Designer Tips and Advice: Decorating Childrens Rooms
Advice on Long-Lasting Decor
Q. What tips do you have on themes, fabric and color choices, window treatments, furniture, etc. when decorating a long lasting room for a young child?
"In the textile market there are so many beautiful wallpapers and fabrics, so you don't always need a 'child's pattern' to identify the space. Children grow so fast and a few good color and style choices in the beginning can make all the difference. Later, painting furniutre can make nice changes."
"For boys I prefer the 'theme' to be in accessories. For example, my son Jackson's room has evolved from blue and white strips and checks with vintage boats and shells -- to the same fabrics, new throw pillows, and faded flag art and accessories. Most of the girls rooms we decorate are some version of pinks and greens, from pastel to bright.
"Think about the 'toy factor' -- if their dolls, toys, etc. are going to be prominently displayed in the room, consider fabrics that blend with those colors. Also, it's a fact that curtains and bedskirts are the last to wear out, so put your money, and favorite fabrics, into these pieces. I suggest basic stripes or checks for these, since they'll be with you for a while."
Just install the basics and let the kids theme their rooms themselves. Sure enough the super heroes will be replaced by the sports posters and then by the super model posters. And it will all look great if you have given them an appropriate background.
"Note: EVERY child's room, regardless of sex or age, WILL have glow in the dark stars and moons on the ceiling. It's like TV, they're going to do it.
"I love stripes, checks, and plaids, as they are not only great companions for the panoply of interests your children will evolve through, but they also give guidelines for adhering posters to the walls, keeping things straight. **TIP** Use Fun Tac -- it is removable and does not damage walls.
"Finally, get sturdy, get colors they like, give them appropriate storage, and let them do the rest."
On trends in kids furniture: "Maple furniture and furniture with mixed finishes such as maple tops and painted drawer fronts. Playful mix and match atop the bed -- not just one pattern but rather a happy young jumble such as blue and white truck sheets with red white and blue submarine pillows.
"Don't worry about a second bed for friends to sleepover. I have always had second beds, but kids come today stuttered to sleeping bags and usually end up side by side on the floor.
"Give kids an ample display area. Closed storage is great if you can get them to put anything away. But they also need ledges on which they can build and display their "worlds" whether Barbie dances there or Lego lands burgeon. Kids need this display space. A 20" ledge with storage bins below works well.
"Make window treatments safe and functionally sturdy since many kids will try grab and swing on any cords."
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