Part of the wonderful fun of planning for a new baby is planning for an adorable nursery. Learn about baby furniture, decorating themes, luxury baby supplies, and charming nursery decor.
Decorating Ideas for Boys Rooms
Personalize Your Child’s Room With a Theme
Future astronauts and scientists will find hours of fun in a rug featuring planets and stars.
A decorating theme is a great way to begin decorating a room for a child. If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably spent lots of time thinking about decorating your new child’s room even before he joined your family. While bunnies are cute and teddy bears are darling, you might want something different for the bedroom or playroom.
There are lots of great themes for boys’ rooms. A special theme will provide both the focus and the inspiration for a special one-of-a-kind room and can be adapted as your child grows. Time to get started!
From bees and ants to frogs and reptiles, creatures of nature often capture a child’s attention. Browse theme ideas at Posh Tots including a Bug Off Table and Chair Set, Bug bed linens, and or frog lamp. Maybe using this theme in the bedroom will encourage your son to leave the real thing outside!
What boy wouldn’t love a room focusing on his favorite pet? Whether it’s a dog or cat, bird or snake, using this theme will make your son (and his pet) feel particularly at home. Be sure to put up lots of pictures with your son and his best friend around the room and make sure you have stuffed animals scattered everywhere.
Playhouse / Play town
This theme will provide a wonderful scheme for decorating your son’s room and provide lots of wonderful playtime possibilities as well. A whimsical or the cute play town chest can be your starting point. Or, do a border in kids designs or paint a mural of a street scene on one or more walls. Name the storefronts for family members (“Katie’s Groceries”, “Ted’s Puppet Theatre”, “Todd’s Bike Shop”, “Anne’s Pet Heaven”, “Sara’s Video Den”, or Dennis’ Book Nook”).
For a safari look, find wonderful, colorful animal wallpaper borders and fabrics at any wallpaper store. Paint the walls blue, tan, ivory, or any of the colors in your wallpaper border. Make pillows and valances from coordinating leopard-print fabrics, and find some stuffed lions and tigers for the corner. Mount a butterfly net, binoculars, or straw hat on the walls. Use colorful mat board and frame some of your child’s artwork to display. Maybe he’ll draw some lions!
Most every child loves spending time at camp or in the mountains. And what parent doesn’t have happy childhood memories of hiking, boating, fishing, or just enjoying the outdoors. Birdhouses, bears, moose, and fish might show up in wallpaper borders, in fabrics, bedding, and accessories. For a rustic room you might also choose comfy plaid patterns, flannel fabrics, and log or pine beds. Accessories might use forest themes of animals, mountain scenes, or natural materials such as pine cones, leaves, and sticks. Take another cue from camp and use a sturdy trunk to store toys. With a room this nice, who needs a vacation?
Choose a colorful jungle border, or try a jungle area rug. Soft fabric snakes and colorful stuffed birds or butterfly cutouts can add to the decor. Make pillows of animal or jungle prints and use themed accessories.
Decorating Ideas for Girls Rooms
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!
Every little girl I know loves pretty colors! For a room she’ll cherish, select fabrics with flowers, trellises, cute animals, or butterflies. You might stencil flowers, vines, and butterflies on walls as a colorful accent, using paint colors matched to your fabric or wallpaper choices. Don’t forget soft, airy curtains for the windows.
If you live near the beach, or just wish you did, create an ocean theme using watery blues for the wall, sand colors on the floor, and clouds in the sky (ceiling). Take color cues from a beach border wallpaper, art print, or piece of furniture like this colorful stool. You ‘all almost be able to hear the waves!
Starlight is a great theme, and you’ll find many fabrics, wallpapers, and bedding with star patterns. This theme appeals to both boys and girls, and is available in many colors both bright and pastel. Wonderful theme pieces can be the “star” in a room. You might get star-shaped rubber stamps (or sponges) and dip into wall paint to create your own star border, decorate furniture, or make random stars all over the walls or ceiling. A star quilt or rug will complete the theme.
