They grow up so fast, don’t they? Before you know it, it’s time to transition your child’s kiddie room into a decidedly more grown-up space. Here’s how to do it.
One minute you’re figuring out how to assemble their baby crib, and the next you’re seeing their feet poke out of their toddler bed with their baby toys increasingly relegated into storage.
Your little one is growing up, and fast growing out of their newborn or toddler bedroom décor.
This won’t do. As your child’s personality continues to evolve, and they become increasingly more vocal about what they like and don’t like, it’s important to ensure their bedroom – their ‘all-to-myself’space – reflects who they really are.
Here are some tips – and some ground rules – on how to seamlessly transition your child’s room into their very first ‘grown up’ bedroom.
Let’s start with two golden rules…
1. Let them call some shots
Before you get too wrapped in your visions for your child’s new room, make sure you’ve asked your child what they would like first. It’s only fair to let them have their say — being able to help decidehow their room is decorated will give them a valuable sense of ownership. Treating them as a partner in the makeover project also means you’re acknowledging that they’re growing up and becoming more responsible.
2. Let them help
If they’re willing, allow your child to lend you a hand in your redecoration project. Not only does it reinforce the fact that this is their room decorated their way, it also encourages them to respect the work that has gone in to creating the space (which, hopefully, means they’ll be more inclined to look after it). So, from helping you paint the walls and assemble furniture to simply handing you tools, there’s plenty of tasks they can take on, whatever their ability.
Uplifting colours: playful without being kiddie
The personality of a room is so strongly influenced by its colour scheme that this first stage of redecoration is an important one. When you’re aiming to create a more ‘grown-up’ feeling space, borrowing from grown-up homes is the way to go. This means using neutral shades – like greys, navy, creams and browns – and pairing them with pops of brighter or bolder colours.
While neutral shades provide a reliable and safe base, the pops of accent colours create a unique personality for the room – easily swapped around as your child’s tastes change. When it comes to those accent colours, steer clear of bold primary and secondary colours like red or yellow to avoid the room feeling too childish. Instead, aim for tertiary colours such as green-blue or red-purple or go for pastel shades or jewel tones.
Timeless furniture: grown-up and organised
As your child reaches that point in their life where they’ll go through rapid changes in both appearance (‘how did you get so tall?’) and tastes (‘you don’t want to watch Thomas anymore?’), it’s important to choose furniture that will feel right, whatever their age.
Plus, furniture tends to be one of the biggest expenses of any decoration project, so it’s worthwhile picking out items that you won’t need to replace anytime soon. Our trick to timeless furniture that adapts to change? Choosing classic pieces that are as multifunctional as possible.
This means going for dressing tables, bed frames and wardrobes that are high-quality, built to last, functional, and don’t rely too heavily on the latest trends. The elegant Emily Dressing Table, with its seamless blend of traditional and contemporary, is a great example of a classic piece of furniture that can last years.
Choosing a multifunctional piece, whether that’s a divan bed with storage at the bottom or a vanity table with plenty of drawer space, also helps maximise storage. Hopefully, giving your child plenty of options where they can put things away will encourage them to do just that. A clutter-free bedroom where everything has its place? How very grown-up!
Study time: desks and chairs for work and play
Having a dedicated spot for working (i.e. studying) can feel incredibly grown-up and responsible. Plus, if there’s anything that can powerfully compel us to work, it’s an appealing area to work in. A proper desk in your child’s bedroom for them to study and do homework from can be incredibly motivating, particularly if it’s fully equipped with stationery and other essentials they’ve picked out themselves.
If your child’s bedroom is simply not big enough to accommodate too many pieces of furniture, why not double-up and use the dressing table as a desk? Pick one that has plenty of storage space, such as the tasteful Corndell Ambriella Dressing Table and Mirror Set, so your child can store both their grooming or beauty essentials and their school stuff in one handy spot.
Another way to make the room feel more grown-up is by adding in an extra chair for guests. There’s a sense of pride associated with being capable of having company over, and by having a spot dedicated to their friends, your child can feel serious about entertaining.
Make-believe adulting: child-friendly sophistication
As you move your child’s bedroom into more sophisticated territory, add in little design touches that are unquestionably grown-up. Some adult-style options that are still child-friendly include:
Easy-to-care-for plants: Nothing says you’re a fully-fledged adult more than being able to take care of other living things. Place low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for plants such as succulents, peace lilies or bromeliads in your child’s bedroom for the ultimate grown-up touch. Now, all you need to do is decide who’s responsible for caring for it…
Sophisticated soft throws: A classy touch found in many grown-up rooms, a soft throw that is decidedly not a baby blanket draped at the foot of the bed or on the guest chair can be a great way to exude adult sophistication.
Wire-thin metallics: Look around your child’s current bedroom and see if there are any items you can replace with a metallic alternative. Going for items made from thin wires or metallics – whether that’s planters, table lamps or storage boxes – gives a stylish, grown-up touch to the room.
Large, decorative items: From supersized wall clocks to large scale wall art, look for statementitems with that grown-up feel that are robust enough to withstand youthful energy.
All their own: making it personal with artwork
Let your child’s personality loose on their room by decorating incorporating pieces created by your very own maestro. Whether you create a gallery wall with pieces of artwork, blow up some of their favourite pictures into large prints, or even work together to stencil in a design onto the wall, there are plenty of ways to get creative when decorating.
You can also extend this to your child’s non-art hobbies, whether that’s collecting toy trains, baking or building Lego sets. Gather some of their favourite items and create a display in one corner of the room. If you add plenty of storage nearby for bits that don’t make the display, this area can then double as the ‘play zone’ where toys and games can make their way out when adulting becomes tiresome. (A rare occasion, we’re sure…)
Going from a nursery to a space that exudes ‘grown up’ can be a rite of passage for our kids. By borrowing tips from actual ‘grown-up’ homes – such as a more mature colour scheme or deliberate decorative touches – you can seamlessly transition your child’s bedroom into a sophisticated space that still retains plenty of youthful charm. And if you’re really lucky, they might even keep it tidy!