Children's Murals Children's Murals

Childhood is a magical time of life, a time when the boundaries between fantasy and reality are pleasantly blurred, when you aren't sure if the very wall you lean against might not give way to a fairy-land instead of just holding up the washer and dryer on the other side.

All too often, this period of woozy fantasy is cut short. One way to enhance and extend it is by bringing fantasy into your child's bedroom.

How better than with murals that encourage your child to take a trip into another world every time he shuts the door?

In the hands of a competent muralist, nothing is impossible. Your kid wants dolphins leaping over the waves? Or a trip downriver with Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin? No problem.

Such fanciful murals clearly speak to the first of the Sheffield Guidelines to Interior Design - function. The function of a child's bedroom should be not only to provide a place for the little one to sleep off the day's activities, but also should provide an escape from the mounting demands of life: tidying up toys, setting the table for supper, and drawing all those cute pictures you put on the fridge.

Allow your child to slip into another world, and you're fulfilling the function of the room. You're also paying attention to the second Guideline, mood, by providing a mood that is childlike and carefree.

Finally, think about the third Sheffield Guideline, harmony: you want to make sure that whatever is painted on the wall, the furniture and other objects in the room harmonize with it.

So how to choose a subject for a mural? Ask your child, and then work with her to hone the subject. She might want life-size Mighty Fighting Half-Human Dogs, and you can gently push this into an outdoor scene with real dogs, recognizable even by you. Make sure that whatever you choose, it's general enough to last for a few years; make sure it isn't only reflective of your child's interest of the moment.

And if you don't have the money to invest in a professional muralist, you can still add your own small touches. Paint the walls blue, and then paint grass growing above the baseboard, and use stencils and white paint for clouds.

Soon, your child will be happily dreaming in fantasy land.



Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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