Decorating a kids room. It’s a challenge for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps the main reason being that it’s the grown-ups who are responsible for interpreting the wishes and desires of our pint-sized-progeny. As well-intentioned as we undoubtedly are, many times our aged adult brains will lead us astray. We want to please our little angels. We want their princess abode to be the bestest, most princess-ey-ist bedroom in the whole kingdom! So what happens it that we tend to go WAAAAAAY overboard on the theming.
We need to pull it back kids. And by kids, I mean us kids in grown-up clothes. Us adults need to reel all the excitement back in a touch. PUT DOWN that Superman duvet set with the matchy-matchy dust ruffle, window coverings and wall border…trust me, you don’t need it. *This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy HERE*.
We need to FOCUS on FOUR.
Together, let’s wade through those aisles at Bed, Bath & Beyond teeming with kids room junk. We’re paring down that shopping list to the FOUR things we should focus our money and attention on. Because, let’s face it fellow parents. WE DON’T HAVE TIME…or attention anymore. Kids have taken all that from us. We need this to be as quick, simple (and cheap) as possible. Item # uno…
There is only one true necessity in a kids room. A bed. After that, everything else is bonus points. So, we’ll make that bed a stellar one. How? Bedding. Pick a duvet or comforter that is inviting, and will last BEYOND your daughter’s love of Lalaloopsy or your son’s affinity to Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Is he into planes, trains or automobiles at the moment? Then consider a blue ticking perhaps…
Ticking is such a great, neutral bedding. It would work in all kinds of themed kids rooms. Camping/outdoor, patriotic…you name it.
Have a little lady in your life? Sure, she likes purple and pink. And that’s great. But please, I beg you, don’t feel compelled to saturate her kids room with a sickeningly sweet pepto-bismol-esque coating of it. The minute you do that, she’ll come home from school telling you her new favorite color is chartreuse. Do everyone a favor, and keep the bedding more neutral. But do add some fun and frills! That kind of choice will last a LOT longer. Pinky-swear.
Denim is also a great, always popular choice that can grow with him (or her). And it’s another fabric choice that would work so easily with all kinds of kid room themes you may have in mind. This one below is Ralph Lauren.
In our daughter’s room, we used the simplest white coverlet we could find.
The coverlet didn’t break the bank. But paired with colorful, patterned throw pillows, and a brightly painted bed, it looks like a million bucks.
2. Focal Wall
If your kids rooms are anything like ours, they are pint-sized…much like our kids. But small rooms don’t have to be short on style. Choose a wall, usually one immediately visible when you walk through the door, and make it a #superhero.
Our train mural, like so many others that are available nowadays, is a non-commitment vinyl wall sticker. It peels off without damaging the wall. So even though the decal is big, it’s no big deal to remove it when trains aren’t our thing anymore. We bought ours from an Etsy vendor who was great to work with, StyleAWall. They can custom-make almost anything you, or your little one has in mind!
How about a wall where your child can actually create her own masterpiece? This picture frame wallpaper is designed so kids can draw on it to their hearts content. Little slice of genius, I’d say.
Or, an educational twist that would work well for a little outdoorsman or woman, or an adventurer-type theme… Create a giant map focal wall! This one is from Pottery Barn Kids (but is no longer available).
Paint alone can be used for a statement wall. This striped wall at the HGTV dream house in Martha’s Vineyard is a great example. Striking and not too expensive. I think it also shows a space where pink is used well. Now if this were on all four walls, that would be way too much. But just one focal wall gives enough of the color to make a statement without drowning in Ode to Pink.
These little guys light up our life, right? So let’s not forget to light up their room (one of the cheesiest lines ever, but whatever, it’s a valid point). Choose something that doesn’t give off just light, but a bit of personality, as well. For a little girls room, how about a petite tole chandelier? You can buy these new or vintage. They can be all white, or colorful, like the one we are using in our daughter’s room that is currently “under construction”.
Fisherman lighting and sconces are really fun for a kids room. The ones we used in our son’s outdoor/camping/adventure room are from Pottery Barn Kids.
I love this version of a faux antler chandelier, as well…gives this room a tinge of a feminine nod…
Fixtures covered with rope can give a room a nautical feel…
And these type of fixtures don’t have to be pricey. There are multiple DIY tutorials for rope lighting online, such as one over at my friend Lauren’s blog Bless’er House.
I’m a big fan of gooseneck, or vintage looking barn lights as well. We used one above a bed in the room below.
Kids and “Krap” go hand in hand. It’s reality. So we gotta stash the “stuff” somewhere, or it starts to overwhelm a kiddo’s likely already cramped quarters. But storage options don’t have to be unsightly, or expensive. A lot of my favorite storage ideas for a kids room are simple-ish DIY projects. Like these upcycled dresser drawers on casters used for underbed storage! Genius!
How about these adorable book slings by Domestic Imperfection?
Parents love cubbies. Check out this unique take on cubby storage…chicken nesting boxes!
Isn’t this idea perfectly adorable AND functional? Hanging, labeled (or save some $ and don’t bother) tote bags, LL Bean-style.
FOURtunatley, this post is finally at it’s conclusion. I know that was a long one. But hopefully it has given you a little food for thought. Next time you feel the pull toward one of those “bedrooms in a bag” at your local big box retailers, stay strong. You can do this. It’s not hard to pull together the kids room of their dreams by staying focused on FOUR. If you stick to bedding, a focal wall, lighting, and storage, you’ll be able to transform your child’s space into a cost-effective, functional, and beautiful oasis. A space that he will cherish for years to come. Remember…less can be more. Don’t go overboard…even if you’re doing a pirate theme. AARRGGGHH.