Create a wonderful, soft look with by the light of the moon. The ceiling might be midnight blue, with painted moon and stars, or use some of the stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars. Embellish a colorful painted bookshelf with crisp white stars, or liven up a plain white chest with a rainbow of star shapes. Find a moon and star quilt or fabric to use for window treatments. Then add a moon cutout headboard.
Next: More Ideas for GIRLS Rooms including a look at colors, feline friends, and the very trendy butterfly.
Create a Baby’s Room on a Budget
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a fun and wonderful baby’s room. Pull all the elements together without breaking the bank.
Time Required: Planning Time
- The first thing is to think “SAFE.” Be sure to check out safety guidelines before buying or borrowing nursery furniture.
- Start visiting swap meets, tag sales, and garage sales as soon as you know you’ll be needing baby things. Use any secondhand sources you can think of, particularly for items that you’ll use for a very short time, such as a bassinette, walker, baby bath, or jumper.
- Select furniture and furnishings that will convert to good use as the child grows from infancy to the toddler stage. Planning ahead now will really pay off in the future. You’ll only have to buy once!
- Choose colors for the nursery that will coordinate with the colors of toys. Then the toys become decorative items themselves!
- The best way to save lots of money is to do as much of the work as you can yourself! Paint furniture, sew curtains and quilts, paint the walls, and put up wallpaper. One of the biggest expenses in decorating is the labor, so the more you can do yourself, the more you’ll save.
- Use your money to buy things that will last through childhood – or at least a few years. Invest in a good bed and chest, but borrow or shop at discount stores for everything else.
- If friends will be having a baby shower for you, this is a great time to get some things that will enhance your chosen room theme. Register for some things to decorate the room, such as bedding, furniture, and accessories.
- Select a paint color for the walls that will “grow” with the child. Pale pink or baby blue are adorable for an infant, but may not last long.
- Use baskets, drawers, and shelves to store toys, clothing, and other infant essentials.
- Expand storage space by building shelves and adding extra clothes rods for the closet. You can buy simple do-it-yourself kits at home centers.
- Instead of trying to wallpaper the whole room, paint the walls and decorate with a simple border or stencil a design around the windows, ceiling, and doors.
- Your best resource for budget ideas will be other moms who have just been where you are now. Everyone is happy to share their ideas and their outgrown items.
- Be sure to think SAFE! If you borrow or buy an old crib, playpen, or car seat, be sure that it complies with current safety standards. Always think of your child’s safety before good looks!
- You can achieve a decorator look by choosing coordinated wallpaper and fabrics for a wall hanging, quilt, and window coverings.
- Be sure to have all the baby essentials conveniently located where you’ll use them. You won’t want to have to walk away from the infant to get some needed supplies.
- Don’t forget a comfortable rocking chair with soft seat and arm cushions for those inevitable late-night feedings.
Decorate a Child’s Room With a Theme
One of the best ways to decorate a child’s room is around a decorating theme or color scheme. The simple How-To instructions will be easy to follow whether you’re doing a boy’s room or a girl’s room.
Time Required: Varies
- Start looking in your child’s favorite books, magazines, decorating books, and even get ideas online. You’ll get great inspiration for a theme.
- Be sure to involve an older child by getting his or her ideas and choose favorite colors, favorite sports or artistic interests, or story or movie characters, like Harry Potter or Spiderman.
- Shop for fabric, wallpaper or border paper that will reinforce your chosen theme. Select a main print that will set the tone for the whole room.
- Choose a background color to use on the painted walls, floors, and ceiling. Use your main fabric print to guide you.
- Select coordinating fabrics, accessories, and prints that mix well with the main fabric. Use the colors in the print for inspiration.
- Choose a focal point for the room. While many choose the bed as the main point of interest, you could focus on a display shelf, a painted wall mural, or decorated play area. The focal point should really reinforce your chosen theme
- Use some imagination when selecting and planning on decorative elements. If your child loves tennis, string a net behind the bed for a headboard. You could arrange tennis rackets (collected from tag sales or flea markets) around the netting. Place tennis balls onto the tips of clothes hooks. You might use a section of picket fencing for a headboard in a cottage style room.
