By Max Sheppard
As a parent, how to decorate your child’s room is one of the tough decisions you have to make. She might love Dora the Explorer today, but it’s not likely that she’ll want cartoons on her walls forever. You could end up spending a ton of money redecorating every year or two if you don’t think ahead. Here are seven theme ideas for girls’ rooms that can grow with her over the years, saving you money.
All little girls love to be princesses – and teens like to act like them too. Take a more mature approach to it from the start. Chose a subdued pink and pair it with browns to give the room a Victorian look. Canopy beds are regal, but they can be expensive. Instead, go for a smaller, removable net canopy, which attaches to the ceiling via a ring and only flows over the head of the bed. Use gold touches to finish the room with an elegant feel, and display princess toys that your child has until she outgrows them.
Instead of painting cartoon flowers and bumble bees all over the walls, which can be fun for a toddler but overwhelming for a teenager, try using real flowers (or silk flowers if you don’t have a green thumb) on shelves that are out of reach of tiny hands. Use natural colors, like greens and browns, for painting and sheer curtains to let in as much light as possible. Keep the artwork on the walls whimsical enough for a children’s room – like pictures of fairies or butterflies – yet sophisticated enough for teens; skip the cartoons and look for prints of paintings.
Creating a retro room for your daughter can be fun, but don’t go too crazy with the flower power and smiley faces! Instead, stick to using colors that were popular in the 1960s and add fun touches like beaded curtains, printed rugs, and beanbag chairs. Use a lava lamp as a nightlight and stick to fabrics in funky prints, like paisley.
Pink French poodles and polka dots look cute in a little girls’ room, and it is actually fairly easy to take that style idea and make it appropriate for any age group. Start with color – a Parisian themed room should have elements of black, pink, white, and tan. Stuffed poodles can easily be replaced on shelves with more sophisticated dcor, such as an Eiffel Tower replica or French country prints. Add mirrors and sconces to the walls (out of reach of small children of course) and for the furniture, think wrought iron and wood painted white or cream and distressed.
Girls can love sciences and technology as much as boys, so why not choose a celestial outer space theme for your child? Use navy-colored paint to give the illusion of a night sky and glow-in-the-dark stars that can be removed if she no longer likes them when she’s older. To give the room a girl’s touch, use celestial sun, moon, and star accent pieces and pretty cloud or sunset artwork.
Tropical themed bedrooms are always a hit for kids, but creating an island paradise that will still be appropriate when your toddler is a teen can be challenging. Subtlety is key here. Use beach colors like aqua and blue for the walls or furniture and instead of carpeting, go for a wood floor that gives the room a more beach bungalow feel. For small children, use some tropical-inspired rugs to make the play surface safer, and use shells and hibiscus flowers to complement your design. You can also use bamboo and wicker for furniture and blinds in the room, and frame artwork featuring mermaids, dolphins, and sailboats for the walls.
Most young girls love to play dress up, and teens may also be very into fashion. A Hollywood glitz and glam room can be great for themed bedrooms. Instead of a traditional dresser, chose a vanity, which your daughter will appreciate when she’s in high school, and instead of a wallpaper border, string white Christmas lights around the room that can be kept up all year. Use clear beads that give the illusion of diamonds in the window treatment and for a chandelier-like lighting fixture and add a few touches of animal prints in pillows, throw rugs, etc. for a little fun.
Remember, your toddle may not grow up to like the style you chose, so be prepared for your tomboy teen to hate her garden-inspired room or your cheerleader to have an issue with the beach theme you picked. The good news is that no matter what theme you use today, if you switch out the accessories, she’ll love it tomorrow. Avoid huge decor choices that are hard to change, because you want her room to grow with her tastes.