Nest-building and having children is natural. The prospect of a new addition to the family can send many parents into a fever of decorating. Watching your children grow, and seeing their tastes and needs change, can many times create a decorating frenzy as well. Remember, babies soon grow into toddlers, then they are off to school. Before you know it, your babies are in their teens and the cute room that you had decorated for them does not make them or you happy any more!
You must think about decorating your child’s room with versatility in mind. The first thing to consider is what materials will be used. It may be “cute” to create a room that is a totally dedicated nursery with pastel colors and delicate fabrics. But what happens when the baby grows older and becomes a toddler? All of a sudden the pastels and delicate silky fabrics may no longer be practical.
If sticking to a budget and not changing the decor drastically every few years is what you have in mind, then here are some tips and points to consider when designing for that little one:
1. Think and plan ahead. This means that whatever you put into the room it needs to be easy to care for (washable and durable) and can be changed as the child grows older. As the child becomes a teenager, frills and pastels are definitely not wanted!
2. Storage. Babies grow out of the clothes very quickly. That can present a problem over time. How much closet space is going to be required? Toys. Is the room big enough to house a child’s toy box and all these other toys they are bound to acquire? Can the room handle a built-in for storage? Can you use modular storage ? Hence, the proper planning of the layout of the room.
3. Create a space for wall shelving at the child’s height. Space needs to be provided for large children’s books, stuffed toys, and later on for school books, cd’s, stereo equipment, etc.
4. Hardwood or vinyl floors are best as far as keeping a child’s room neat and clean. Non-skid rugs that can be easily washed in the washing machine are preferred to having an entire room carpeted. Once a carpet becomes stained, it is hard to keep it looking nice. Carpets also hold on to dust mites and can aggravate allergies.
5. Window treatments should be kept simple. Easy to clean shades instead of blinds are preferred for easier maintenance and no dangling cords. Window shades come in so many varieties and colors now. If you are creative you can stencil something on the shades to liven them up. Also, shades are inexpensive enough to replace as the child grows and his/her interests change.
6. Masses of furniture is not essential. Plan on just the basic necessities as that will leave room for play as the child grows. Also, stay away from miniature furniture as children do grow out of it quickly. Purchase furniture that the child can use into the teen years. It is better to buy quality and have it until they grow up, than to purchase new furniture as they reach different stages in their growing years.
7. Choose a color scheme that is simple yet stimulating. Make it a happy room. Painting the walls one color and then using stencils or borders for fun is one way to bring in color inexpensively, yet easy enough to change later on. Paint comes in so many delightful colors!
8. Remember to create a theme or concept for the room. As your child grows, you will find that he or she has certain interests or tastes. Decorate with that in mind to create a room that the child wants to be in. In other words, make it fun and interesting.
9. Hang pictures and artwork at the child’s eye level. What good would it be hanging at an adult’s eye level? It is the child’s room.
10. Remember to keep versatility in mind at all times. Do not invest in something expensive or permanent that you know will be useful or enjoyed for only a short while. Having basics that can “grow” with the child, and changing out the paint, accessories, artwork and toys can dramatically create a new environment.