Decorating Your Kid’s Room Can Be Great Fun and a Great Success

Youthful (re)Fashion

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Few things excite a mom more than the chance to decorate her child’s room. Whether that child is 8 months, 8 years, or even 18, the thrill of designing the space is one part retail therapy, two parts nesting and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Some parents approach this with a clear idea of what fits their taste, while others like to veer into uncharted territory in the kid’s room. One thing is unanimous, though. When it comes to decorating for kids, anything goes!

Ask some basic questions before you put paint to brush. How many children will use the room? What does your child do with her time in the room? Is it for playing or just sleeping? Are there separate television and study areas? How much stuff do you need to store? What level of (relative) independence can you give your child by putting clothes and other bedroom accoutrement within little arms’ reach?

With pen in hand, answer these thoughtfully — and with your child’s input, if possible. Whatever your plan, it’s a good idea to think about how the room will transition as your child grows and his needs change along the way.

Ready, Set, Decorate!

If your goal is to have the latest in bedroom fashion trends, you may need an expense account. Mary Solomon Moor, an interior designer in Tallahassee, points out that staying on top of ever-changing design trends is next to impossible.

“Trends change faster than the weather,” she advises. “First, consider the age of the child. Kids grow out of their stages very quickly — especially once they get to middle school. They are influenced by fast-changing trends.”

Experts agree that choosing one starting place is the key to a unified look. Many parents choose a favorite bedding to anchor the room. Others focus on the paint color — the most visual statement of all. Some like to begin with an accessory that infuses an attractive color palette and simplifies the choices.

As with any decorating project, strategy will be key.

Look at your budget and be strict about it. Some moms really invest in their child’s room, while others believe such transient tastes deserve frugality. There are a few basic ways to get started.

Copy a room: Find your perfect bedroom in a catalog or magazine and then set off in a quest to recreate it. Look at how the designers coordinated colors and accessories. Notice how much (or how little) they have included storage and knick-knacks.

Start from scratch: Let imagination be your guide. Pull together fabrics, paint chips, rugs and art that you love and put them together puzzle-style.

Repurpose and reuse: Move furniture from elsewhere in your home (or a tag sale) to update the flow of the bedroom and update the look. Think outside the box here: an armoire can become a makeshift dresser or plastic trash cans also double as storage containers.

New Baby Means New Roomie

When Shannon Grooters realized she was pregnant with little Paige, she immediately knew her kids would be sharing a room. The SouthWood mom had a third bedroom — a second master, in fact — but she was loath to give up the playroom.

“We talked about moving our room downstairs, and then decided that, obviously with a newborn, it’s hard to run up and down the stairs when you’re waking up every two to three hours.”

Since she was going to need the crib her son, Jack, was using, she decided to transition him to a toddler bed and make room for his sister in one swift move. She started by poring over Pottery Barn Kids and Gap Kids catalogs. While she liked the unifying themes for boys and girls that were offered, most were meant for twin siblings. Finding a crib and toddler bed setup proved to be difficult.

Since she already had a Pottery Barn crib, she went back to the company for matching furniture in the new sibling room, and chose their Catalina collection diaper changing station and twin bed. With the clean lines of the white furniture, she set to choosing a color scheme.

“I knew that green would be a unifying color because it’s gender neutral. So, pink and blue are sort of the gender identifiers in the room and then the green kind of ties it all together.”

Grooters enlisted her mom’s help for the curtains and bedding. On a trip to Gastonia, N.C., her mom found a handful of samples, from which they chose coordinating pastel pink/green and blue/green stripe for the bed skirts and linens. In addition, she reupholstered an antique rocking chair and sewed pillows and the crib bumper in coordinating polka dots and stripes. For the window dressings, they hung French Cleat curtains her mom had done in blackout material.

On a lucky trip to Target, Grooters found adhesive wall art in a “woodland theme” and one very lucky buy — an ottoman done in the same stripe as the custom bed skirt.

The resulting room is bright, airy and the perfect blend of feminine sweetness and toddler boy playfulness. And, Grooters accomplished the shared room for about $800.


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