Colour infusion with orange 6: children's rooms

Orange is often overlooked when it comes to decorating children's rooms, but it can become a real lifesaver for shared spaces which must be unisex - orange is neither too masculine or feminine. Another advantage is that orange is not too 'young' or too 'old' - how often have you had to change the colour scheme of a girl's room because pink is now too babyish for them?

If you begin with orange, it can be incredibly versatile and see them through until they leave the nest! Makeover time is calling - here are two rooms for you to look at; one is a gorgeous nursery and another for young children or teenagers. A nursery should have a good balance of colour in that it needs colour to amuse baby, but it needs the calmness of neutrals for a good night's rest.

This nursery idea uses blue with orange, but it could work just as well with another colour depending on your personal taste - experiment with colour combinations using a mood-board and collecting paint and fabric samples. With a mixture of cool and warm, we would start with a medium wood for the floor and by painting skirts, windows etc. in white.

A light sky blue or another pastel is painted on the walls and seen again with a light blue and white striped floor rug. Take a more vibrant tone of the same blue now for upholstering a nursing chair and for cute accessories. Some funky wall art never harmed baby - so look for some simple prints in white, orange and grey - the colours showing up again in bedding and window treatments. In a shared children's room, orange can be the compromising colour and used with white and brown it hints at the possibility of a theme such as a safari or retro theme should you be willing to go in that direction.

In a room where plenty is going on, creating zones becomes an important part of your planning - a focal wall painted in a bright orange could designate the half of the room for playing or studying and how you use lighting can help to create different zones. Use a variety of lighting options such as bedside table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling lights - even wall sconces; just see what works out best for you and the kids.

Paint the other three walls white and you can bring in orange wall art, shelving, window treatments and cheap bedding sets - do make orange more fun for children by picking out patterned cheap bedding sets or better still, make life easier with a whole set already put together - a bed in a bag comes with matching bedding sets in a wide array of colour ways and patterns.

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