- Choose bedding that will enhance both the color scheme and theme you’ve selected. Pretty flowers work for almost any girl’s room scheme and blue chambray fits with most boy rooms.
- Be sure to save a place to display your child’s artwork, collections, and projects. You can set them on well-placed shelves or make an artistic display on the wall.
- Don’t forget to save plenty of room to store clothes, books, toys, games projects, and hobby supplies. A child of any age needs a desk for a computer and school work. If the storage items will be out in view, be sure they’re decorated to fit the theme, too.
- Create a window treatment that enhances the theme and adds to the decor. Decorative hardware on doors, drawers, and cabinets can continue the theme.
- A good rule to follow for a themed, coordinated room is to repeat each color, fabric, and print, if possible, in at least three places around the room. If you do, everything will really tie together.
- Safety should be of primary consideration when selecting items for a child’s room. Keep electrical cords out of the way, use non-skid pads under decorative area rugs, and don’t stack storage units too high.
- Using coordinating colors in all elements of the room will bring even unlike things together to support the theme.
- Use a common background color when you use several coordinating prints in one room. Choose patterns and prints in different scale, such as a large sailboat print with smaller coordinating plaids and stripes.
- You can create inexpensive framed art by using your child’s own artwork or cutting pictures out of books or magazines.
Window Treatments in a Child’s Room
Think Safety, Function, and Fun for Kids’ Windows
Pretty blue ribbons tie up the corners of a round tablecloth valance over a classic roller blind.
Window treatments in a child’s room can really tie together all the decorating elements. Something charming, colorful, and effective in cutting the light is a perfect choice.
But kids’ rooms deserve special consideration. It’s important that any window covering chosen for a child’s room be safe, functional, colorful, stylish, and fun.
- Avoid long draperies in a child’s room. Little hands tend to grab and can pull down long panels as the little one crawls or walks around the nursery.
- Window treatments should not have any decorations, beads, or cording that could be pulled off and swallowed. Any decorations should be embroidered on and carefully attached.
- Cords on blinds can cause strangulation if the child is not supervised. New blinds offer breakaway cords which actually break when pulled too hard.
Here are some suggestions for fun window treatments for children’s rooms. The main rule is keep things simple.
- Window treatments for a child’s room should be as light and airy as possible.
- Avoid long “to the floor” draperies for very young babies and children who might grab and pull on the panels. Go for shades, blinds, or shorter curtains instead.
- Soft fabric shades with blackout linings can be custom-made to fit a window. Raise the shades completely for light or view then lower them for privacy and to darken the room for nap times.
- Remove any grabbing temptation near a crib, book shelf, or changing table. All window treatments should be out of arms reach at all times.
- Mini-blinds or wood blinds can be adjusted to control light, are easy to clean, and have a contemporary look for a neat child’s room.
- Old-fashioned roller shades work well in a nursery. They can be ordered in light-blocking styles. And you can have your choice of decorative fabric attached to the front of the blind. Roller shades can be raised out of the way during the daytime to allow natural sunlight into the room.
- To bring color and style into the child’s room, install a fabric valance over a simple window blind or shade. Choose a gathered or ruffled style for little girls and a plain style with tailored box pleats for boys.
- You can have a cornice box custom-made or you can easily build one yourself. Measure carefully, join the wood pieces together, then paint, cover with wallpaper, or pad and cover with decorative fabric.
- Cornice boxes help to hide the hardware of a blind or shade. They also work great to continue the decorating theme of the child’s room. Place collectibles on top of the board.
- If you use a fabric on your window treatment, try to repeat that fabric around the room in at least 3 or 4 other places. You can put accents of the fabric on chair cushions, throw pillows, quilt squares, lamp shades, or on a bed skirt.
- Trim simple window treatments with contrasting borders, cheerful and fun appliqués, and ribbon ties.
