Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Creating a Big Kid Room

By Brandi M. Seals

Every parent makes an effort to create the perfect nursery for their new bundle of joy but as the child grows and gets older, he or she eventually outgrows the pastel walls and crib. While you may be able to hold of creating a big kid room until the child gets to be school aged, it cannot be left indefinitely. Sure you can make it better by getting a big kid bed, but the room still will not feel like home to your child.

When you do decide that your child is old enough and you have some funds to put towards the change, you can help create a whole new feel in the room without spending a ton of money.

If you plan ahead when you find out you are pregnant, you choose to painted the walls a neutral color (like light yellow). That way you can skip the new coat of paint each time you want to update the space. Sure you may think that is boring, but you can always spice things up with wall decals. As the child ages, simply switch out the decals for something a little more their speed. Decals can be found near the wallpaper section in stores and generally run less than $20 per pack. You will be surprised at the different options out there. You could do Dora the Explorer decals, Spiderman, or even bugs.

If you did not plan ahead or you had your heart set on a pastel pink nursery for your little girl, you may need to paint the walls to really change the feel of the room. Be sure to consult your child about what color walls he or she wants. They may not pick a color you would like and that does not mean you have to go with that color, but it will help guide your decisions.

For example, as a little girl I loved the color pink. I had it everywhere, but by the time I turned 7, I hated pink. I did not want to see it at all. I wanted purple walls. My walls were never painted purple, but my parents at least heard what I wanted and took it into consideration. They decided I would be better off with a more neutral wall color with lots of purple accents and I was plenty happy with that.

Since this is your child's room, he or she should have some say in what it looks like, even if they are young. You know what will and will not work in the long run, but you can accommodate some of your child’s wishes.

With wall color out of the way, you can focus on all those little touches that really make a room. This is where you tap into what your kid really loves. If he loves action figures, get a bed spread featuring one of his favorite figures. Use the colors in the blanket to guide you towards decorating the rest of the room. At one point my sister loved 101 Dalmatians. We had red bunk beds and white walls in the room we shared. We finished off the look with a dalmatian comforter on her bed and some red accents through out the room.

Next time you need to change the room (around the time puberty hits) you can let your child take more of a lead. At this point she really knows what she wants. Let your child taking a leading roll. Go shopping together for pieces to go in the room. Let her pick out the comforter, lamps, or anything else that will go in the room. If something is not agreeable, feel free to put a kibosh on it, but always explain why you made the decision. If there is something that your kid wants that you just do not want to buy, you could always give him or her the option of buying the item with money they have saved from their allowance. It will give them a bit of ownership in the room and help them to appreciate what they really do have.

Remember, turning a little kid room into a big kid room is a big step but it should be fun. If something does not turn out perfectly, that is okay. It is part of what gives the room its charm.

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