If you’re decorating a room for a child who lives with you or visits often, you may feel like you’re facing the ultimate challenge-but it can be done with style and on a budget, we assure you!
To start, consider the age of the child (or children) who will use the room and carefully ponder their needs, likes, and dislikes. The best advice on setting up a kid’s room (or any rooms they’ll use often) came from a Montessori school teacher. She said, “Imagine living for one day as a child in an adult world.” She encourages people who live with children to study the environments they create and decide whether any obstacles can be removed to make it easier on little ones.
Creative Furnishings for Kids
Okay, you have to create a comfortable, safe, functional, and great-looking room for a child. You have many choices and much work to do!
First, consider furniture. If you’re going the traditional, new furniture route, check out local furniture stores, especially those specializing in children’s furniture. Also be sure to check the Internet for furniture, but don’t forget to factor in shipping charges when you’re working on your budget. (These could be considerable, depending on the size and weight of the items and the company you’re purchasing them from.) Web sites are an especially great place to locate specialty items, such as hand-painted furniture.
If your budget is very limited, try consignment shops, flea markets, and yard sales first. Also check with friends, family members, and anyone else you know who may have items they are ready to part with. A word of caution: Always be very careful when purchasing used furniture for children, particularly cribs and other baby items. Such items may not meet current safety standards and should be passed up, no matter how great a bargain they may be.
If you’re picturing something a bit more inventive for your kid’s room, here are some ideas you might try:
Beds. If you love Country, place the head of the bed against a wall, hang a quilt behind it, and you won’t even need a headboard. Iron gates, curtains, and gathering netting suspended from your ceiling can also work nicely and create one-of-a-kind bedding any kid will love.
Containers. Here’s a simple solution: Try an umbrella stand (available at discount stores). Long items tucked into these containers won’t fall over and end up on the floor like they would with shorter containers and toy boxes, and you won’t have these items lying horizontally in a closet taking up a lot of floor space.
Cling-ons. Several companies offer wall decorations that stick (like wallpaper) or cling on (with static) to walls. Some even come in complete theme kits. Visit decorating, paint, and home improvement stores, as well as Web sites that sell wallpaper and other decorating elements to locate these clever wall decor items.
Artwork. A child’s room is the perfect place to display artwork created by children. Another inexpensive art solution for children’s rooms is to cut artwork from storybooks, frame them, and create dramatic groupings.
Size them up. Attach a yardstick or two to the wall with small nails or even Velcro, and you’ll have fun seeing how quickly your little one grows. Dress up the sticks with paint, ribbon, buttons, and other embellishments.
Reading corner. Team a couple of bean bag chairs, a small homemade bookshelf, an inexpensive area rug, and a collection of great books, and you have a cozy corner for reading and quiet play.
Hang-ups. Peg boards, shelving with pegs, or even just fanciful hooks in low places are great inspiration for kids to hang up caps, dress-up clothes, and accessories.