That said, checking off all of these boxes is far from impossible. With a little planning, you can absolutely put together a room that feels appropriate for today, yet still has the potential to grow with your child. Keep reading to learn how can find the ultimate middle ground.
Consider a theme
When you’re not sure where to start designing a kid’s room, choosing a theme can be a great first step. First, it will help you cater the room to the child by connecting to his or her individual interests. Then, it will provide a ready-made template for you to follow as you make your aesthetic choices.
If you decide to go this route, keep the theme fairly general. Zeroing in too much on specifics — for example, catering to a favorite team, TV show or toy — runs the risk of shortening the room’s relevance. Broader topics like animals, sports or even fairies have a better chance of keeping the child’s favor over the years.
Once you’ve decided on a topic, build the room around it. Let that dictate your color palette, your choices for wall coverings and your bedding. Then, add specific nods to the theme throughout your accessories.
Keep furniture neutral
Whether you’ve decided to go with a theme or are just looking for some design inspiration, one rule of thumb holds true: Keep your furniture as neutral as possible. In the grand scheme of things, furniture is your big-ticket item. Since it’s an investment, you want to make sure it can be reincorporated if you redo the room as your child ages.
Your best bet is to choose pieces that come in either a plain white or wood finish. Stay away from any extreme colors or detailed finishing that may lend itself to a particular design style. Look for pieces that can be easily matched, if need be, at a later date.
Don’t forget storage
If there’s one truth about kids of all ages, it’s that they come with a lot of stuff (and “a lot’ might be an understatement). Parents should make sure children have plenty of room to store their belongings. Plus, ideally, those storage solutions will continue to be useful to them as they grow and their interests change.
Every room setup is different, so we hesitate to give hard-and-fast rules here. As you determine which storage solutions will be appropriate for your space, we encourage you to err on the side of more-is-more. Take the photo above, for example. In that single frame you can see an armoire, a set of drawers, a desk, shelving and a bookcase — plenty of opportunities for your child’s things to find a home other than on the floor.
For practicality’s sake, we also suggest that you steer clear of using too many open storage options, where the items are not concealed. Open storage only works if the display is consistently kept neat, and sometimes parents may want to have the ability to hide a mess from plain view.
Accessories, accessories, accessories
In truth, kid’s rooms are all about the accessories. They are the great equalizer. These items pack a huge punch of visual interest and infuse a sense of your child’s personality into the space. They’re also pretty cost-effective; it won’t be too much of a hardship to replace them out as your child’s tastes mature.
As for what counts toward this category, textiles are a natural choice. Bedding, extra blankets, throw pillows and area rugs play a big part in pulling the room together, yet can be swapped out in seconds. Wall art, smaller lighting elements like table lamps and desk lamps, as well as any strict décor items also fit the bill.
Selecting accessories together is also a nice way to involve your child in the design process. If your child is old enough, letting him or her choose the items that will decorate the room helps foster a sense of independence and ownership over the space.
Believe it or not, creating the perfect kid’s room can be harder than it looks. The challenge is that these spaces need to please both the kids and the parents, who more than likely have two different sets of priorities. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Keep these tips in mind the next time one of these rooms is on your design to-do list. We’re sure they’ll help you find some common ground.
Have you ever decorated a kid’s room? What helpful hints can you share from your experience? Leave them in the comments below.