Guest Author - Donna Coogan
Creating a room for a child to grow into is an important consideration when you are decorating on a budget. Most kids are ready for a change from their nursery decor by the time they are 5 years old. Then itís common for them to desire a new look about every 3 to 5 years after that. The easiest way to do this on a budget is to blend adult furniture that your child can grow into with fun kid touches.
For example, choose an adult size bed, dresser and desk, but play up the kid factor by incorporating fun colors and whimsical designs. Begin by painting one piece of furniture in a vibrant color, like hot pink, turquoise or sunny yellow. Then add whimsical prints in polka dots, geometric shapes, stripes or other designs in the curtains, bedding and toss pillows.
Whether, your colors are vibrant or more toned down, include some stark white or black accents for contrast throughout the space. This could be through the furniture knobs, picture frames or lamps.
When you furnish a young child's room with big furniture pieces, you still should add some small areas that are ďjust rightĒ for them now. For example, if your childís bedroom has a little nook or low-hanging eave, fill it with comfy pillows and blankets for them to snuggle into, read or draw. Provide a few shelves to hold their favorite books, a little box to hold their special treasures and perhaps a flashlight and a curtain to turn it into a special tent-like retreat.
If no nook is available, borrow space from a closet floor or just set out a small tent or teepee in the room and furnish it as above. The point is to provide your child with a special make-believe place where they can get lost in their picture books or creative endeavors.
When decorating your childís walls, include a mirror that hangs at their height. Children love to look at themselves in the mirror, especially when playing dress-up or trying on new clothes. That desire typically doesn't change when they get older, so all you have to do is raise the mirror.
Every room feels more personable with photographs. Hang photos of your child, along with pictures of a few family members. Children like to not only identify themselves, but also people outside their immediate world, like Gramma and Grampa.
Create a small collage of your childís drawings or paintings. Every few months swap them out for new ones. You can save their old favorites in an album or special box, while keeping their wall gallery full of current work. Seeing their own art on display instills a sense of accomplishment in children that adds to the specialness of their room.
All children love to see their name in print and itís easy to do by purchasing some pre-cut letters at craft stores. They are usually available in several sizes. After picking them out, have your child help you decorate them and then hang them on a wall where itís easy for them to see. You can also buy vinyl letters or paint their name directly on the wall.
Donít forget the ceiling when decorating childrenís rooms. Kids love to lie on floors or sprawl on chairs and stare upwards. Give them something interesting to look at with stencils or painted murals on the ceiling. You might also install shelves about a foot below ceiling height on one or more walls to hold collections of collectibles like old-fashioned dolls, vintage toy trucks, etc. Things that your child is too young to play with, but that will add to the theme of their bedroom.
When you start with adult furniture and then fill in with playful designs and colors, such a room should last your child a long time. You can easily repaint furnishings or add different fabrics and accessories as your childís taste changes. As a children mature, they typically enjoy being included in the decorating process of their room, and that means they will help with the labor, too. The bonus is not only are you creating a new room and saving money by reusing the same furnishings, but you are creating new memories with your child, too.