Charlie’s Modern and Colorful Hand Painted Kid’s Room

I haven’t shared pictures of our home in years – since before I divorced. I felt pretty private at the time, and it also took me a long time to get things looking the way I wanted them to, while also balancing work and quality time with C. Her room is finished now, and I thought I’d share it with you because we both love it. 🙂

In our home, there’s nothing more important to me than empowering C and making sure she feels that her voice is heard. She chooses her own clothes and has a say in most everything that affects her life. If you remember back to three years ago, C’s previous room had a “Big City” theme. When kids get older, though, it’s hard to stick to a theme – they have their own opinions, and they want to hang their own artwork.

When I asked her what she wanted her room to look like, C said “lots of colors!” For a kid who often wears every color in the rainbow and enjoys mixing a lot of patterns, this wasn’t very surprising. The problem is, I want to like her room too, and I’m not always wild about her outfit choices (the sparkly purple leopard print pants paired with a multicolored star shirt and flashing shoes? Not something I want to see on her bedroom walls every day!). I wanted a room we could both be happy with.

Modern and colorful kids room with diagonal stripes

I love modern design, and I wanted a room that was colorful, but not tacky or overwhelming. Stripes are obviously a big trend in rooms right now, but I didn’t want a whole room of stripes, and it felt like lots of colorful stripes could quickly overload the senses. I decided to pick six colors and do diagonal stripes – and not across the entire wall. To tone it down even further, I chose black and white accents (the black and white dot rug is from Ikea, $20).

Modern and colorful kids room with diagonal stripes and toy storage

I can honestly say that the stripes project was a pain in my tuchas and I was really glad that I decided to only do six stripes. It required a lot of painter’s tape and measuring so that the stripes were lined up perfectly.

DIY diagonal stripes in a kids room using painter's tape and paint samples

This was a cheap project, though, thanks to paint samples from Home Depot. Each 8oz sample was $3, and I still have paint left after painting two walls and the borders of all her picture frames.

In case you’re curious, the colors are Glidden from Home Depot. Yellow is Sunflower (GLY01), Blue is Peacock Blue (GLB01), Green is Lucky Shamrock (GLG05), Pink is Watermelon Smoothie (GLR09), Red is Red Geranium (GLR06), and Orange is Orange Marmalade (GLO04).

DIY diagonal stripes in a kids room using painter's tape and paint samples

As you can see, only half the wall is painted; the other half I left white. I gave the picture frames (Ribba from Ikea, left over from C’s nursery and big girl room) some pizazz by painting the edges. I mixed in some other colorful stuff too – a vintage blackboard I found in Oregon and a Felix the Cat ceramic piece I did in high school.

Modern and colorful kids room with diagonal stripes and toy storage

Colorful gallery wall in a kids room

Colorful gallery wall in a kids room

Another priority for me is storage. A couple of weeks ago, I shared my method for teaching toddlers to clean up after themselves. One of the main reasons this works in our house is the toy storage I have, which provides a home for most everything. These are from Ikea’s Trofast collection.

Modern and colorful kids room with diagonal stripes and toy storage

At four, C can’t read yet – but she also can’t remember which drawer is for which toys. I labeled each one and drew a picture of what’s inside.

toy storage in a kids room

The other wall is very different – I painted circles freehand on the opposite wall. The white clock is from Target ($7), and the mid-century dresser and bookshelf are vintage. When I saw the little coat rack at Ikea ($25), I couldn’t believe how perfectly it matched the room and I had to have it. She hangs her coats and doctor jackets there.

Hand painted colorful circles in a kid's room

Her dresser has a few knickknacks, mostly from my childhood, and a fan I spray-painted pink (she was thrilled!).

Hand painted colorful circles in a kid's room

C loves books (and so do I!). I love this old bookshelf I found at the antiques fair for $20.

bookshelf in a colorful hand painted circle wall

I’ve been carting these cute star garlands in bronze, silver, and gold around for years (I got them at Paper Source when I worked there), and hung them from the ceiling. Good thing there’s no theme here and I can do what I want. 😉

hand painted wall in a kids' room with star garlands

On the left, below, you can see the blackout shade situation. This is a very wide window, and after battling for over a year with a ridiculous blackout shade from Home Depot that kept falling down, I finally decided to get two smaller shades from Ikea. These are much higher quality – the inside is made of metal, rather than cardboard like the Home Depot shade. Yes, there is a space between the two shades which lets light in, but it doesn’t bother C. I got the idea to use two shades from my friend Reichel, who did the same in her kids’ room – they aren’t bothered by the light either.

The night stand was $15 from the antiques fair. It works perfectly and can take a beating. 🙂 She loves her “special drawer.”

Colorful modern kids room with blackout shades and night stand

Overall, I wanted C to feel at home in her room, and be delighted every time she enters it. From her perspective, there’s color everywhere. From my perspective, it’s fun, cute, and not tacky at all. Success, I’d say. 🙂

Colorful kids' room with diagonal stripes


  1. Katie

    It’s awesome! Really awesome. I absolutely love the stripes and the color circles too. The black and white rug is fab! Way to empower C to have the room she wants without letting it go too crazy. 🙂

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