How Do You Make Your Children's Rooms Feel Special?

Our Work | May 24, 2013

This post and series is brought to you by one of my favorite places to shop for Kids, Land of Nod
image via The Land of Nod 
Today I am asking our experts how they are able to make their children’s rooms feel special. 

I just
redecorated my 4 year old daughters room and asked her specifically
what she wanted in it and then based my design around it.  It was a
great project for me and she loves it!   

I have to admit, I am not one for themes, at all.  But my two younger boys really started getting into airplanes and talking about travels so it was my goal to bring some of their passion into their shared bedroom.  I started out with two airplane prints, which I hung above each of their beds.  Then, I pulled a few of the blues and reds from their artwork, and continued those colors through linens and small accessories.  The walls received an all around the room stripe treatment, which the boys love equally as much as I do.  Maps not only work with the world traveler theme, but they are also a very versatile and timeless addition to any space, so I knew that was a great route to go.  We DIY’d a giant map which should stay relevant and “cool” throughout future updates to the room as they grow older.  Since we made the map ourselves, it’s fun to know that it is unique to their space, and they get excited to share it with their friends during sleepovers.  In the end, the room never ended up feeling too theme like, yet still incorporates the boy’s passions, which is a win win for all. 

I’m probably the meanest mom ever. My boys love transformers and superheroes and sports, but their (10×10) bedrooms don’t really show that at all!!!  (oops!! 😉  We’ve collected really cool pieces of artwork that seem to tell stories and have layered them all over the walls of the bedrooms.  When we lay in bed, we sometimes tell stories about the different paintings.  In my older boys’ bedroom (3 yrs old and 5 yrs old) they each have a little light above their bed that they love having on to read at night.  They can request that they be on or off or “dim” and they really seem to enjoy them.  They also have their magnetic “chore charts” hanging on the wall in their bedroom which they love to fill out.  Like I mentioned before, they don’t keep any toys at all in their (very small!!) bedrooms which really makes them a special place for hanging out & reading.  It’s so easy to keep clean ,which might be my favorite part about it.
– Lauren  Liess, Pure Style Home

If you enjoy design (which you likely do,
if you are reading this blog) than chances are you have a design plan
for your child’s room and your child has a plan of their own too.  It’s
never a surprise to learn that something a child might adore you abhor,
and vice versa.  Instead of getting caught up in the
differences or picking a theme (in my opinion, a theme for an entire
room is never a good idea) I always find it fun to pick favorites.  Sit
down with your child and have them pick a favorite color, a few favorite
toys, special memories, and so on.  If your little one is old enough
maybe even gather a few inspiration photos from pointiest and let them
show you what stands out to them and why (don’t give too many options as
they just leads to indecisiveness).  After talking and seeing some
ideas help guide them in selecting what would be fun to incorporate.
 Just because your little likes superhero’s or smurfs doesn’t mean you
have to get super hero bedding or paint a giant smurf on the wall.  I
love keeping the walls somewhat simple (this way changes and updates can
be made easily and little ones can grow with their room) and then use
some of their favorite things / toys / collections to display in a
unique way. 

– Trina, La La Lovely

See the full post on this room including sources here.

Balancing your desire for a pretty room with your child’s of-the-moment obsession with ballerinas or tractors can be quite a challenge. Anyone with small children knows just how quickly their tastes can change so unless you want to be redecorating every 6 months my suggestion is this – keep the large pieces neutral and use things like accessories and art to personalize the room. Here’s a recent design I did for a little girl who loves mermaids. You don’t have to plaster Disney’s Arielle all over the room to get the mermaid vibe. A few well placed pieces of art and accessories inspired by the sea and you have a lovely mermaid inspired room. But notice that the large items – the chandelier, the bed, dresser, chair and vanity have nothing to do with mermaids at all. If next month Miss Chloe decides she’s over mermaids and has moved on to ballerinas, a couple new art prints, pillows and some hanging tutus would totally update the room. You can see how this room has been coming along via some Instagram photos I’ve posted here.
– Dina, Honey & Fitz

Large photos over their beds and monograms!! And my eight year old has a special box for his trinkets and papers…its is  up high where his three year old brother can’t destroy it.  My boys are nearly 5 years  apart and share a tiny room but it works because the oldest doesn’t feel ready to move upstairs yet and we aren’t pushing him.  It makes putting away laundry and bedtime much easier to have them together but it  is important for me to remember Drew is older and needs safe areas for his treasures. (note the red box on top of dresser)
I also think its important to frame their art..even if its just a small little drawing in a photo collage.  
And try to compromise on things they like for their walls.  My son loves soldiers so I steered him toward the British soldier and distracted him from the Optimus Prime poster.  the little painting was  a summer art project.

– Holly Mathis, Holly Mathis Interiors 

In my son’s room I also painted several animals on the wall, one of which was our ever-popular magnetic giraffe (one of my very first posts on MPMK).
these things took a significant amount of energy at a time when I was
decidedly short on it, I think it really makes my kids feel special to
look at the murals and know they were made just for them.  Both kids
often ask me to “tell them the story” of how and when their rooms were
– Stephanie , Modern Parents Messy Kids 

I think the key to making any space feel special is the little
details. One of my favorite ways to do so for kids spaces is
personalization and monograms. I’ve designed a good amount of rooms for
kids in the 7-11 range and I have found that they love their
initials/monograms on everything just like me! I’ve used their initials
on everything from their bedding to window valances and even custom cut
glass initials for wall decor.  In
nurseries I like to make things special by making sure I include items
that the parents adore and would love their baby to adore too.
Personally I have a passion for unique artwork that doesn’t come from a
big box store or is a reproduced print so I made the effort to include
some custom original artwork in my son’s nursery. I love that I enjoy
the art, it adds color and life in the space and that Hudson will have
these pieces to cherish for the rest of his life and that they can go up
in his home one day. 

– Camila Pavone, Effortless Style 

We are in the process of graduating from nursery to toddler room.  My son loves “Cars” and caught sight of a “car” bed and really wanted one.  I actually did consider it, but was not happy with the quality of the ones I looked at in person and the nice ones were too expensive.  We are compromising with a twin bed (the Hampton Classic Bed) from Pottery Barn Teen and “Cars” bedding.  This bed should last him several years at least. I let James pick out the bedding to make him feel like part of the process and to get him excited about his “big boy” bed. He’ll have more “grown up” blue and white striped drapes made from West Elm shower curtains. The walls will be painted a color both he and mom will enjoy, something similar to this, Indi Go-Go by Benjamin Moore. To make the room particularly “James” I found a cute greeting card that fits him perfectly (he’s obsessed with the guitar) and I love the sentiment, “All you need is love.” I’ll frame it and it will be the start of a gallery wall. 
– Megan, Honey We’re Home

I loved this Monarch 6 Drawer Dresser from the first time I laid eyes on it. The shape is super cool and the curved base gives a nod to traditional design. This dresser is unique enough to be current and in style and it is a piece you’ll have forever.