometimes his meticulous nature can hold him back: he won’t start a project until he’s sure he’s come up with the very best idea. So the tight deadline that came with winning this competition proved to be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, completing an entire room in seven weeks was stressful, especially when you take into consideration that the time frame included a busy Christmas, 15 days away on a family holiday and juggling the usual work/children commitments. But on the plus side, it forced his hand and gave him the motivation he needed. “Otherwise it would have dragged out for six months and I still would have the same result,” he admits.

So fast and furious it was. With a sprinkling of late nights, many hours bent over with a paintbrush and a lot of “Ruth can you please look after the kids while I...”, Scott has transformed Mia’s room from a bland and uninspired space to a room with colour and personality that will take her through to her teenage years. Mia may only be 20 months old, but it didn’t mean her room décor needed to be babyish. Longevity was a key word for Scott: “I wanted to design something that Mia would love now and also in five years’ time. To help with this I stayed away from any specific characters such as Dora, who she may love now but would outgrow.”

A stylish pink child's room

A colourful kid's room with stencilled art

A colourful height measuring stick

He kept the colour of the room itself pretty basic – one wall is painted in the aptly named Resene Princess and three in the very light pink Resene Slipper – and instead used art to inject colour and personality. The oversized cat that leaps across one wall is a case in point: Mia loves cats so Scott made this feature artwork using MDF and a jigsaw.

Deliberating over the colour combination of the geometric triangles took him a long time, but he’s happy with his final choice of Resene Shalimar, Resene Morning Glory, Resene Consuela, Resene Flamingo, Resene Scooter and Resene Kidzcolour: Resene Ferris Wheel, Resene Pink Panther, Resene Princess, Resene Flower Power and Resene Zappo.

A painted geometric cat mural

Family photo

Brother and sister share some time beneath the geometric cat.

To avoid the room looking too grown up, Scott added touches of whimsy throughout. A decal mouse hole (complete with a cheese-logo tank top on the washing line), a mouse on a flying fox, and three birds in flight are all his design, printed by a signwriter.

He hung the photo frames on an angle for a fun twist, painted a cougar lamp base tangerine and added fake grass and a farm scene to an otherwise simple shelf.

Prints by Auckland-based Bird in a Bunnysuit hang above the cot and feature bunnies adorned in necklaces and headdresses.

The butterflies being chased by the cat were a thrifty TradeMe find ($20 for 100) and the cushions a cheap Typo purchase, while the girly pink chandelier from Kidzspace was more of an investment buy.

As far as bang for buck goes, simply lying Mia’s old storage shelves on their side made a huge impact.

In a horizontal position they opened up the room and their contents became more accessible for Mia. They were bought from Target and are a great option for stylish storage. Scott took it a step further and slotted squares of cardboard covered in a Resene wallpaper into the cubes to create a pretty backdrop for Mia’s belongings.

Scott and Ruth had a professional cabinetmaker come in to redesign the wardrobe, which was formerly just a single-doored compartment with one rail. Now it’s a clever use of space designed with adjustable shelving on either side, drawers, a rail (with provision for another one when needed) and a beautiful full-length mirror down the middle, which Scott and Ruth often find their children staring at themselves in. The custom wardrobe cost them just shy of $1000 but it meant they didn’t need to purchase a set of drawers for Mia, which also frees up valuable space in the room.

Plus, like the rest of her room, it will last Mia well into her teens, meaning Scott won’t have to face another room overhaul for at least another 10 years!

Resene colours used

Tricks & Tips


Created by Debbie Harrison. Photography by Bauer Studio.

February/March 2014

Kid's Bedroom Decorating Ideas
View more decorating ideas for kids from Little Treasures magazine in the Resene kid's bedroom inspiration gallery.

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