One thing I talk about quite often when we’re chatting kids rooms is how I am super intentional about planning and designing kid rooms that are capable of growing with my kids. It’s really important to me that my kids are able to have creative control in their rooms and feel free to change things up as often as they want. My parents were very open to the idea of me changing up my room when I was a kid, and I think it’s part of why I have such a love for home design now!
But, if you aren’t careful, it can be an expensive endeavor. You can’t just give your kids full reign, because it’s not financially feasible. So, how do you plan a room that can easily change with your kid’s whims while still being affordable and somewhat cute?
I’m here to help.
How to Plan Kids Rooms That Will Grow With Them
1. Remember This Mantra: It’s Just Paint!
Painting a room can feel like a massive pain, but honestly it’s only about $50 and an afternoon of work! We’ve lived in this house for three and a half years and both kids’ rooms have been through two paint transformations in that time!
Paint goes a long (looooong!) way towards changing the entire feel of a room, and letting your kids have some say in how their room is painted can give them so much ownership. Jackson’s room started off with mostly white walls with colorful stripes on one side. Then, we painted everything (including the ceiling) dark blue for his space room. Thankfully, the blue works for the next theme he’s wanting (Ravenclaw from Harry Potter), so it gets to stay.
Grant’s room also started off with white walls, with a blue ceiling as an accent. When we redid his room last year, I painted the bottom half a dark green and added wallpaper up top. This kind of breaks one of my own rules (see #4 below) because wallpaper is on the pricey side and kind of a pain to remove.
But…I think it was worth it.
The bottom line? Paint is easy to change and it makes a huge impact. Let your kids have some say in what you paint their room and try to just roll with it when they inevitably want to paint it again two years down the road.
2. Bring in Your Theme Through Art
A really great way to add some flavor to your kids room and let them run with a theme a little is through artwork. I’m not huge on super themed rooms for kids…but my kids are. Art is always a simple way to make a space feel more special, and it’s so easy to change whenever your kids are ready.
For example, when we design Grant’s big kid room, he wanted a dinosaur theme. So, he has a huuuuge dino gallery wall.
But, as he gets older he’s a little less dinosaur obsessed and I imagine that in the next year or so he’ll want to switch up this gallery wall. All I will have to do is change up the art to get a whole new feel in his room!
Jackson’s room is another good example. He had a space theme in here before, but he’s been asking to move over to a Harry Potter theme. So, I pulled down the space art and I swapped it for some wizarding-themed art. It was quick, easy, and impactful.
3. Have Fun With Bedding
Okay, hear me out: I don’t love themed bedding for kids rooms. But, it can be surprisingly easy to find cute-but-subtle bedding that will thrill your kiddos. Grant has an adorable dinosaur bedspread, and Jackson used to have space themed sheets. We paired them with a yellow blanket and it didn’t feel over the top at all but it made him really happy.
For Jackson’s room refresh, I bought a super simple plaid bedspread and paired it with a Maruader’s Map throw. He absolutely loves it, it goes with his theme, and it doesn’t feel cheesy. Win, win, win!
4. Keep it Simple
One of the easiest ways to ensure your kid’s room can grow with them over time is to keep things more or less simple. I rarely make any permanent decisions in my children’s rooms, unless I’m confident they’ll last for the long haul.
A great example of this is the built-in shelving in Grant’s room. It’s a more expensive, more permanent decision, but it adds a ton of storage to his room and there’s no reason the bookshelves won’t last him forever. I may need to repaint them someday, but that’s an easy enough change. The shelves themselves can stick around forever! They’ll work even if he ever decides to upgrade to a full-sized bed, and they can display anything from LEGO to books to sports trophies and more.
Simple trim treatments are also an option that I personally think will last most kids for a long time. Things like chair rail molding and board and batten walls can go with any theme or color, and they’re a classic option that they’re unlikely to grow bored with over time.
If you want to add something a little more trendy or fun, just make sure it’s easily reversed! Jackson’s faux wood accent wall is peel and stick – when he’s ready for a change it should come right down without damaging the walls! Grant’s wall paper will be annoying to remove, but it’s overall a really simple thing to reverse. Painting stripes or a rainbow can add a ton of personality without making a permanent change.
Just remember that if you want to be flexible and let your kids take ownership over their space, you’ll always want to consider how easy (and expensive) it would be to reverse a change you make. If you stick to things that are no big deal if they change their minds on, you’ll thank yourself in the long run!
5. Remember It’s Not Your Room
And finally – my number one tip that I can guarantee will make a huge difference in your sanity when planning kids’ rooms: remember it’s not your space!
Sometimes we can get so caught up in making sure that our entire home is beautiful and styled that we forget how important it is to just let the kids be kids. I never let myself stress about making sure my kids’ rooms “match” the rest of the feel of my house. And, even though I’d never create a themed room on my own, they love a theme in their space. So I let it happen.
In the end, all that matters to me in my kids’ rooms is that they love them. I want them to feel at home in their space, I want them to enjoy being there, and I want them to learn to love taking care of and decorating their own space. And the only way to make that happen is to be intentional about allowing them the freedom to make some decisions!
And, I’ve gotta be honest, it was really fun to plan out a Harry Potter themed room refresh!