Once your child is in elementary school, he’s probably outgrown the bedroom decor that you chose when he was a baby or a toddler. And once he’s in middle school or high school, he’ll have outgrown what he picked out when he was six or seven years old. While it’s fun and exciting for parents to decorate their newborn’s nursery and to choose bedding for a “big boy” bed once the crib is no longer being used, once your child expresses an opinion, you may be wondering how you can come to a reasonable compromise. Also, you may be concerned about the cost; if your child’s tastes change every year, will you really want to spend the money to change things around that often? Here are some tips on decorating your child’s bedroom:
Consider a Compromise
When my daughter turned eight, she asked if she could paint her bedroom walls black. Not wanting to have to deal with painting over a black wall when she got sick of it and also not really desiring a black room, we told her no, but we did let her choose a black-print comforter set and curtains, and bought her black pillows and a throw rug. I’m not a huge fan of character decor, but we did allow the kids to have Dora the Explorer and Cars comforters and pillows (but drew the line at wallpaper, which is not as inexpensively changed!) when they were little. This can be a choose-your-battles type of situation: only you know what you’re willing to live with.
Think About the Future for Expensive Items…
When transitioning from a crib to a bigger bed, it might be worth it to skip the toddler bed and simply invest in a twin- or full-sized bed. You might also consider bunkbeds or a trundle bed if you anticipate a younger sibling moving into the room, or just to have an extra sleeping space for a guest. (Note that kids under six should not sleep on a top bunk for safety reasons.) When choosing furniture, go with neutral shades; skip the pink bureau for your four-year-old daughter, who very well may decide that she hates pink in 5 years. Also, if you are placing new carpet in the room, choose a neutral shade for the same reason.
…But Not Necessarily for Smaller Items
Items like comforters, throw rugs, curtains, pillows and posters are easy and cheap to switch out as your child’s tastes change. Allow him some autonomy in choosing these types of items. If your child is the type to vary widely in his opinions over a relatively short period of time, warn him that you’re only willing to replace the items every year or whatever your timeframe is. Does he love the dinosaur bed set enough to live with it for a year or two? If not, encourage him to choose something else.
Keep Cost in Mind
A glance through decorating catalogs geared toward kids might give you sticker shock: Pint-sized furniture and decorations are not cheap! If your child is old enough, let him know how much you’re willing to spend. If he must have a certain special item, tell him that if you splurge on it, you will have to go with just the basics on something else, then let him make the decision. Look carefully at the things that your child wants; it’s possible that you might be able to make something similar for a fraction of the cost. Be creative!
What type of decor is in your child’s bedroom?