Friday, March 5, 2010

Room To Grow

Maybe you're expecting, just had a baby or you have a toddler moving to a "big kid room." Whatever the occasion your mind has started to think about children's room design. And what fun it is to design a kid's room! If your house is anything like mine, the kids have newer furniture than you, they have nicer bedding than you and they're room is "complete" while yours sits ignored; a work in progress in need of a good dusting!

So where do you start first when designing a child's room or nursery? The internet is a great resource for ideas and inspiration! Narrowing it down and actually picking ONE idea can be tricky! If your child is old enough, chances are they're going to want some input too!

Here are a few things you should keep in mind before you start planning. Do something that will grow with your child. Matching that very cute and cuddly crib bedding you chose is great, but will it last? If it's your first child then doing a baby nursery can work out great if you plan to move each child to a different room, keeping the nursery for each susequent baby. Be careful with personalized items being too babyish. Ask yourself, "will this still work when the baby is three? Five? Seven?" Unless of course, you have the time, desire and money to redo a room every few years!
Try and stay away from character rooms. For those with toddlers or older children it's easy to fall into this trap. Young children become obssessed sometimes with their favorite movie or book character and want everything they see with that character's face on it. When you ask your child what they would like in their room their first response may be "McQueen!", "Dora!" but how long will that phase last? If your children are anything like mine it will last until the next big movie they see! Also, characters come with copyright issues. Keep that in mind if you want to hire a muralist or someone to create an item for you. Don't be surprised if they turn you down.

Put a twist on some classic ideas! With a little creativity it's amazing what you can come up with! My son is into everything your typical boy would be into. Mainly, sports and anything that runs with an engine! I didn't want to just do a bunch of things with cars, planes and baseballs on it so I tried to think how I could take his likes and work them into something that was still classy, non-babyish and would last him for years to come. With that in mind, we did a mural featuring an old-fashioned steam train with old-fashioned baseball players playing in a field along side it. In the sky is an old-fashioned bi-plane. The colors are all very subtle and the style borders on realistic.

Think about adding family heirlooms or things that have sentimental value. I've seen some absolutely gorgeous rooms come together based on one little piece or trinket that was passed down from someone in the family. Imagine what you could do with an old baseball glove that belonged to your grandfather or a mirror that was once in your great-aunt's home? This teddy bear room came together with the help of teddy bears collected by mom and heirloom furniture passed down from Grandma!

Also try and think about the function of the room. Storage is crucial for most people as well as a place for reading or playing. Think not only about the theme, but how the room will be used.

Lastly, your imagination is your strongest tool! Look around you and draw inspiration from things around you. You never know where a great idea might come from!

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