How To Decorate a Child's Room

So, your baby has declared that they aren't a baby anymore and want their bedroom to be more "grown-up." As hard as it can be to see them getting older, little kids must turn into big kids. Decorating a room to reflect their developing personalities can be an enjoyable experience for kids and parents alike.

  1. Begin by getting exact measurements of the room. Take note of where closets, windows and doors are. If you will be using existing furniture, measure each piece. Write all measurements down.

  • Make a simple drawing of the room dimensions on plain paper and then make several photocopies of this drawing. You can "re-arrange" the room on paper until you come up with the perfect plan.
  • Sit down with your child to get ideas of how they envision their "dream room." Take notes.
  • Decide on a budget amount and vow to stick to it. Discuss the budget with your child; this is a good opportunity to teach him/her about money management. Allow your child to help in the decision making process when it comes to prioritizing purchases for the room.
  • Consider the many uses for a child's bedroom and be sure to incorporate areas for each: sleep, study, play, etc.
  • If the room is small, consider ways to make some of the space do double-duty. One simple way to accomplish this is to buy or build a loft bed (similar to a bunk bed, but with only a top bunk). The space under the sleeping area can be used to house a desk and bookshelf, a few dressers or a small play area. Depending on your child's individual preferences, this play area could be for a puppet theater, a racetrack or an art studio.
  • Try to choose items that will "grow" with your child. Just as they quickly outgrew their need for a crib and changing table, they will continue to grow and develop, both physically and intellectually. Purchase full sized dressers and look for a desk that will still accommodate your child in a few years.
  • Although children frequently have a favorite movie or television character, try to avoid decorating the entire room in this theme. This year it may be Sponge Bob Square Pants, but by next year, your child will likely have a new favorite. If they really want a character, compromise by purchasing bed linens and curtains with the character on them. They are easily and fairly inexpensively replaced.
  • If you decide to choose a theme for the room, it is wise to select one that isn't trendy or age limited. Cars, sports, dance, music and nature are examples of themes that your child will likely still enjoy in a few years.
  • Choose your battles. It is inevitable that you will not agree with your child on every aspect of the project. Allow your child as much control of in the decision-making process as possible. Some things, even if you find them unattractive, in reality do no harm. Go ahead and paint the walls in the child's favorite color -- it is just paint and can easily be repainted someday.
  • Listen more than you talk. This will be your child's room, not yours. The ultimate goal is to have fun and create an environment that makes the child feel "at home."
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