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As always, my creative eye can appreciate the skill of the artist and the detail and time involved in creating this jungle themed mural, but it doesn’t work on a lot of levels. To start with, it doesn’t appear to be just a mural, that is confined to one wall of the room, as a nice eye catching feature. It appears to extend on to other walls, possibly all of them. This gives a very claustrophobiclinen sheets, overpowering feel to the room and makes it look very closed in and considerably smaller than it actually is.

The colours are dull and lack lustre with the exception of the small, brightening, touches of red and yellow. This gives the room a very oppressive almost sinister feel. The artwork is busy and there is far too much going on for young eyes to process and the focal point appears to be the rather fearsome looking, horned gorilla – or whatever it is?

I certainly wouldn’t expect my child to sleep, or play, in a room like this, not unless I wanted him to have nightmares! I would actually expect any child who spent any length of time in here to very quickly become agitated, frustrated or unruly. Murals or feature walls are back in vogue and are a great idea for your children’s rooms. They’re a great way of adding a theme, some texture or a colour scheme, but my advice would be to confine them to one wall and to keep the rest plain, or add just a few complementary details to carry your theme on to other walls, but don’t go overboard.

Choose your colours carefully. You don’t have to stick to the traditional and stereotyped primaries, or pastels for that matter, you can use dark or muted tones, but use them as accents or outlines and in moderation. A child’s room should be stimulating, cheerful and inspiring. The days of dark oppressive rooms will come soon enough, when they turn teenager and decide they want the obligatory all black room! So hold off with the dark stuff until then.

Decorating a child’s room should be as much fun and as enjoyable for you as it should for your children to enjoy, so take your time to research and plan it and you’ll end up creating something beautiful and artistic, rather than an ugly and oppressive eyesore. If you want to see a good example of how it should be done, take a look at this delightful nursery mural by a talented artist that I came across recently called Adam Regester. The?Woodland Friends mural?is charming and perfect for the room. Adam has used muted shades with brights in perfect balance to create a work of art that is cheerful without being garish or gawdy; and subtle without being dull.

Perfect, I love it! .and for anyone whose feeling creative and is interested in having a go themselves, I asked Adam what paints he had used (because if I’m honest he’s inspired me to have a go myself – as soon as I get the time) and he very kindly shared his tools of the trade with me.

The paints are Farrow &; Ball and he used their little chalk paint sample pots, as he says they’re perfect for the job! Farrow &; Ball Facebook

Not everything in California is Hollywood bound and the flavour of ranches and vineyards, can leave one spellbound. For a different type of flair in the bedroom, choose sparse and friendly. Strong, well-defined colours plus welcomed privacy, will hit the spot after a long day on the country trail.