Sometimes, it seems to happen overnight. One week you'll be snuggling in the big overstuffed chair in your child's bedroom, reading a bedtime story you both love; then, seemingly out of the blue, that little darling wants to paint his room black, talk like a pirate, and start collecting swords!
What do you do when your child is outgrowing the nursery murals you painted so carefully just a few years ago? If you're like most parents, you smile, listen carefully to those "decorating" plans, and hope he (or she) will change his mind before you have to go buy the paint. Then you try to talk him into a "medium shade of gray" rather than black.
Photo by Flickr user MAZZALIARMADI.IT
Good advice for parents is to embrace the changing enthusiasms that your growing child exhibits, but don't redecorate the room for every passion. Superheroes can replace pirates with lightning speed, just as dinosaurs replaced puppies earlier. Boys are as passionate about their current favorites as girls, who shift from pink to purple and turquoise to orange with eerie regularity. If she wants to paint pink and white soccer balls on her wall today, a week hence your 10-year-old might be demanding red and black, with flamenco music.
Use easy and adorable wall decals to add a touch of whimsy to the nursery. Jungle animals, space themes, princesses or sea life can bring your walls to life and include fun shapes for your child to look at. Wall decals are great because they are mess-free and can be switched out as your child grows or changes taste. You can even add holiday decals like cute Halloween owls
or (not so spooky) ghosts.
Provide for Basic Needs
If you keep the "shell" of the room neutral, you can change accessories easily. Rather than white, consider a shade of gray, or a light milk chocolate for the walls.
Coordinating roller blinds
at the windows will filter light, provide privacy, and be stylish all at the same time. Visit theshadestore
for some economical and eco-friendly options. Valances or side panels then can be used to pick up on a theme, add pattern, or provide spots of color.
Keep it Simple
- A room that will "grow" along with your child must have the following:
- Storage baskets are always an affordable, easy and stylish way to keep things organized.
- Work/Play/Study Surfaces: Coloring and block building for young ones now; a desk and lamp for homework later.
- Comfortable Seating: A large chair, a small loveseat, even pillows on the floor.
- A Message Center: Chalkboard, dry erase board, or bulletin board.
- A Large Mirror: Preferably a full-length model mirror attached to the back of a door.
- Easy-to-Reach Hooks.
Let go of the idea that your child's furniture will follow him to his first apartment. Purchase sturdy, simple, multi-functional pieces and be happy if it lasts until the kids are 18. Adaptable European designs are perfect. Explore Ikea
and be inspired by Mazzali designs from Italy.
Frame some posters that your child likes, or take her on a shopping spree to Pier 1 or World Market for some fun art and accessories. Buy a duvet that looks good in its habitually rumpled state.
Tolerate the Chaos
You will realize quickly that your child will never meet your standards of neat and clean, and you will be a happier, and probably a better, parent if you relax your standards. Barring that, just close the door to the room occasionally. Take a deep breath and brew a soothing cup of tea.
Beds are made for lounging. Pillows belong on the floor, and closets are perfect for hiding out (or for hiding dirty clothes). The hooks on the wall are for hanging stuff — belts, baseball caps, shirts, towels, and make-believe swords. There can never be too many hooks. Girls like them for hair ribbons, jewelry, ballet slippers, and stuffed animals.