How to decorate a child’s bedroom: from toddlers to teenagers
Get your creative juices flowing and give your kid’s room a makeover to suit their growing personalities.
Decorating for children can be both enjoyable and a challenge, as it’s important to find a middle-ground that both you and they are happy with, depending on their age.
Kids rooms are often a place where you can have some fun with your décor and go bolder and brighter than you might do elsewhere in your house; graphic-print wallpapers and zingy colour palettes are sure to inspire your little ones and make their room the envy of all their friends.
Hang a patterned wallpaper for a playful touch. Bear Hugs nursery wallpaper, £12.99 per roll, Arthouse
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Decorating a nursery comes with a handful of problems for most; they are often the smallest room in the house so are limited on space, and they need to be designed in a way that your child can grow into them, without the need for redecorating every year.
Start by deciding on a colour theme for the room; traditional pinks and blues are still firm favourites, but why not think outside the box and go for yellow or green if you don’t know what gender you’re expecting? Try painting just one wall in a strong colour if you want to keep the rest of the room fairly neutral, or opt for decorative wall stickers instead as these can easily be removed as your child grows up.
"Provide stimulation for your baby in the form of patterns and colours"
Provide stimulation for your baby in the form of patterns and colours, whether that be on the walls, ceiling or accessories. When choosing furniture for a nursery, bear in mind that your child will most likely outgrow their baby cot within a year or two.
Consider investing in a cot bed instead, as these have removable side and end panels so can be transformed into a toddler’s bed over the years. A changing table that also doubles-up as a chest of drawers is another smart buy for the room.
Read more: How to decorate a room in a day
Room to grow
Work plenty of storage into an up-and-over bed to keep clutter at bay. Frooti mid-sleeper system with roll-out desk, chest of drawers and bookcase, £995, Little Folks Furniture
As your child gets older, it becomes important to let them have a say in the design of their space, so they feel involved and part of the process. Start by talking to your child and setting some ground rules about what can and can’t be done, then take on their ideas and adapt them to fit in with your vision too.
If they have a few wacky ideas, for instance, don’t dismiss them immediately; think of alternative ways they could be incorporated into the overall look. Have some fun creating a theme for the room—this can be anything from a Princess’ castle to a wildlife-filled jungle—and choose pieces that are easy to update or inexpensive to replace once the theme has run its course over a few years.
"This can be anything from a Princess’ castle to a wildlife-filled jungle"
Get creative with wall décor as this will instantly bring any scheme to life, whether it be through clever paint techniques, vinyl stickers, wallpaper or stencils. Glitter paint is a fun way to add some sparkle to the walls or try painting a starry scene using glow in the dark paint.
Be sure to include some lamps, night lights or fairy lights in the design of the room, so you can switch off the main light whilst they’re getting ready for bed and help them drift off to sleep.
Read more: How to get surfaces ready for paint or paper
Update the scheme in an instant with new, colourful bedding. J by Jasper Conran Kids pink heart print bedding set, from £35, Debenhams
As your child hits the age of around 10 or 11, they will become more independent and will have formed tastes and opinions of their own.
It could be time for a bedroom makeover at this point, as not only will the décor need changing, but you may want to invest in new furniture to include a homework desk area and more storage for when they hit their teenage years.
Read more: Room colours and their meanings
Use coordinating shades to create a quirky wall feature in a tween’s bedroom. Chance, Sunrise and Fairy Dust matt emulsions, from £14 for 2.5L, Crown Paints
Dark colours as a feature wall are a popular choice with this age group, as it helps create a cosy space that they can retreat to after school. Consider working a chill-out zone into their room if there is space—style it up with a bean bag, a stereo and a reading light to give them a more informal working space from their desk if needed.
As they enter the teenage years, their room will become a hub for them to hang out with friends so give them more creative freedom when it comes to decorating. Remember to include plenty of storage in the form of boxes, cupboards and under-bed storage to make tidying up that little bit easier!
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