decorating for children

sorry-- i know it is blurry-- but the image was so beautiful i just couldn't help it.

children's rooms are hard in a number of ways-- they tend to have a lot of stuff that will only be important to them for a period of a few years, so there needs to be flexible storage and display. they also need room to play on the floor, which turns, as they get older, to needing room to hang out with their friends-- so their rooms are always part bedroom part living room. and as children get older, they will have their own ideas, their own styles, and their own personalities in terms of how they keep their space (neatness, messiness, minimalist, acquisitiveness-- they are developing versions of grown-ups, after all).

when a child is very young, his/her room should be warm, comforting, but a blank canvas. use soft colors and minimal furnishings-- a good rug for them to play on, a bed, and something simple on the walls is enough decoration. leaving a small child's room less decorated gives him/her aesthetic space to develop.

older children should be given the opportunity to express themselves in their own space-- they should get to choose their wall colors (it is only paint!), their bedding (you have to buy some anyway, might as well be something that they choose), and what goes on their walls, shelves, tables, and floors. as usual i am not talking about spending money that you would not otherwise be spending-- but i am talking about giving children some autonomy.

REMEMBER: there is an important line between allowing our children autonomy in the design of their rooms and teaching them to be materialist consumers (which we don't want!). teach children what things cost-- and where new furnishings fit in the family budget, teach them about the environmental impact of buying 'vintage' furnishings rather than new, teach them how to chose things for their rooms that mean something to them and that will last for a very long time.

all good.

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