When updating and redecorating a child’s bedroom as they age, using their likes and interests as a starting point will help you both create a space where they feel truly comfortable and at home. There are so many theme ideas, furnishing styles and accessories out there that we couldn’t even begin to list them all, but we can offer a few general tips to help you and your child on your way to a happy, affordable result.
As with any other situation in parenting, you should start by setting boundaries and sticking to them. For this kind of project, we recommend maximum parental control when the child is youngest or when the investment is largest. From there, start a dialogue with your child to help set the theme, figure out favorite colors, and decide what additions need to be made and projects need to be done to get to their dream room within your budget. Here are some questions to help you and your young ones choose the right overall plan and feel for their space:
What are their favorite colors? Allow them to choose several, then pick up paint swatches that best represent their choices and look for ways to incorporate a few of them, whether by painting two colors on wainscoted walls or incorporating an accent wall. Remember that colors can also be brought in with decorative accessories such as lamps or throw pillows. Creating stripes or patterns on the wall is easily achievable with some clever taping. Geometric shapes and color blocking can be done in the same paint color using different sheen levels to draw attention to their design. For younger children, a free-form wainscoting of green can create a grassy base for a garden or jungle display on the wall.
What is their favorite hobby, activity, or sport? This can help you decide if you would like to incorporate a theme into the design. If your child loves skateboarding you can create shelves using skateboards and brackets. Skiing or snowboarding? Make a headboard out of used skis or snowboards. Beach bum? Have a fun family beach photo turned into a mural for an accent wall. If kids love arts and crafts, create a work area within the room so they can do their favorite activity there. Camping? Create a tent with fabric over the bed for a permanent campout.
Is there someplace in the world that fascinates them? What about a time in history or a modern-day role model? If they dream of Eastern places, add fabric and colors that suggest those locales, or try Hawaiian tiki and beach prints to deliver a tropical vibe. Bring in aspects of their favorite locale, like using coconut shells for storing hair ties or jewelry. You can also achieve a totally global vibe by using clever accessories with details that reflect the theme.
What are the activities they do in their room? And, most importantly, what do YOU want them do in their rooms? What furnishings can you keep? What do you need? Can you repurpose or refinish current pieces to make them work with the new design plan and theme? What do they love and hate about their room now?
Depending on the age of your child, this planning period can also be a learning experience, building their confidence in their ability to make decisions, even if mistakes or changes-of-mind occur. You’re actually training the next generation of home improvement enthusiasts!
Home improvement can be for kids, too! Working together to make a repair, apply a color or design, or build something new not only teaches lifelong skills but also gives a child a sense of accomplishment and renewed pride in the home you share. They’ll also feel that much more at ease in the new space that results from both of your efforts — a place where they can feel like their best selves, and really aspire and dream.