Select Versatile Furniture for Pieces That Grow With Your Child
They’ll Outlast Childhood
When you’re expecting a new child into your family, it’s important to think ahead and select versatile furniture for the nursery. Though you’re probably overwhelmed by all the things you’ll need to get to welcome your new little one, if you choose carefully, planning for when the little baby is a bigger child, you’ll have what you need through many years.
The crib you so lovingly want to buy may be outgrown in less time than it takes you to decide where to put it. And that cute changing table will be history once diapers are a thing of the past.
How about trying to create a room that grows with your child? Choose pieces of furniture that transform from infant use to a toddler to teen years.
You could redecorate every two or three years. Or your could plan ahead and choose furniture that has a life beyond babyhood. Taking advantage of these products makes decorating sense, economic sense, and common sense.
A room for a child that is versatile and will last for years has to be furnished with furniture and accessories that can grow, change, and adapt to new uses.
Furniture designers have created cribs that easily convert into junior beds, small sofas, daybeds, settees, and later twin size beds. Many of them provide extensions or side rail kits.
Posh Tots interior designer Pam O’Hallaron notes that, “Toddler beds are smaller than twin beds and accommodate a crib size mattress. They are often designed with raised sides to prevent children from rolling out.”
For example, the Simon Horn crib shown here will see your baby through infancy in style. Later, remove the slatted sides of this crib for a sturdy toddler bed. And later still, the back can be reattached to create a small daybed or settee. “A daybed offers the look of a sofa or small settee appealing to children as they get older. When placed against the wall they open up the room for a stimulating area rug and more room for active play. Many also offer an optional trundle bed, ensuring sleepovers are easy and comfortable,” says O’Hallaron.
Another piece that is multi-functional is a changing tables that transitions into a chest. An armoire offers a variety of options for storage as a child grows. She explains that “the multi-purpose armoire once used in the nursery can also house your child’s television, videos, gaming console and stereo.”
These unique and adaptable furnishings give you the confidence that a beautifully decorated room will not only look great over the years, but adapt to your child’s changing needs.
If you like the idea of buying versatile furnishings that will grow up with your child, you might wonder what else is available? See more versatile pieces for kids in our versatile furnishings slide show.
Cribs for Adorable Baby Boys’ Rooms
Use a Classic or Contemporary Style Crib for a Charming Nursery
A crib is the centerpiece of a nursery. For new little boys, there are so many wonderful designs and themes to use to create a room just for the little one. Using either classic or new designs, you’ll be able to create a baby boy’s nursery that Mom, Dad, and the little on will love to be in.
Adorable Cribs for Baby Girls’ Rooms
There’s nothing more wonderful than a new baby in the home. Yes, they’re a lot of work! No arguments there.
Part of the joy of having a new little one is the chance to create a special room just for that child. It seems as though there are many, many options for decorating schemes and themes for girls. Starting with a crib, you can add fabrics, colors, and artwork to create a special and unique room.
Choose a crib style from simple to spectacular, plain to pretty. Then use your imagination to plan a little girl’s nursery where a lifetime of memories will start.
Suggestions on decorating your new child’s room
When a friend of mine adopted two children it was an event the entire family treasured. Beyond the interviews, the paperwork, and the visits, this young family spent many weeks lovingly planning and decorating a welcoming bedroom for their two new sons.
Of course there are some special considerations in this situation. So I recently consulted Sass Stanfield for some insight into decorating rooms for children who are being adopted.
Sass indicated that decorating for a new member of the family, as my friend found out, is a wonderful way to use the “waiting” time before an adoption is finalized. However, the age of the child is a big factor in how much, and what type of decorating should be tackled both before and after the adoption date.
Many of her suggestions might also apply to foster parents, grandparents or relatives who take custody of a child, as well as step-parents who bring a new child into the family as part of their new marriage. Whatever the situation, however, these tips on preparing a new child’s room should help ease the transition.
Here are several common adoption situations with ideas to consider.
Babies and Toddlers:
For babies or young toddlers, of course, the entire room can be completed ahead of time. Whether you need to plan a room on a budget or can splurge on a more luxury room, keep in mind basic childproofing and safety considerations.
