Can you believe it is November, how did that happen? Once again I find myself in the throws of the usual round of children’s room murals as Christmas gifts. It is where Charlotte Designs started and I still love working with families to help them create the perfect environment for their child. A child’s room is probably the most important room you will ever decorate, it needs to be magical and reflect their interests and personality. A special place they can grow, learn and dream. So why is a child’s room so important, and, if done properly, how will it help your child?
The first thing to say is that I write this not just as a mural artist, but as an interior designer, which is where I started. I am not, as my clients will tell you, in the business of copying pictures onto your walls, without any thought as to why you want it and how it works in your room. I do not understand why you would want someone else’s mural when you can have your own. Clients who come to me with a picture (which s great by the way…), are in the first instance, asked questions. What is it you like about that and more importantly, what don’t you like. The mural in your picture was designed for a different family with different needs and a different house. The chances of it working for you are very slim. I take the concept and the things you like and then change the things you don’t like. I then take into account your room, age and style of property, the furniture in your room and why you want the mural at all.
I have been hand painting murals for over 11 years and in that time, I have painted for a wide variety of reasons.
One of the most common reasons is because of sleep problems. This can range from children who won’t settle in their own rooms, or those who wake up in the night. This 6 year old was creeping into her parents bed at around 2am every morning, her parents were at their wits end. After talking to her about what she liked and what she didn’t, it turned out that, amongst other things, she wanted to ‘sleep in the clouds’. So we created a very calming room, where the bed seemed to be nestled into pale pink clouds and finished the room off with glow in the dark paint and glitter. I spoke to her parents about 6 months after the room was done and she had spent every night in there since the room was painted.
Children sometimes find it very difficult to cope with change. Whether that is a new home, a change in family circumstance or an addition or loss in the family. I have painted numerous murals for children in new homes, or following the loss of someone close. However, I want to share this one with you. Emily had been adopted at the age of 5 and was struggling to settle in her new surroundings. They were very different from what she had been used to and her Mum approached me to help create somewhere she could feel safe and loved. Emily is obsessed by the sea and had very definite ideas about what she liked and what she didn’t! So we created a mural that wrapped around her bed and incorporated as many of things she wanted as we could . The effect was magical. Her Mum emailed me after the first few days so tell me that Emily had gone to bed easily and calmly every night since the mural had been painted. She had named all the sea creatures and was now making up stories about them as part of her bedtime routine.
Certain children have very specific requirements. We have had enormous success in creating rooms for children with autism, who find murals captivating. A young man called Simon learnt to count, colours, larger/smaller, more/fewer all from the murals he had. He also used to stroke the huge muralled lion when he was feeling stressed and it calmed him down. Another older boy who inherited a mural in his new home, found that lots of things in it upset him and he was unable to sleep in his new room. I worked with his Mum to create a room that featured things he found calming and interesting. He loved animals for instance, but doesn’t like anything looking at him, so our owl was asleep and the rabbit, looking away.
Contrary to what many people think, if a mural is done properly and designed specifically for you and your individual requirements, it will last a long time (I have had kids murals last almost 10 years!…). A mural is a key part to making a child’s room as very special place they will love and remember for the rest of their lives. The perfect Christmas gift that doesn’t even need a plug!
Till next time