Designed By a Child

Designed By a Child





Give Your Kids the Freedom to Decorate Their Own Rooms

It is the place where you tuck them in with wishes for sweet dreams, where they share stories with imaginary play-mates, invent creations with friends, or their quiet place to read and study. Your child’s bedroom should be their safe zone, where they feel free to be themselves and be as comfortable and content as possible. Help them design and decorate their bedrooms to do all of these things – without breaking the budget – or stepping on their personalities.

Choosing the Look

Your child’s room is just that, your child’s room. I remember as a child sitting at the table one day looking through wallpaper books (hey – that was the cool thing back in the day) and overhearing my aunt whisper to my mom, “But what if she chooses something you don’t like?” She was referring to the fact that my mother was letting me, at age 10, design my own room. My mother taught me a very valuable parenting lesson that day in her reply – “She’ll do just fine. It is her space and she should be comfortable in it.” Gentle guidance when decorating with your child will give her the independence she craves, the respect she desperately wants, and the opportunity to find out and display who she really is inside.

Buying Bedding

As soon as my kids were ready to move from the crib to the bed (usually a toddler-sized bed in our house), we let them find a comforter or nice blanket that would be the foundation around their bedroom décor. It is so much easier to match paint to bedding than the reverse, so this saves a lot of headaches, and allows your kids to have their personality on display.

For my daughter’s first comforter I learned how to quilt and incorporated her favorite colors into the design. Older kids can even make their own by purchasing fun patterned sheets in one or two sizes larger than the bed size, then adding a layer of batting between the two and quilting them together.

Skip the Themes

We had a Blue’s Clues stretch with one son, but we didn’t have to go for life-sized versions of the happy blue puppy splattered on the walls or dominating the décor. In order to allow my son’s favorite character to be his roommate, we settled on Blue’s bedding and pillows, which for a toddler bed, was fairly inexpensive. Staying away from specific themes for overall decorating allows you to change their rooms as quickly as kids sometimes change their minds. An even easier way to incorporate favorite themes is with throw pillows made from themed pillow cases. If you keep the walls a neutral color you can swap out characters or themes as your child ages.

What About Windows?

Drapery can be expensive, attract stains, and be an allergen irritant. For our kids investing in sturdy vertical blinds in a neutral color kept the room dark for naps and when bedtime came before sundown, and were so much easier to clean. They were also safer than inexpensive horizontal blinds with dangling cords.

Fun Ways to Give Personality to Your Child’s Room

Build a Budget

  • Be up front with your child about a budget for the room redo. It is a great lesson in money management.
  • Shop used furniture stores, thrift shops, auctions, and garage sales. Recovering a chair is really easy, and kids can paint wooden furniture to match their new decor with vast varieties of paints available.
  • Get creative and maybe you can find a lamp at a garage sale, but then get a blank canvas lampshape and decorate it to match the room. I used fabric paint to write my daughter’s name on her shade. These personal touches make your child feel like a million dollars, even if you only spent a few bucks.

Accessibility

The first thing you need to do when decorating with your children is to get at their level, especially for younger ones. Their room should be not only comfortable, but easy for them to maneuver around in every day.

  • Walk around on your knees when decorating with your younger kids. It will give you a better appreciation for their specific needs.
  • Hang closet rods within their reach. They can access their own clothes and put them away.
  • Place shelves within reach.
  • Anchor bookshelves and dressers for safety.
  • Use colorful plastic dish pans on shelves for easy access to toys and favorite items.

Just for The Fun of It!

  • Get wooden letters from the local craft store that spell out your child’s name. Let her decorate them with coordinating paint, or cover the letters in fabric that matches the bedding, and hang them proudly for everyone to see.
  • Take a mailbox and put your child’s name on it with stickers. Place it just inside his doorway and use it to send him fun notes, and don’t forget to check to see if he puts the flag up when he has a letter for someone else in the family.
  • Hang dry erase boards, memory boards, or bulletin boards for your child to display momentoes and write reminders to herself.
  • Use chalkboard paint for the budding artist in your family.
  • Give each child a wall or shelving when decorating with kids who are sharing a room. Each child can then still have his own personal space and identity. It is more important that your kids feel respected as individuals than it is if the décor on each wall matches.

My mom did let me design my own room, and even helped recover old pieces of furniture to match the color palette and design I wanted. While it was a small lesson in interior design, it was a huge lesson in honoring the unique style that each child has.

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