When it comes to kid’s rooms and décor, I have one rule of advice: let your child participate in
the decisions. It’s their room and they know best what they prefer for colours, etc. Now, that
rule also carries with it a caveat, these decisions will be temporary. Children grow, change and
then change some more and so do their tastes.
The Countdown is On
Babies’ rooms are (relatively) easier to decorate because you get to choose how the room will
look. You get to indulge your tastes …for a while. As soon as your child can talk, he or she will
develop opinions. From then on the countdown is on ‘til they tell you what they want in their
room. I usually give it five years. You’ve been warned. There will come a day when they will
outgrow that adorable space and insist on decorating their own space.
Participate with Paint
I’m certainly not advocating that we indulge in their every whim and fantasy —unless you’re okay
with that, but at least let them take an active part in the decision regarding colour. Paint is one
of the least expensive decorating products and it can transform a space relatively quickly.
Think about it. Did your parents let you choose the wall colour of your room when you were a
child? My mother chose it for me so my childhood room was gold and brown. They were
contemporary choices ‘back in the day’ but I wouldn’t have picked them for myself.
Decor For Your Kids
Today we see décor options for children that cater to their tastes, like cartoon characters or
hobbies. That interest may not last so add a few accessories based on the theme and spend
your investment on the more permanent pieces in a room. A great bed, desk and dresser can
last for years right into their first adult apartment. But that requires discipline on your part.
There is a whole category of juvenile furniture that may look great but is sometimes smaller in
scale, and your child may not be interested in those furnishings starting in their teen years.
The next stage in your child’s developing opinions on their “territory” come when your child
hits the pre-teen years. Suddenly all the childhood themes are replaced with something a little
more “aspirational”. Whether it’s sports, hobbies, or fandom, etc., your pre-teen will want a
room that reflects their changing tastes. As I mentioned, painting can produce great results,
then let them participate in what goes up on those painted walls. You may not like it, but
everything is temporary, including the holes in the walls.
Surviving their Teen Years
Your teen may just start taking over the décor completely and become even more territorial
over their space. I have a client whose teen son always left the empty drawers open in his
dresser, the contents spilled out all over the floor. This client was mortified at the lack of
respect for tidiness. The teen, however saw it as a shortcut to getting dressed. This is normal,
some teens express themselves through their room. This can be alarming and depending on
your degree of tolerance, this may be the thing that puts you over the edge. But take a breath,
try to relax, this too is temporary.
If we can just keep in mind that it’s just décor. That it’s going to constantly change and develop.
Most children learn a healthy respect for their surroundings and develop their own tastes by
the time they’re adults. It may be difficult for those who like to control the aesthetics of their
homes, but try to look at it as a gift you’re giving your child –the gift to express themselves in
their own four walls. After all, one day you just might have a chance to exact revenge by
decorating the guest room in your grown children’s homes!