Children’s rooms are my favorite to decorate! You have an excuse to add unexpected whimsy to your design and the possibilities are endless. You could be one of those really cool parents that let their kids have complete creative freedom with their bedrooms - I wish I was one of those parents, but alas I am not. (My name is Stephanie and I have a control problem - I know this - I'm trying to correct it - please cut me some slack.) If you are like me and like to have a little say in what goes into their rooms, I'd like to share a formula that I use when designing a child’s room that will allow both parents and kids be happy, so here it goes:
1. Select furniture. If you already have furniture – then skip to the next step. If not, select furniture that will grow with the child. Consider the age of the child and their preferences. I use basic white for my two girls, so they can interchange if we move and I use natural wood, black & stainless steel for my little boy. Give them plenty of storage and workspace for play and work.
2. Pick the bedding immediately after choosing furniture!!!! Nothing is worse than trying to ramble through a store or online to find bedding of any kind to match an existing paint color. You are limited to what is within product lines for your area, and it is also dependent upon season. Deciding which bedding is to be used first eliminates this situation all together. I always allow our kids to choose their own bedding and then work around it no matter what. Every time we've moved, we let them pick out new bedding for their new rooms. Its gets them excited about moving (well, sort of) and allows them to have a big decision in the design of their room.
3. Next, choose window coverings. Consider how the child will interact with the room and their age. Safety (and your sanity) is key. The last thing you want to do is to hang long drapes anywhere near a baby’s reach of a crib (unless you enjoy re-hanging curtains all the time). Think of the most destructive thing that can happen to a window treatment, and it will probably happen in a child’s room. This is the reason many designers prefer using valances and cordless shades when designing children’s rooms. Pick a pattern or color that complements your bedding.
4. Paint color is next! Armed with a pillowcase from the bedding and a sample from your window-covering, pick a color that complements the other elements. I usually go with a lighter color from the selected bedding, so everything looks unified. You can get extremely creative with accent walls and stenciled designs. Although be careful adding lots of visual elements to the walls, as a child’s toys and “stuff” add a lot of visual aspects within the room already that could possibly create a cluttered feel. A fun thing I do with my kids is let them pick their bedroom color from a 4-5 colors that I have already pre-approved based on their bedding colors. This keeps them from getting overwhelmed and avoids a decorating power struggle with your child.
5. Choose lighting – fixtures and lamps. After the room has been painted, the furniture is moved in, bed is made and window coverings installed, add in lighting.
6. Add art! Once everything is in place, allow the child to have a say in what art and posters go on the wall. This will give them more ownership of their room.
Of course, there are many ways to decorate children’s rooms, but this is a helpful formula in case you get stuck and is my go-to plan when decorating my own children’s rooms. If you follow this plan, your child’s room will look great in no time. The real struggle is to keep it clean once they move in…….. Happy Designing!