Some of my favorite projects over the years have been designing children’s rooms for my clients; each age is so different and interesting. Kids’ rooms are a challenge (and boy do I love a challenge), because their occupants change so quickly: What works one day might not be the best fit in six months. The true mark of a successful design is in giving children rooms that can grow with them. Here are some of my tried and true (and inexpensive) solutions for updating your child’s room that will be sure to please both them and you!
One of the easiest and fastest ways to update a room is by creating a feature wall. After you’ve selected which wall it should be (usually the biggest in the room or the one behind the bed), then figure out whether you want to work with a theme for the room (i.e. jungle, space, etc.) or something more subtle like a range of tones in a specific color palette. The next thing to do is to decide whether you want to use wallpaper or paint for the feature wall [link to choosing paint colors blog post here]. Then call in a handyman or DIY it. Voila!
While we’re on the subject of walls, another one of my tried-and-true (and favorite) things to do in a kid’s room is a chalkboard wall. They are so great, because no matter what the age of your child, s/he will love it. Young children can draw and doodle, older kids and write to-do lists and work on homework even. I’ve found them super-helpful for working on math problems especially. Chalkboard paint comes in a plethora of colors, from standard black to neon green. And if you want to take it up another notch, there is even magnetic chalkboard paint-so fun!
I feel like a broken record sometimes going on and on about light fixtures, but they are so often an afterthought, which is a shame as they can truly can transform a room. The options for kids’ a virtually endless, so in order to narrow down your choices, look at what you are trying to achieve in the room. Is it for a 4 year old who loves airplaines? Then you will want to choose something that is perhaps a nod to aviation or something that evokes a feeling of clouds and sky. Is the room for a teen who loves the idea of living in New York when she grows up? In this case, your ceiling pendant could be loft-inspired or industrial chic. Play around with some options-the idea here is to find something unique that fits your child and the design of the room.
While a new bed can be a big purchase, changing an existing piece of furniture doesn’t need to be. Often what I like to do in my projects is take a child’s current bed and 1) repaint, 2) build a simple trundle underneath either for storage or for another mattress that can be rolled out for sleepovers 3) add a headboard. These 3 things are great because they extend the life of the current bed and provide new uses without having to purchase something entirely different. Finally, adding fresh bedding and decorative pillows will completely update the look for a fraction of the cost of an entirely new bed.
Whether it be a living room, dining room or bedroom, the finishing touch in most of my designs for clients is to select meaningful artwork. The same holds true for children’s rooms, so don’t forget this when you are looking to update. Again, this does not have to be expensive: Choose 4-5 of your favorite drawings done by your child, frame them, and then hang them on the wall. This is a lovely way to show him/her how much you appreciate and love their creativity. And then as they grow, you can switch out the pieces with new ones. Have fun with selecting which “original” artwork to choose, and be proud of your little Picasso!