Decorating children’s rooms when they’ve outgrown a nursery or preschool style can be one of the major tests of parenthood. Youngsters can be old enough to know something of what they want, but are not sure how to bring it about. That’s the challenge for Mom and Dad.
A good place to start is by looking through the child’s favorite books or toys. If the child is old enough, he or she can be involved by suggesting favorite colors, interests such as sports, animals or the environment, or favorite story characters.
Wall Coverings and Floor Coverings
Once the theme or color scheme is chosen, it’s time to starting shopping for fabric, wall coverings and floor coverings that will bring the decor inspiration to life. Choosing a primary print or pattern will give the room’s decor a good starting point, so take time selecting this key element. Despite your excitement, and that of your youngster, don’t buy fabric, wall coverings or even neat-looking kids area rugs on a first visit. This room decor will have to last for at least a few years, given the family budget, so it’s well worth taking time to make sure the theme won’t go stale in a short time.
After selecting a main print, choose a secondary color from it to serve as the background for paint, wallpaper, kids area rugs and ceiling. Choose coordinating fabrics and accessories based on the colors in the main print.
A good decorating technique is to give the room a focal point. Many people make the child’s bed the focal point, but a more interesting choice might be a boys area rugs with trains and a railroad pattern, or a girls area rugs of flowers and butterflies. A mural painted on the wall, or a play area decorated in the theme, also could work well to reinforce the design.
Selecting decorating elements for a child’s room is always tricky because of safety issues. However, with some imagination and some careful scouring of garage sales and flea markets, it’s possible to find elements that will carry out the theme without endangering the child. For instance, if a little girl loves flowers and the outdoors, a series of faucet handles glued onto pegboard and painted in bright colors would make charming clothes hooks. A little boy who adores wild animals probably would enjoy having his own personal jungle printed on a boys’ area rug.
Bed linens, window treatments and area rugs that enhance the color scheme or the theme also are integral to the decor. While there are plenty of linen sets for popular cartoon and movie characters, these can be rather pricey. Plus, too much of a good thing makes even the most meticulously planned look cluttered and frantic. Instead of overdoing the characters, choose these furnishings in colors that complement the room’s theme, and then add the pattern with some throw pillows or pillowcases.
Identity and Ownership of the Room
It’s important to a child’s sense of identity and ownership of the room that he or she is allowed to take part in the decorating as well. Create a place on a wall or on some shelves where the child can display artwork, school projects or collectibles. Thinking of safety, a marker board with magnets would be an ideal option. Also be sure to give the child a table or desk for homework or a computer.
Finally, repeat the main pattern, color and fabric at least three times around the room to tie the theme together. The result will be a bedroom the child will love, as well as a successful home decorating project.