Kids' Room Decor: Finding Ideas Online

BlogHer Original Post

The subject of kids' room decor has been on my mind a lot lately.  For my oldest son's 11th birthday this past summer, we gave him a "new" room, redecorated to reflect his pre-teen sensibilities.  A dozen loose ends, though, have kept it an on-going project.

Additionally, my two middle sons share a room, and it's a small one.  This means I'm constantly looking for decorating ideas that will make that room seem larger and more efficient.

As if all that's not enough, my four-year-old daughter has, for several months, been in need of a room fix-up, thanks to an unfortunate (and mischievous) encounter with some acrylic craft paint.  Let's just say that new bedding and wall paint were required and leave off the remaining painful details (*cringe*).

I could spend hours checking out decorating ideas for kids' rooms online.  Maybe it's because kids' decor seems to allow for extra whimsy and creativity than decor for something as practical as, say, a kitchen.  The ideas abound.

This excellent post by Nesting Place offers some very practical advice for decorating kids' rooms (and if you've spent any time browsing her blog, it's clear she knows a thing or two about putting together a homey and beautiful room).  I especially love the way she involves her kids in the decision-making process, while still keeping a fair level of control for the grown-ups:

I pick the furniture and supply the lighting and bed linens, they get to do the rest. Right now, my boys have strung Christmas lights and taped up 25 of their favorite race car drawings. They love it and so do I.

Similarly,Little Urbanites provides a list of 12 tips for decorating a kids' room, including the sensible advice of not marrying yourself to a particular theme:

She’s alway steered away from both babylike décor in her kids’ rooms and rooms with a theme that calls for everything to match. “Kids grow so fast,” she says. “By 7, most boys are no longer interested in little trains; they’re already into sports and ‘boy’ stuff.”

I think that's excellent advice.  My own experience has taught me to steer clear of "themed" rooms and perhaps point more toward a color scheme.  My middle sons, for example, have denim-blue quilts on their beds.  I bought them with the full intention of those quilts following them until they leave my house, however their interests change.  The simple, theme-free bedding gives us lots of growing room.

There is a giant treasure trove of decor ideas to be found at Better Homes and Garden's Kids' Rooms page (a "special offer" page will pop up if you click that link, but close it down and you'll head straight to the good stuff.)  This great article by Jody Garlock is especially helpful for designing a room that will grow with a kid.

Decorating a teen's room is a different project altogether, of course.  Teens will want more input in creating a room that is a reflection of their own tastes.  I like this suggestion by  Suite 101's Kristin Abraham, that parents can use room decorating as an opportunity to learn budgeting skills as well:

So encourage your teen to take an active part in their decorating, in fact parents should really take a backseat and act as helper rather than advisor. This said, encourage your teen to learn some important life lessons by giving them a budget for their decorating project and let them figure out how to work within the budget.

Here are few more excellent blog posts on the subject of decorating kids' rooms:

The Inspired Room writes about creating a memory shelf.  This is an idea that's inexpensive and meaningful--not to mention really cute.

Dooce shares a photo essay of her daugher's adorable (and oh-so-organized) room, though she admits it might not stay that way long!

Small Treasures shares a beautiful woodworking project she undertook for her daughter's room.

Remodelista shows how maps can be used cleverly in decorating a child's room.

What are your favorite on-line resources for kids' room decor?

Shannon Lowe is a BlogHer contributing editor (Mommy/Family). She also blogs at Rocks In My Dryer and The Parenting Post.

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