As your child gets older, they’ll inevitably outgrow their nursery, prompting you to make some changes—but that doesn’t mean you have to invest in a whole new room! By choosing versatile decorations and furniture, you can easily adapt to their changing needs and tastes as they age. Here are some budget-conscious ideas for transitioning your child’s bedroom throughout different stages of his or her life.
From Baby to Toddler
Move from crib to bed — Your children’s rooms should change according to their needs. By the time my eldest was 17 months, we were welcoming our second child into the same nursery. Little changed, though we had to move our toddler into a big boy bed. At that point, I incorporated bedding that coordinated well with the nursery as well as my son’s emerging interests, which turned out to be fire trucks when he turned two.
Add shelves for toys and children’s books — Toddlers usually have lots of toys and books. Instead of keeping them in boxes or drawers, line them up on shelves and let them serve as the room’s décor.
Embrace educational displays — Your children will remember the things they constantly see in their room for a very long time, so why not put up something they can learn from? Posters of different types of animals or hanging displays, like a solar system mobile, are just some of your many options. These interesting sights move children to ask questions and be curious, which is what we want to encourage.
Make use of simple materials — Ask your children to create their room’s decorations with you. There are numerous DIY projects that make use of affordable materials, like tissue paper, that you can do with your kids. These DIY pom poms are sure to be a pleasant addition to a girl’s room.
Work around what you currently have — When we welcomed boy and girl twins, I had the new dilemma of creating a room that was a bit more gender neutral while complementing each baby. As they grew, my daughter decided she wanted her own room and her twin brother was delighted to join his two older brothers. Once again, I had to rethink the décor without starting from scratch. My daughter really wanted a princess-style bed, but we already had perfectly good, quality bunk beds. Instead, I created ways to add a very feminine touch to her décor without buying new furniture.
Decorate according to their interests — What I found interesting as my children transitioned from baby, to toddler, and now to elementary school-aged children is how their opinions developed regarding bedroom décor. Of course, when I was pregnant and planned the nurseries, I did so based on my own decorating sensibilities. Determine your child’s interests and favorites and decorate according to how they want their room to look.
For the boys who all share a bedroom, I decided to incorporate each of their favorite colors into their bedding by using coordinating patterned sheets. We chose these duvet covers to match their favorite colors, but to cut down on costs, the bedding was given to them as birthday gifts.
My eldest loves red as well as Ohio State football, so he got OSU sheets. Our middle son loves blue and Spiderman so we went with Spiderman sheets for him, and our youngest loves green and the Hulk so we went with Avengers sheets for his bed.
Add more shelves for books — Now that your child is in school, it’s important to make their room more organized. Add more shelves to keep books and notebooks, and containers to store school materials.
Mount hooks — Hooks and pegs are very useful for a lot of things; they can store anything from bags and clothes to coats and hats. With your children having more things of their own, it’s important to have as many storage options as possible to encourage them to keep the room tidy and organized.
Display their masterpieces — While it’s great to have a fully decorated room, know that children’s rooms really don’t need a lot of decorations. They have enough fun things they like to display, and you don’t want to add any more to the clutter. Provide for a way to display their artwork or their colorful toys so you can make the most of what they have to decorate the room. Put up a bulletin board or reserve a space on the wall where they can display their paintings and drawings.
My basic principle as I’ve transitioned between stages is to make modest, affordable upgrades. As your kids get older, learn how to incorporate their ideas while keeping everything within a budget. Understand the different needs of your children at their age and replace furniture only if it’s feasible and it’s a true need. Get your creative juices flowing as you work with what you have, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can do!
Jennifer Lutz is a design and decorating enthusiast who has over a decade of experience staging professional homes and transforming ordinary rooms into stunning spaces. She is also the home décor expert for Christmas Tree Market, where she regularly shares her knowledge in articles on their seasonal blog.