Ken Wingard is one of the designers on OWN's "Home Made Simple." He specializes in designs on a budget and has done several kid-friendly projects on the show. A new dad himself, he know how important it is to make a room feel comfy and inviting without breaking the bank.
In a recent one-on-one interview he told us, "There's lots of decorating out there — move the truck and it's all fabulous and all that. But I find that stuff actually very irritating to watch because I can't do that. I'm not about to drop $50,000 on new kitchen cabinets. Any of my friends will tell I'm the cheapest person on the face of the planet and do I everything myself. So this is the perfect show because we go in there and what we do is real. I'm figuring it out. I'm doing it with stuff I find in their garage. I'm showing them how to do it and it's nice. It's inspirational even for me to see people take control of their own spaces and the self-confidence that it builds."
He gave us ten tips for creating a kid-friendly space:
1. Approach kid's design from an adult point of view.
"There's a lot of kids designs out that are, in my opinion, too immature. I was a full blown adult before I was a parent and I want my own and my kid's rooms to be of the same fabric. I don't want to walk into a kids room and all of a sudden have it be so disjointed from the rest of the house and from who I am as a person… So I approach it much more from a sophisticated point of view. My little girls room is sage green walls with white birch trees with pink and blue polka dots floating all around. So it's whimsical for her but it's pleasant for me. But I did this when she was born and she can still have that on her wall until she's a teenager and I'm not going to have to redecorate it five different times."
2. Include the child in the design process.
"I think it's important. We did an episode with three kids and we were making bed rolls for them… and I took the colors that I was doing in the room and I put them on paint sticks for them. And we went to the fabric store and I taught them, 'These are the colors of the room so why don't we look for fabrics that have these colors.' And they loved it. I talked about color and matching and coordinating and they helped stuffed the bed rolls when they were done. So they bought into the whole project and it's very educational for them and it makes the room feel like theres."
3. Let the teens have their way.
"When it's up to the teen years, just let them go for it. They're not going to be around for much longer. Let them have what they want. Make it cool. Make it hip. There are plenty of other battles you're going to have with teenager, what color to paint the room does not need to be one of them… The truth is you give him that he wants, he feels it's cool. He's going to be hanging out at your house with his friends as opposed to him being off who knows where. So it bodes well for the parents to give the kids what they want in the teen years."
4. Think ahead with paint colors.
"It's important to have a room that's going to grow with your kids so you're not having to re-do it every three or four years. Have a room that is subtle enough so that as your family grows, as you have more kids, you can put the girl in the boy's room and the boys can move to the girl's room and you're not having to repaint… Because it's all great when you're pregnant for the first time and your spending all this time painting the nursery bright pink with daisies, but when you've got four kids running around the last thing you want to do is paint that room on a Saturday. So give yourself plenty of leeway for the future."
5. Stay away from themes.
"That's one of these things where the same rules that apply to adult rooms apply to kids room. You need to go the long distance. You want a room you're not going to be tired of in a few years and the theme rooms really do that. Pick a color palette that you can work with and then add the theme with bed linens, throw pillows. There's some great vinyl decals out there now that just peel right off. Don't start doing the wood nymph mural that you're going to be tired of or the racing car bed that he's going to outgrow because you're just going to regret it."
To see Ken's other five tips visit Pop Culture Passionistas.com.
See more of Ken Wingard on OWN's "Home Made Simple" Saturdays at 9 a.m. EST/PST and check out his website. And after each episode viewers can go to HomeMadeSimple.com for step-by-step instructions about how to make each of the projects featured on the show. And don't miss the HomeMadeSimple.com live Q&A via their Facebook app, Solutions Exchange, on Thursday, February 7 from 6-7 p.m. PST/9-10pm EST.