Have some fun with the room, perhaps using a playful decorating theme that will spark a child’s imagination. Outfit a closet or shelves for storage, leaving room for the toys and clothes a toddler may bring along. Then let them have these things close by during the settling-in period.
Bright colors (red, yellow, blue, and green) are a good choice for younger children, Sass noted, since at that age kids are positively influenced by primary colors. Walls can be painted ahead of time, but it may be better to leave some of the decorating touches until after the child arrives.
Children in the 4 to 8 range may be excited about their new room, so get them involved by asking for their help in choosing a bedspread (perhaps giving them a few pre-selected options), wallpaper borders, and accessories.
It will be a good chance for parents and children to work together on a project, and will allow kids put their “stamp” on the space — whether it is literally decorating their walls with rubber stamps, handprints, sports theme accessories, or their favorite Disney character. This room “personality” will be what makes their room feel like “home” to them. Also, be sure to provide storage options so any favorite toys or books can be given a place of honor upon arrival.
One room for two children:
Sass noted that the adoption of two children at once is a unique situation. “Most people who have 2 children in a shared room wouldn’t hesitate to use bunk beds,” she said. “However, in adoption where self-esteem issues are involved, the children might do better on equal ground (because usually the older child gets the superior or upper position). So I’d suggest using 2 regular beds (not bunks), and make sure each child has some personal space, his or her own toy box, bookshelf, and so on.” Again, by making some private space for each child, (beds, reading chairs, desks, bookshelves) you are nurturing their individuality and separate interests.
Storage Space for Kids’ Stuff
Get Things Organized for Convenience
I don’t know a single child who doesn’t come with lots of baggage. If this little one lives in your house, you’ll have to find places to store all these treasures.
As you’re preparing a room for a newborn or redecorating for a growing child, finding storage space is just as important as choosing the right color paint or bedding.
It’s amazing how much can be accumulated to provide a child with clothes, toys, books, hobbies, and other necessities of life.
If you have an infant, you’ll need space to put away tiny clothes, blankets, diapers, changing items, and gifts that they’ll use later.
As a child grows to be a toddler, the clothes get bigger, their toys multiply in number, and books get bigger.
And an older child acquires more and more. More clothes, more toys, more books, more things related to hobbies or school.
Discovering space for storage or using just the right items to organize the things of a child’s life will make the life of your child and your life as a parent more peaceful and orderly.
Read about places and ways to find great storage space for your child’s loot.
- Out in the Open
Lots of things that a child uses can go on shelves, book shelves, hang on hooks, or rest in containers on a desk or tabletop. To keep things looking neat and orderly, keep books neatly arranged, games in boxes, or toys hanging on pegs on the wall. You can also place smaller items into coordinated baskets or plastic boxes for a neat look on open shelves.
- Out of Sight but Close at Hand
For things that just cannot be made to look neat, use shelves or a chest of drawers in a closet, arrange boxes in an armoire, or slide things in shallow boxes under the bed. Stacks of clothes, hobby supplies, school bags can easily be hidden behind doors, but remain convenient and ready at any time. For the ultimate organization, use boxes, files, or storage baskets to keep things organized.
- In-Room Organization
Probably the most useful and convenient storage space in a child’s room is the closet. This is where things go that the child (or parent) uses every day, including clothes, books, school supplies, or toys. Place seldom-used items near the back of the closet, with items used frequently up front and accessible.
If closets are small or inconvenient, look to furniture pieces for storage space. A toy box can hold toys, a cradle is a great home for a collection of dolls, or an armoire offers both hanging space for clothes, shelves for organization, and drawers for smaller things.
- Out-of-Sight Storage
Find areas away from the bedroom for storing outgrown toys or clothes that you can’t part with, seasonal sports equipment, or treasured school work or art works.
The areas that come to mind in a home that work well for out-of-sight storage are the attic, under the stairs, in a garage, or in a dry basement. Use weather-tight storage containers to protect items from moths, mildew, or dust.
Written by : About.com Interior Decorating