by Brittany Cleeve
It always seems like you’ve just finished remodeling when your daughter approaches you with an idea for changing her room again. In fact, it terrifies us all. As working parents in a time when the economy isn’t exactly booming, none of us can imagine dropping a ton of money on a room that will inevitably be transformed again in a few more years. As kids grow up, their tastes change drastically from day to day let alone from year to year. You can justify spending money on her bedroom by simply spending it wisely; not just by finding deals and clipping coupons, but knowing what to buy and how to use it.
You are just a few months away from your daughter being born and are beginning to decorate her nursery. You automatically think of the pastel pinks, yellows, and greens that you could splash onto the walls. However, you need to think five and ten years down the road-will your daughter want this color on her walls for that long? Try and get some longevity out of everything that you put into this room because it will be hers for at least eighteen years and she will most definitely want to redecorate a few times. Now, one more time, will pastels last you for a decade? Absolutely not! So, what colors do you choose? It’s definitely okay to use pink, yellow, and green but try using brighter, more vivid tones of those colors. Let’s imagine that you use sunshine yellow on the walls with deep fuchsia as an accent color. These colors will definitely last!
Purchasing furniture that has multiple uses and can be kept for a long period of time is a much more difficult task than choosing paint and requires a lot of research and shopping around. Look into convertible cribs - cribs that turn into a toddler bed, a daybed, and then into a full size bed. You will definitely get your use out of this purchase! Parents are no longer looking for a crib as a stand-alone purchase. They want more out of their cribs than just a short time of use.
As for storage to stow all those toys away, buy a strong bookshelf that has the option of add-on doors to be used later on in your daughter’s life. With a small child on the loose, it is key to have the ease of accessibility for things like diapers and blankets; therefore the doors will have much more functionality in a few years time. Add small details to the room like wooden letters that spell out your daughter’s name and bows on the curtain rods. These small touches can easily be removed, are affordable, and add a “cute” touch to the room.
Your little girl has finally begun elementary school! My, the time flies by! She has requested for you to update her “little girl” room into a “big girl” room. You have already transformed her crib into a toddler bed and she is now ready for her day bed. You can change the color of the walls to a bright green that still matches the tone of the curtains and other decorations around the room so that her new favorite color is put on display. You can start the makeover by adding a patterned rug to the floor and rearranging the furniture so that she has as much floor space as possible for her dolls and toys. You can remove the bows from the curtain rods and give her some colorful new multi-color striped shades for the windows. Add a ribbon shower curtain above her day bed to act as a canopy and voilà! You have just given your daughter a brand new “big girl” room at a low price and almost no effort.
It’s time for your daughter’s bed to be converted into a full size bed and along with her new bed, she would greatly appreciate a renovation to the rest of her room. What needs to be changed? All you need is a desk, rug, curtains, and a new bedspread. Finally, bring up those doors for the bookshelves from storage and get ready to paint the walls. You can keep the window shades that you previously purchased and use a color from the shades for the walls. Your daughter has chosen orange, so you paint the walls orange and buy a blue rug for some exciting contrast. Use some curtains that aren’t solid to add a splash of something different to the room. Adding those doors to the bookshelves allows your daughter to store things away without any clutter showing. The only thing your daughter needs for the desk these days is a computer, so it doesn’t need to be too big.
In closing, here is some food for thought. Let your daughter know that there will be compromise when redecorating her room. It’s her room but you have to live with seeing it everyday so you have to reach some kind of middle ground. Also, let your daughter be free to choose what to put on the walls. As she gets older, posters will be her main form of expression, so let the walls be her space. Remember to provide plenty of storage, lighting, a decent sized desk, and a bookshelf. Proper storage is a way to ensure that she won’t throw everything on the floor because there’s “just no room.” Proper lighting and the right size desk are important so that she has a quiet place to study. If you want your daughter to read, then don’t ignore the necessity of a bookshelf in her room to put old and new favorites in a safe place.
Whatever your daughter’s age, remember these words of advice:
- Avoid colors that your daughter will grow tired of
- Purchase furniture that can be used every time you remodel
- If you want to add something to the room that your daughter enjoys now but may not enjoy in the future, make sure that it’s inexpensive and removable
- It’s easier to reuse items that are multi-colored, because you can pull a specific color from it to use as an accent
- Think of your daughter’s future needs when purchasing furniture - like the bookshelf for instance, the doors were necessary as she got older, whereas they were not needed when she was younger
- Never build something around a piece of technology. For example, building an entertainment center to fit a tube TV. Now, widescreen LCD TV’s are the new standard.
Congratulations! You have successfully taken your daughter’s room from the nursery to her teenage days without too much backbreaking pain, time, or money!
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