4 savvy strategies to make over your kid’s room on the cheap
Children grow out of their interests, sometimes even faster than their pant sizes, so it can be frustrating to keep helping your little love-of-your-life make that bedroom reflect an ever-evolving personal style.
But, a makeover doesn’t mean that everything has to leave the room, from the furniture and lighting to the paint and decor. It’s about starting with a savvy strategy.
For most kids, there’s a design and style switch from baby to toddler, then from toddler to bid kid, then big kid to pre-teen, then pre-teen to teen. If you’re counting, that’s four style shifts. Some of these are practical reasons, like the crib, and others are just ‘I HATE PINK!’ or something along those lines.
Furniture. So start with good bones, and shop smart. Sturdy, unadorned, clean-lined, light coloured furniture is the best way to make sure those more expensive room decor elements will last through all of the kid stages. If you choose something dark, it might be impossible to paint that dresser a dusty purple when your pre-teen daughter is in tears about this new favorite colour.
Lighting. Avoid style-statement lighting. It’s fun to look at the airplane or princess light fixtures when the kids are little, but we all know that a 14-year-old will give you an eye-roll glare if you demand it stay for their entire childhood. Stick with simple and sturdy. Whether girl or boy, there is always the pillow-fight wrestling match that may occur, and everything in a child’s room should be sturdy enough to take impact.
Wall colour. Yes, pink and blue are the colours we most associate with nurseries, but I usually recommend a more gender-neutral colour, like soft green-grey or blue-green or yellow. Yellow is my favourite for a nursery, and it’s gender neutral. Most dads feel a bit odd in a pink room, and we want dad to change as many diapers as possible, too. The lighter the colour, the easier it will be to paint when the new paint colour request starts, typically when transitioning to the pre-teen years.
Extras. So here’s my favorite part of designing for a kid’s space. All of the little fun DIY decor projects that you can do with your child. From highlighting a hobby to displaying collectibles, there are endless ways to add simple solutions to the room and make wall art that actually doubles as smart storage and practical pieces. Let’s run through a few ideas, based on interest area.
Car collector. Instead of putting the little cars in a box, bin or drawer, display them on the wall with picture shelves. Your child can organize the collection by colour, size, or type.
Dancing star. If you don’t already have a mirror that shows from knee to above the head, it’s a wise investment, and can be easily moved to adjust for growth. Add a stair railing across the front of the mirror to create a ballet barre.
Fashion fanatic. A dress form is as little as $50, and your little fashionista can change the outfits on that form to start out as a stylist. (Think about the savings in laundry.) Older kids who can actually design and create outfits will be endlessly thrilled. And they can use old clothing to make pillows and upcycle into new fashion.
Performers. Round off a corner of the bedroom to create a little stage, about four-feet deep to the corner. Hang curtains, and either cut an outdoor rug to size or outline the area in bright tape to make the flooring different on stage. Then, add a microphone stand or just use a hairbrush as a microphone. With the family gathered around, it becomes a fun way to share talents.
Artists. With empty picture frames arranged on a wall, you can either attach a string and clothespins across it, or paint the inside with magnetic paint. Then your little artists can curate a very special art gallery to enjoy with friends.