“But it’s MY room!”

I bought my kid a pair of red shoes. They’re covered in white polka dots and bedecked with white bows on the toes. I didn’t like them. She loved them. I said yes. She was beaming, floating on air, not just because they are bright and fancy, but because I let her pick.

Now I love those shoes too, not because they’re bright and fancy, but because they make her feel so good about herself and her choices. May it always be so.

She and I are dancing around the edges of a showdown on her new bedroom. She wanted to paint it “all rainbows, with red on that wall and orange on that wall and blue on that wall and …” etc. I dodged that bullet and we settled on a bright blue that she calls turquoise and that reminds me of the Caribbean ocean.

But we only painted that color (Sherwin Williams Belize) on one wall. Busted. Her High Empress is … displeased.

I have several adult votes on the side of standing firm, but it’s amazing how the will and persistence of a six-year-old feels weightier.

Also. The secret is … I kind of like the idea of painting the whole thing to feel like a goddamned tropical ocean. My advisers tell me it will make it feel too small. Or that it will be “too much.” But somehow it doesn’t feel done, to me.

I should be happy it’s blue, right? Since one day, she’ll want to paint her bedroom black and invite her friends over to smash red handprints all over her homemade loft bed and lock the door and play Depeche Mode’s “Black Celebration” on repeat and wait that was me.

I know it’s just paint, but I don’t want to pick up another paintbrush for a very long time after moving day.

What do you think?

(And should I paint the window trim?)

(Consider: carpet will be pale cream. Furniture is white. The wall opposite the window is mostly doors — mirrored double-sliders on the closet, white door to the dining room. Wall to the left has a white door to the bathroom.)

Kid's bedroom

11 thoughts on ““But it’s MY room!”

  1. From an aesthetic perspective (from a color obsessed graphic designer no less) – there is way more you can do decorating-wise with just the one wall painted. You can paint bright animals on the walls, hang a cute chandelier with sparkly crystals, paint a huge rainbow that ends on that wall with a big cloud under it, there a sticky things for the walls that can jazz up all the white space and tie it all together . . . I would steer her in that direction and see if she forgets about the all blue walls? Perhaps there is “ocean” fabric for curtains as well. Move towards the bedding and curtains – they are certain to distract?

    And as for letting the 6 year old decide – that is a whole other conversation. But in the end you are the one that has to paint over the blue when she decides she doesn’t like it in a few years. And I have an almost 11 year old girl so I feel pretty confident in saying that this will most definitely happen!!

    Love you smooch.

  2. All BLUE! Do the Ceiling too. I can see that the ceiling is that yucky spackly stuff – no fun to paint… But I painted a (south-facing, remarkably bright) room avocado green from floorboards to ceiling, thinking all along that it might be too much, and I’ve never been happier with a painting decision. :-)

    • So, we paid our contractors big bucks to paint all of the remaining popcorn ceilings using a sprayer … thus, the ceiling color is permanent, in my mind! I do keep feeling like the white looks like primer next to the blue. Like it’s not done. Gah. Tough call. It’s a commitment, for sure. (I would LOVE to see that glorious-sounding green room of yours!)

  3. Paint the room, not the trim or the ceilings. Mix it up with bedding and window treatments. I love that color. It reminds me of EVERYONE’s living room in the ’60s. All that’s missing is a portrait of JFK.

  4. Blue, as much as she wants. Especially THAT blue…..mmmmm, Belize…..
    As if underwater, following a dolphin in a tropical lagoon.
    I love it…and I wonder where Nora gets this love of Caribbean blue water colour?
    Could be genetic.
    Blue, all the way (well, not the ceiling).

  5. Walls all blue. Trim white. Ceiling white. The blue is a great color and if she gets tired of it you can change bedding and accessories. For a more sophisticated look when she’s older you could change the furniture to black or dark wood and glam it up with a crystal chandelier, large mirrors, different artwork…

    P.S. my 15 year-old’s room is bright yellow…including the ceiling. I thought we were nuts to agree to her pick of paint color, but it’s really cheerful. (She has a basement room with a funky low ceiling and weird layout so the paint helped brighten up the space and make it look like a real bedroom.)

  6. I think it’s fun to let kids decide. Who cares really? It’s a wall. In a house. In a town. In a state. On a continent. On a planet. Just a wall. Let her go crazy. Btw the next time you guys come over, remind me to show Nora my closet. One wall is covered in rainbows. It’s ludicrous and I love it (and yes, I did it).

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