In this room, I started with white walls, a cobalt blue carpet, and painted the woodwork royal blue. The trimwork wasn't anything special, so I didn't feel badly about painting it. In the future, I'll either repaint it, or replace it with a better grade of trim. I also painted each of the closet panels a bright color. The color really makes a difference in how the rest of the room looks. It just wouldn't look as bright and cheerful with the drab woodgrain trim and closet doors. I realize that every one can't do this, but I think that it really makes the room. I really enjoyed going over the top in this room.
The wallpaper border consisted of trucks and road signs. I was able to find an inexpensive fabric with road signs to coordinate with the wallpaper, and a solid blue fabric to compliment it. From that, I sewed the bedspread, pillowcase, window valance, sheets and a throw pillow. To finish off the trashcan, I covered it with a leftover piece of border.
I did use a striped wallpaper and border to liven the room up a little. Then, to carry out the pattern in the wallpaper in a larger scale, I cut kitchen sponges into shapes-a circle, rainbow, square, rectangle and a triangle. I chose a bright color for each of the shapes to match the wallpaper. Then, poured a little paint onto a foam plate and loaded the sponge with paint, tested it on a paper bag, and then pressed the sponge onto the wall. I did one shape/color at a time, and then another. This helped to space the shapes evenly. This was a very fast and easy thing to do to make a big impact.
To create the street sign wall art, I used 1½" polystyrene insulation. I happened to have this left over from recent home improvements. It isn't expensive-a 4x8 sheet of it runs about $20.00, and the lumberyard would probably make a really good deal on some of their broken sheets. I cut the foam into the shapes of road signs, then primed and painted them. They are very lightweight, virtually unbreakable, and easy to hang-just 2 nails each piece and then press it into place.
The tinker toy shelf is also home made. The wood dowels that hold up the shelves are moveable, so the shelves can be at different levels. The top of the shelf now is home to the many stuffed animals-I discovered that a pet hammock over the bed is NOT a good idea.
I also painted an 18x24" cork board white, painted the frame blue, and painted a train on it to create a functional picture. Below it is a personalized shelf to hold some of those things that you want to display, but up out of harms way.
A note about the mechanicals~I bought all new plates, switches and outlets in white-the almond color looks dingy next to the bright white of the room. The wiring is easy to do, and only takes a few minutes, but take care while doing this, and DON'T FORGET TO TURN OFF THE BREAKER! I was also thrilled to find a primary colored ceiling fan that looks fabulous in this room.
While these ideas are for a boys room, they are very adaptable. For example, in a girls room, you could use the sponge idea with hearts, stars, flowers, or even sportsballs or space objects....You're only limited by your imagination. The same goes for the foam shapes-the possibilites are endless. My best advice is to keep it simple, though. It is a kid's room, after all, and it should be a fun place to be!