I have two young children, and many of my clients have kids, too. So my Pinterest account sports a healthy dose of kid-oriented research. Still, you won't find any cartoon characters there. I favor spaces for children that are youthful, but not juvenile. Not only does this approach allow the rooms to grow with their occupants. It results in spaces that put the children first, ones that makes them feel both comfortable and inspired. I figure kids get enough commercialism in their daily lives, and I think their rooms should be a respite from all that.
Still, a kid's room should be fun, so I always keep my eye out for items that are lively and whimsical. At some point awhile back, I pinned a photo of this wallpaper, from British company Paper Boy. Called Hand Made, it's a graphic pattern made with shapes of shadow puppets. Upon seeing it on my kid room board this week, I found myself charmed all over again, and decided to take a closer look at it.
It comes in a variety of colorways, all of which have a rather restrained palette. This not only keeps the look sophisticated; it makes it easy to combine with other colors and patterns.
Given the colors and wit, I think this pattern would also work in other, more adult spaces: a powder room maybe, or an entry or library. Anywhere you want a dash of whimsy, really. Now that's something most kids--and grownups--can get behind.