Need a little help styling your child’s bedroom to create a space that they’ll love now…and later? Whether it’s sticking to a limited color palette or artfully accessorizing their room, school guidance counselor turned DIY expert Charlotte of At Charlotte’s House is sharing the five tips she followed when helping her daughter Eleanor design her forever bedroom.
Charlotte: Anyone with children has had that moment. It’s time for a new bed or a new set of curtains or even a new laundry basket and your child points to *that one*… their eyes light up and they tremble with excitement, but… you KNOW they won’t want the purple dinosaur hugging the princess under the rainbow of flowers in a couple of years. Heck, I’ve had kids change their minds in a matter of days! So how do you decorate a kids room that will be loved and cherished but can also grow with your child?
Here are a few of my tried-and-true tips!
1. Limit Themes
What child hasn’t gone through a ‘monster truck’ phase or a ‘fairy mermaid’ phase. They’re called a phase for a reason and the #1 mistake I think parents can make when decorating a child’s space is to lean in to these phases too much. I’m definitely not suggesting that we can’t indulge these obsessions in the moment… but limit the themes to temporary items like pillow cases, stuffed animals or removable decals.
2. Consider Color Saturation
All of my kids have had favorite colors and usually those favorite colors are BOLD. Think fuchsia or lavender or red. I LOVE color, but just because my children love a big bold color, it doesn’t mean I’m going to paint the walls with it (despite their begging and pleading). What I WILL do is paint the walls a neutral color and then make a pair of Roman shades in their favorite color or bring in bright throw pillows. Sure, I may have to sew another set of shades in a couple of years, but mentally that seems much easier to manage than repainting the whole room!
3. Accessories Are Your Friend
My oldest daughter loves Harry Potter. I could go to my local fabric store and find Gryffindor fabric and make her a headboard with wands and golden snitches, but… see Tip #1. She will probably tire of that soon and I don’t love the aesthetic of it either. But a Harry Potter piggy bank, a purple elephant and a brass unicorn displayed on the shelf satisfied my daughter just as much!
4. Include Your Children in the Design Process
I know I just told you not to listen when your kids ask for purple walls, but hear me out. As one of the adults in our house, I get the final word on any décor decision, but I always sit down with my kids and ask them a few questions: e.g. what are some things you want for your room, what is your favorite color, what are some things you love about your room now… Once I have this information, I can go and curate some choices. For my daughter’s room below, I made that daybed for our old house and used Cypress Cotton Canvas fabric to upholster it. When it came time to add some shades, she said she wanted something in her favorite color: aqua blue. We sat down together and scrolled through the Spoonflower site and she pointed out fabrics she enjoyed. Some had princesses and kittens on them so I simply said, no. But others I ordered samples of so we could look at the choices together.
A few just didn’t work so we had to nix them. But we were left with a half dozen options and she told me which were her favorites. Bottom line, I was able to bring in a bunch of choices I was OK with and she had the final say!
Another way I include my kids is letting them decide on furniture for their rooms when I go thrifting. That vintage desk came home with me from the flea market and my daughter chose the color. In this situation, the desk cost me $10 so if she chooses a bold color and changes her mind in a year… I can either repaint it or, worst case, I’m out $10.
5. Give Your Kids a Sense of Freedom
I taught elementary school for years, and one of the greatest lessons I learned was if you give kids a sense of autonomy and independence, they are much less likely to be defiant or mischievous. It seems counterintuitive, but this philosophy comes into play big time when it comes to a child’s room! If every inch of that space is micromanaged and regulated by design, then your kid is going to rebel and assert themselves with a Sharpie on the wingback. If you give your child the sense that it is *their* space and they have a right to add *their* personal touch, in the long run they will grow and love their room that much more.
Now that you’ve got Charlotte’s five go-to tips for styling a bedroom with your child, are your ready to play Extreme Makeover: Kid’s Bedroom Edition?
About the Guest Author
Charlotte Smith shares her chaotic and color-loving adventures in DIY and design on her blog, At Charlotte’s House. Charlotte writes about moving and adjusting into a new rental, her five small children, and bringing personality and style into a family home. Her design style is fun, creative, and… sturdy! Charlotte has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV Magazine, and Fairfield Magazine. In addition she has appeared on Rachael Ray, Flea Market Flip , the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family Show and local CT television.