Decorating kids room needs to be very practical.
Kids rooms become a 'home from home' for them. They're places which can easily become hideouts, where children spend hours at work, rest and play.
And they don't do these activities without a lot of noise, moving around, jumping and giving any surface a good pounding. So here are three essential requirements:
Durable surfaces. They'll need to stand up to all sorts of hard treatment.
Lots of good storage - if you don't want the room to always look a mess.
Bright color schemes, and constant changes to keep up with the latest fashion or fad.
Work, rest and play.
Decorating kids room means providing areas where they can work, rest and play.
If the room is large enough, you can use a different area for each activity. If it isn't, then it needs to be flexible enough so you can adapt.
So for example, you might have storage containers which slide under the bed and are kept out of the way. Or a desk which folds up and can be put away when not in use.
Go bright with color
Children tend to prefer bright colors once they are beyond the baby stage. They find them stimulating, but don't let them run riot with their choices!
Yellows, blues and greens are what's known as receding colors, and won't be as oppressive as deep purples or bright reds and oranges.
Because decorating a kids room will involve changing the colors more than once, it's best to have the walls painted. You can then apply borders, cut-outs and other bits and pieces. These can also be used to introduce stronger accent colors.
Boys in particular like stick-on stars and planets, some of which glow in the dark.
Hint: If your kids' rooms need to be shared or swapped, it's best not to adhere to 'blue for boy' and 'pink for girl' ideas. Or obvious themes such as flowers for girls. If you go with geometric designs in different colors you'll have much more success getting them to swap room when necessary.
These should be tough and washable.
- Wood floors. Either use several coats of clear varnish, or paint them with specialist paints for a hardwearing finish.
- Carpet tiles. These can be bought in many colors and designs. They can be moved around, which is useful if one area becomes worn more quickly.
- For older children you could use a hardwearing carpet. Once they become more responsible this isn't such a risk. It's best to keep to a mid-tone neutral color so you're not tied to one particular color scheme.
Keep the furniture flexible
Adaptability is a key issue when decorating kids room. See if you can buy modular furniture which can be rearranged to form different layouts.
Instead of buying miniature chairs or tables which they'll grow out of, get bean bags or larger chairs which you can fill out with pillows and cushions.
Use accessories to cater for their latest fads
Instead of painting the walls to meet their latest color wishes, use bed linen or curtain fabric in their favorite color.
You can make their rooms more interesting by using different textures as well. Rugs (they don't have to be expensive) will look good on the floor, especially if laid on floorboards. Colorful rugs are a great way to add bright and brash colors. Ethnic rugs in particular look great even when their colors are quite garish!
One way of introducing your child's favorite character into the room is by accessories such as lampshades, storage boxes and posters. That way you'll be able to easily change these items when they inevitably move onto the latest character fashion.