When working to design a child’s room, interior designers are often faced with the plagues of working mothers’ home stressors––A struggle for tidiness, dwellings that are easily outgrown, and balancing attractive decor with ‘kid-friendly’ pieces. The good news is, you don’t always need to hire a professional to tackle these challenges; many are issues you can solve on your own with a little practical thinking. These are our kid’s room tips from professional designers!
1. Choose pieces your child can grow with.
If you’ve ever done so much as a Google search revolving around tips for decorating your child’s room, you’ve likely seen the notion of choosing pieces that grow with your child. The results don’t lie; this truly is one of the best steps you can take to saving time and money without sacrificing style. You’ll want to strip your child’s room down to the bare bones and ask yourself, “What are pieces my child will need no matter their age?” This means base-level bedroom items like beds, dressers, nightstands, lighting and storage, that always remain useful and necessary.
The trick is, when choosing these items, instead of getting that race car bed that your child so desperately wants but will surely grow out of in a year or two, choose a bed that will last them well into their teens. For some this means going straight from a child’s bed to a full or queen size, and forgoing a stepping-stone twin sized bed altogether.
Not only size-wise, but aesthetically too, choose simple, neutral pieces. While a simple bed frame might not be as exciting to your small child as that race car bed may be, you’ll be saving yourself the headache when your child decides a race car bed is no longer “cool” in a few years. The same goes for your choice in paint or flooring––what will outlast fleeting interests, and be able to mesh with whatever your child enjoys at any age?
Keeping these pieces neutral will allow you to have lasting, consistent furniture that the rest of the room’s design can be built around. After all, decorative items can always be swapped out to suit what your child likes best with ease. So when they decide that purple is the new green, you can easily adjust the shade of your comforter, throw pillows, or accents, instead of repainting those green walls your child begged for.
Additionally, look for pieces like a cork board, that you child can fill with their favorite pictures of the moment, then easily swap them out for something new.
2. Add multi-purpose pieces that serve as storage
As all parents know, it’s hard to keep a neat room when you’re dealing with children, so you’ll want to give them every opportunity to be able to do so. Our designers recommend including storage pieces wherever you can, so that your child can learn that everything has a proper place—that’s not the floor. Look for beds with drawers underneath, upholstered benches that lift to reveal a trunk, or desks with storage and drawers underneath.
Keep the cleanliness of your children in mind and work around that when choosing your storage pieces. Do they frequently play with cars by the foot of the bed? You’ll likely benefit from a car-specific storage bench in that very spot. Do you find them coloring on the kitchen table with crayons spread out far and wide? Create a coloring nook at their desk, complete with a crayon box. Since children are often reluctant to stay neat and organized, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your child to have a seamless cleanup period. Have individual designated areas for stuffed animals, toys, school supplies, or what have you—that are specific to the area of its use.
In the end, once your child learns what goes where and its accompanying storage, you’ll save loads of time trying to piece together a disorganized mess.
3. Ensure rugs and fabrics are kid-friendly.
While no fabric is spill-proof, a spill on a cotton comforter sure beats a spill on a silk one. Think twice before you invest in a flashy comforter or plush faux-fur rug. Instead, opt for more durable materials that will survive through a spill or an accident.
Children are messy, and they do get sick and have accidents, so you’ll never want to invest in something that you can’t live without. If your child’s room is carpeted, you may want to think about layering an area rug over the carpet, to protect it and add a bit of dimension to the room.
Our designers suggest three main materials: wool, cotton, and synthetics. Wool has a high stain and water repellency, which is great if your child is known to drop a thing or two, but its plushness will also cushion any falls. Cotton is easy to clean and remains a continually affordable option, and comes in arguably the most variety. Synthetics are also a breeze to clean, and highly durable, so they work in areas that get a lot of action and foot traffic (or your child driving cars over it).
Since these are more decorative items and your child’s taste will be changing over the years, you’ll likely end up switching out these items more frequently, so don’t invest too much cost into them. Don’t waste your time and money on restoring a high-quality rug when you can choose a kid-friendly option instead.
4. Let your child have a say – but don’t cave to the fleeting whim of the moment.
Anyone who has ever been a child remembers what it’s like to want some outlandish decorative piece for your room, but being denied by a parent because of practicality. Well, it turns out our parents weren’t wrong. You’ll likely be part of a tug of war with your child over redecorating their room, but it’s important to find a balance.
If your child wants to paint the room a bright color, but you want to stick with neutrals (as you should, like we said above!), find a compromise in removable wallpaper. Choose a pattern that you and your child can both agree on, and allow the wallpaper on a single accent wall. When tastes change, it can be easily removed with no damage to the paint underneath.
Reach a compromise on things like the more childlike comforters. Patterns can be fun, and they don’t have to be as short lived as the cartoon character-themed items. Meaning, a princess-like comforter may last longer and be more appealing to the eye than an actual Princess Elsa comforter. Children often go through phases with their interests, so you won’t want to invest too much in something they may decide they don’t like a month from now. For the child that loves monkeys this week, perhaps invest in some smaller monkey-themed pieces that can be easily swapped out like a stuffed animal or figurine instead of going for a full monkey themed comforter and pillow set that has to be changed when your child decides that horses are their new favorite animal.
Don’t be afraid to dive in deep into the interior decorating process in your child’s room, but be mindful of what kind of pieces and materials will last, both in taste and in durability. In the end, you’ll have a room where your child can spend their most important years.
Décor Aid’s award-winning designers provide a high-touch, end-to-end interior design service. Their upfront, fixed pricing and access to exclusive furniture discounts makes design services affordable for families.