By Dawn Miller
It’s not long after your little one says goodbye to diapers that his or her adorable nursery will need an overhaul. Kids’ tastes do seem to change with the wind, and that once heartwarming “Thomas the Tank Engine” bedroom can quickly become obsolete. The trick is to design a bedroom that can easily grow and change with a child without the need for a complete makeover when milestone birthdays are on the horizon.
Stick with Timeless Furniture Pieces
Resist the temptation to purchase the charming nursery furniture. Yes, it’s endearing, but it won’t be long before you’re once again investing money into bedroom furniture. Instead of a changing table, choose a desk or a low dresser that can be outfitted with a removable pad for diaper changing. Once you’re done with diapers and pull-ups for good, get rid of the pad for a lamp. Go for a regular sized dresser as opposed to a kid-sized one. A larger dresser is a practical pick since it will be utilized for years to come instead of for a short period of time.
Pick Furniture that Multitasks
Multitasking is the way of the world, so when you’re planning a child’s bedroom, invest in pieces that don’t have to be discarded when your child is potty-trained. Rockers are a comfy spot to feed the baby or comfort an infant back to sleep, but they also make for great reading chairs for kids regardless of age. Many cribs move from baby to toddler to a full-sized bed. This style is an excellent choice since all you will need to purchase in the end is a mattress and accessories. Keep in mind though that most cribs morph into a full-sized bed, not a double, which is a big oops when the mattress arrives. Utilizing a desk as a changing table when your child is a baby means he or she has a built-in homework space when it’s time for school.
Deciding on the ideal wall color can be a tough decision. The key here is to pick a color that will also stand the test of time. Neutral, warm and inviting hues are typically best. If you do want to go pink for a girl or blue for a boy, go with a lighter tone along with a white ceiling and trim. Those tones and highlights are classic and easy to complement with furniture and accessories. Avoid putting up the cutesy borders. While these always seem simple enough to take down, they rarely are and often do damage to the wall. The end result is usually another paint job, which means more time and money.
The key element to a room that grows and changes with your child is the accessories. Keep the background décor and furniture timeless and change the accents according to your child’s tastes as he or she ages. If she is in love with Rapunzel, a comforter set is a lot cheaper to phase out than wall colors and furniture. As his or her interests step away from early childhood loves like Disney princesses and “Paw Patrol,” pictures, lamps, pillows, and curtains can be adjusted while once treasured stuffed animals move from the bed to a shelf and are replaced with throw pillows.
Chat Décor with your Child
Even the youngest kids have opinions about what they like and don’t. It’s their room, so it’s important to talk to children about decorating choices, but don’t let the kiddos dictate major room elements like furniture or even wall color. Of course, a little guy that loves the “Cars” movies is going to want a Lightning McQueen bed though it may not be the wisest purchase since that red plastic car bed will run out of gas way before he’s a teenager. The key is to solicit input on the accessories that will make their room cozier and more inviting. But before talking about a makeover, be clear about what parts of the room your child can change and which ones are not open for discussion.
Designing a room is fun, especially when it comes to kids. Planning a nursery is part of the excitement of becoming a parent, but seasoned parents will tell you that a better choice is decorating a baby’s room that can easily and inexpensively change into a toddler’s room and beyond!
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