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Interior Design: Tips for Fun Kids Rooms

I love children’s rooms, filled with energy and color and STUFF! If you are considering making your child’s room into one that rivals a Disney experience or would win the competition for “best child’s room ever”, there are a few things to consider…

1. Children grow fast!

…Your adorable two-old, currently in love with Elmo, will enter kindergarten before you know it. So, when planning a room for her, do you really want to invest a lot of money into furnishings, bedding or window treatments that she’ll tire of quickly? With kids rooms, it’s always more efficient to think about buying quality items (even if pre-owned) than buying something he or she will outgrow in a nanosecond. This is particularly true with furniture. Ask – will this bed at least carry her through junior high? When she wants overnight guests, where will they sleep? Some rooms dictate smaller beds, but what about one with a trundle underneath? Even before your child enters preschool, you’ll be money ahead considering the long time value of a furniture purchase for her room.

If wallcovering is a consideration (definitely a design trend now)…consider the cost of wallpaper and the length of time it would be appropriate for your child. If it’s character wallpaper (like “Cars” from Disney or “Ballerina” wallpaper), you might get by with decals instead which are easily removed. Or choose one wall for wallpaper and paint the remaining ones. This will help save money (and time, when you need to remove the wallpaper!)

Think of how you can add those characters he or she loves in smaller doses, for example on pillows or by covering a lampshade. Using character fabric for a comforter cover (also called a duvet cover) is a great way to build a theme. A custom duvet cover is often less costly than wall covering. Duvets are also reversible – the back side can be coordinating fabric that is more timeless than the character fabric. You get two looks for one price!


…As a former preschool teacher, mom and now grandmother, I can attest that children need loads of nooks for their toys and treasures. From a child development perspective, it’s much easier for your little guy to help stow away toys if there’s open shelving, especially if equipped with tubs, bins or baskets labeled with photos of the contents. Toy chests become huge dumping grounds for playthings. Labeled bins teach sorting and classifying as well as “picking up”. Think how the storage areas will serve them as they grow. Open shelves with bins can later become open display space for collections, books or IPod speakers.

Ask yourself – How do I feel about having toys, books, exposed to view? If you are one that likes clutter out of sight, think about the types of storage units you’ll want in your child’s room. If open shelving is something you just cannot live with, consider an armoire with lots of shelving that can be closed up after everything is put away.

Even small closets can become incredible storage areas with some planning. Closet organizers that allow you to re-configure the space as your child grows saves money in the long run. Having a closet system with low rods, some drawers and open shelves will help teach children the value of organization.

3 – Easy care is the name of the game

…You might love the lacy, embroidered bed skirt and think it would be perfect in your little girl’s room, however your little princess would rather play with animals than dolls, and is prone to climbing and rough-housing whenever possible. It may seem like an obvious fact, but fabrics used in children’s (and teen) rooms should be able to be washed easily. Save the silks, embroidery and velvets for your room (or guest room.) Consider washable cottons, or indoor/outdoor fabrics. Practical fabrics do not have to be boring.

In terms of walls and flooring…washable wall paint is essential. Many companies carry an “eggshell finish” making it washable but not overly shiny.
Easy to clean flooring like special coated hardwoods, laminates or many of the carpets on the market today are great choices for keeping kids and parents happy.

4 – What is their “creativity space”?

Children do need a space to explore their creativity. This could be as simple as a small table or desk with a rolling cart filled with art supplies, or Legos. Even in tightly packed children’s rooms you can usually find space for creative genius to flourish. IKEA sells a great table that can be mounted to the wall and folds up when not in use. Or, use a laminate top across lower open shelving to create a desk that’s functional and easy to clean.

5 – This is their room!

…As expectant parents, you were the ones to decorate your child’s nursery – it was your canvas and your ideas. Now that your infant has grown to a fully expressive individual, you should take their ideas and interests into consideration when decorating. After all, it’s their personal space. Green may be your least favorite color, but if your little boy loves green, there are many ways to incorporate “his color” into the plan. Maybe it’s a green coverlet, or an accent wall in green, or adding loads of green floor pillows, or painting a bookcase in green.

And if your daughter loves horses, but you were hoping for a fairy princess style room, consider that she is developing her own interests and styles, and they may not match yours. Working together on her notion of what she wants the room to look like will give you the chance to get to know your child more fully.

Besides, who knows, maybe what she really is looking for is accomplished by having someone paint a mural on her wall of her riding a horse- just like a princess would!

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About the Author

Kate Carroll, KC Designs Interiors
3569 Debina Way
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

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