Children spend a great deal of time in their bedrooms. It’s a place for dreaming, reading, studying, and playing. Every girl wants a bedroom that reflects her personality and her interests. So before I begin designing a room for a young girl, I like to chat with her and her parents to find out as much as I can about her life. If you’re planning a creative redesign of a girl’s room based on her interests, here are 10 big-picture questions to keep in mind.
If there’s one thing parents know, it’s that kids grow fast—not just physically, but in their interests as well. If you’re designing a room for a preschooler, she might today dream of a room designed like a castle for a fairy tale princess, a pirate ship sailing the high seas, or a rocket headed for outer space. However, what she loves now as a three-year-old might seem impossibly babyish to her by the time she’s six.
If you don’t have the budget or energy to completely redesign your child’s room every two or three years, consider using design elements that can be more easily updated or replaced. This might mean choosing a neutral paint color and bedding, and accenting with pieces that reflect your child’s interests. For example, adorning your girl’s room with princess and unicorn accessories, such as wall art and a lamp, makes it a bit more cost effective to redecorate when she’s suddenly obsessed with dinosaurs than if you built her a carriage for a bed. It’s easier to swap out throw pillows and blankets, rather than a complete ship, when your little pirate now wants a room filled with dragons.
Kids are brimming with creative energy. Those passions can be the basis of your little girl’s room design. Does she love to stare at the night sky? Indulge her interest in astronomy by painting her bedroom ceiling dark blue and covering it with galaxies made of silver glitter and phosphorescent stick-on stars that glow in the dark. This way, she can pick out the constellations while she lies in bed, waiting to drop off into dreamland.
Does she love animals and the outdoors? Turn her room into a woodland paradise with blankets, pillows, and accessories emblazoned with whimsical forest creatures. By encouraging her creativity, you’ll let her know that the things that are important to her are important to you as well.
If you’re like most parents, you don’t have the resources for a lavish floor-to-ceiling makeover of your child’s room. Thankfully, small and inexpensive DIY projects can help transform a generic bedroom into one that perfectly reflects your child’s creativity and interests.
For example, a fun project you can do with your child is tie-dying old curtains, bedspreads, and pillowcases to give a room a creative and vibrant overhaul. Match the dye with one color in an accent piece (for example, the purple of the dragon in this throw pillow) to pull the room together. A DIY fabric pennant banner would tie in perfectly with a playfully patterned piece of art. Personal touches like these will help your child feel special every time she sees them.
Having a favorite color help kids shape their earliest sense of individual identity. Determining what your child likes and dislikes—whether it’s her favorite color, book, movie, or animal—is all a part of the process of discovering who she is and who she wants to be. Decorating her room in her favorite color—or colors—is an easy way to give her a space that feels personal to her. Painting the walls in that color is an obvious choice, but also consider blankets, artwork, rugs, lamps, and furniture within the same color scheme as accents.
Above all, your child should feel completely at home in her bedroom. If she’s a bookworm, she might want her bedroom to be a cozy cave, complete with a curtain-draped playroom where she can retreat to read. A social butterfly may need a room that can accommodate lots of friends, with a table and chairs for tea parties and ample space on the floor for sleeping bags when she’s playing hostess at the occasional slumber party.
If you have two or more siblings sharing a single room, make sure each child has their own personal space. All children need privacy sometimes, and having a special space to retreat into will help your child feel protected and loved.
To give your children more room, consider the space-saving power of bunk beds. Other options include stringing a curtain from the ceiling to divide a room into two separate sections. Give each child their own designated areas to store toys, books, and clothing.
If you want the space to look unified, teach your children the art of compromise: Get them to agree on a single color scheme, then let each child add elements that are special to her. If one child likes unicorns while the other prefers astronauts, make sure both are equally represented.
If you’re like me, you just giggled a little at the thought of “organized” being used to describe your child. My son is a Lego fanatic, so I’m an expert in chaos: If left to his own devices, his Legos would end up everywhere in our house. My solution: creative storage options in the form of lightweight canvas bins that fit under his bed and on wall-mounted shelves. I used acrylic paints to stencil the outside of the bins with cute Lego-inspired designs, which was a fast and simple way to make the bins look great and to reinforce the idea that this is the correct place to store his toys.
It’s important to teach your child to pick up her toys—but make sure she has a place to put them. By giving her plenty of creative and attractive storage options, you’ll give her plenty of incentive to keep her room tidy.
Your child probably uses her room for more than sleeping and playing. Look for creative ways to make sure her room fulfills every purpose required of it. Has your child reached the age where she has nightly homework? A desk, chair, and lamp will ensure that she has a distraction-free area in which to work.
Does your child play a musical instrument? Make sure her bedroom has a comfortable and dedicated area where she can rehearse, complete with a stand for her sheet music. Choose cute wall art that adds further musical inspiration.
If she loves to draw or paint, set up a dedicated space in her room where she can create her art. Give her a table, chair, plenty of art supplies, and give the room an artistic vibe with on-theme wall art. She’ll be more likely to stick to hobbies if she’s given room to do them.
I once transformed a small attic with a sharply slanted ceiling into a perfect little bedroom, complete with a tiny loft that gave the child a valuable bit of extra play area. Repurposing a small or awkwardly-spaced shape in your home as a bedroom can be a challenge. If this is a struggle you’re facing, look for clever ways to give your child more room. I’m fond of using lofts for this purpose. For parents who are handy with tools, they’re relatively simple to build, and kids adore them. As an easier alternative, consider a loft bed, which will free up your child’s floor space so you can add a desk or a playhouse.
Every child is unique, and every child’s bedroom should reflect that uniqueness. Think of adding a creative and one-of-a-kind addition to her room. Maybe it’s a ceiling-mounted indoor swing in a treehouse-themed room, or maybe it’s a secret bookcase door that swings open to reveal a hidden reading nook. Decorating a child’s room gives you a chance to indulge in ideas that are fantastical and wondrous. You’re limited only by your—and your child’s—imagination.
When you’re coming up with creative girls room ideas, there are no wrong decisions, as long as you always keep your child’s interests firmly in mind. Talk to your child and listen to her ideas; together, the two of you can design a room for her that fuels her creativity and makes her feel special.
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