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A Stroke of Imagination

Let your walls be your canvas

A child’s inspiration comes from many different places, so why shouldn’t it come from your walls. With so many options available for decorating, wallpapering and painting, there is no longer any excuse for plain white. No matter your budget or sense of design, your child’s bedroom or playroom can be transformed into a place where imagination can grow.

Decorating rooms for kids

Chalk Board Paint is a super easy way to let your child’s inner Picasso shine through. It comes in many forms — gallons as well as spray cans — and a variety of colors from good old classroom black to contemporary fire engine red. It also is reasonably priced. You can find tips for applying the paint on a variety websites, including the Benjamin Moore one. It recommends using decorative molding or a colorful painted border to give your chalkboard space a personal touch. Also, don’t forget a ledge for chalk and erasers. Once the wall is painted, all you need is a box of chalk and your little one will discover an endless world of color and drawing.

Wall Decals are growing in popularity. Also called wall stickers, we’ve all seen the commercials for them and you can find them in businesses and homes. They are a modern take on borders or stenciling and definitely make a statement. They can be used over virtually any surface. Wait at least three weeks before applying one to a freshly painted wall, though. They typically are removable but can come in permanent versions, so be sure to confirm with your supplier which version you are buying. Perfect for the walls of your child’s room or a playroom, you can find just about any kind you want from superheroes to princesses to sports figures. Allow your child to choose the theme, letting their imaginations run wild. As your child’s interests change, so can the decal.

Wallpaper isn’t the same as you remember from your grandparents’ kitchen It’s now customizable, giving you the chance to choose a pattern that suits your family and lifestyle. Available from Dwell Studios, www.dwellstudio.com, you can select the color as well as the pattern’s scale. Themes include transportation, dots, zinnias, owls and paper dolls. The wallpaper also is easy to remove without damaging walls, letting the room change as your child grows and changes.

Murals are the ultimate when it comes to custom designing walls and spaces in your home. By working with an artist who specializes in murals you can transform any space into not only a work of art but a true wonderland. Two bay area artists, who together make up Painted Poetry Home, can transfer the thoughts in your imagination to the surface of your walls or can paint something you never dreamed of. “My friend jokingly calls me the best unicorn painter in the south,” says Robert Phelps. Together with partner Rebecca Dubin, the pair’s work is the definition of creativity and will inspire your family to shoot for the stars. “A child’s room is a very special place, almost sacred in a way,” the two say. “It functions as a sanctuary, a laboratory, an art studio, a library, a gym, a cocoon and launching pad of dreams where a lot of growth happens. Many of the seeds of creativity start sprouting in this very intimate environment where the child feels most comfortable. We like the idea of painting images that reinforce, inspire or harmonize the space.” See their masterpieces at www.paintedpoetryhome.com.

In a world of video games and television, providing an environment where your children feel inspired to imagine and dream gives them the support they need to explore their creativity. This gift of imagination truly is the present that requires no batteries and promises to outlast the latest trend in entertainment.

How to transform your home

Whether this is your first or 20th wall project, getting it to look like it was done by a pro is the goal. Here are some tips to help you create the room of your dreams and wow friends and family.

Wallpaper
  • Wallpaper may be applied to any dry, clean, smooth surface.
  • Fill cracks and sand to create a smooth surface.
  • Turn off all electrical current to the room before installation.
  • Starting from the top center, work down and outwards to smooth the panel.
  • Continue this method with the remaining panels.
  • Once installed, your wall covering may be cleaned using a soft, damp sponge.
Wall Decals
  • Wall decals may be applied to hard, clean, smooth and dry surfaces.
  • Textured walls may not work well, but they can be applied to glass, metal and plastic surfaces.
  • Make markings and measurements as needed.
  • Gently peel the hard paper backing away from the transfer paper.
  • Place your decal on the wall with the transfer paper.
  • Once you have smoothed out your decal, it’s safe to remove the transfer paper.
  • Most wall decals are removable but not reusable. Some touch ups may be necessary.
Chalkboard Paint
  • Make sure you have enough paint. You don’t want any color variations.
  • Tape off the area to be painted.
  • Wall must be clean and smooth before starting to paint on it.
  • Stir paint gently. It may break down if you stir it too hard.
  • Apply paint by starting in the middle, making sure that you overlap all brush marks.
  • Wait three days for paint to fully dry.
  • Once dry, you’ll need to prepare the surface by rubbing chalk all over and erasing it.

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