If you’re one of the many parents out there wondering how you’re going to keep your kids occupied during what seems to be a never-ending quarantine, I not only have an idea for an activity…it will also keep them busy in their rooms.
Kids are no different from adults when it comes to creating a space that’s their own. And, like adults, their tastes change over time. Not only that, but we all like to just occasionally refresh our homes, especially when we’re forced to stay inside.
I began thinking about some ideas to inspire young interior designers that would help them revitalize their rooms…and it turns out that great minds think alike! In the latest issue of House Beautiful, they provide a great outline of decorating decisions your kids can make based on their ages. Here’s a quick summary:
Ages 2-7: Give Them Two Choices
- Color (this blue or that yellow)
- Patterns (animal print or vehicle theme), fabrics (stripe or floral)
- Materials (wicker box or canvas basket)
Ages 8-11: Empower Them
- Give them more decision-making power (this allows them to be invested in the outcome, so they stick with it longer and feel ownership).
- Give them a creative outlet to try on different personas without societal consequences.
Ages 12-17: Set Them Free!
- Give them free reign with restrictions:
- Budget and time parameters
- Must last for “x” years
- Changes will be made at their expense
- Cannot affect others negatively
Now, Let’s Start Decorating!
If you’re not sure about where to start, here are a few things to consider that might provide inspiration…and save you money in the long run.
When it comes to themes, use them as accents so they can be changed as your child’s interests change. Frozen, Legos, trucks, and dolls can be displayed on bookshelves, in prints, and on pillows, but shouldn’t be used overwhelmingly in the décor. Your 16-year-old daughter probably won’t want to scrape Elsa wallpaper off the walls in a few years; it’s a lot easier to just change her bedding.
This room from designer Katie Lyndon combines sophisticated wallpaper, colors, and fabrics that can work for any age. Built-in shelving and pillows allow for current obsessions to be displayed and changed over time.
Use more sophisticated colors for large, big-ticket elements such as walls, furniture, window treatments, and rugs that can continue to be used as accents. Things like bedding, lamps, and wall art can be changed or phased out over time.
If they fall in love with a more expensive item, such as a chair, lamp, or bed, consider this an investment that they can take with them when they move out to start their adult lives. When I was in high school, I fell in love with a lamp that was over $100 (a lot for a lamp in the 1970s), and I managed to talk my mom into buying it for me. Guess what I still have in my master bedroom? That lamp!
There are so many ways kids can get inspired to create a vision for what they want and with the ability order almost anything delivered to your door (including paint from Benjamin Moore), this is a great time to take on a home-improvement project.
Pinterest is a fun way for kids to find ideas and can keep them occupied for hours and they can even “virtually” decorate a room by using one of the programs listed on Freshome.com. This is also a great time to look at websites such as Etsy to help support independent artists and businesses.
Here are a few other sources to consider:
- Beautiful Bed Company
- Smith & Noble (window treatments)
- One Forty Three & Shades of Light (lighting)
- Crate and Barrel Kids
- Pottery Barn Kids
- Pottery Barn Teen
- Petit Nest
- Bograd Kids
- AFK Furniture
- Posh Tots
- Modern Seed
- Nursery Works
Cover picture design by Eliza Dyson