Find great ideas for decorating kids’ rooms, from decorating themes, furniture, paint projects, fun playrooms, and special rooms for little boys and girls.
- Top 6 Ways to Find Ideas for Kids’ Rooms
Kids’ Room Themes
- Boys’ Room Themes
- Girls’ Room Themes
- Color for Kids’ Rooms
- How to Use a Theme for a Child’s Room
- Advice on Kids’ Rooms
- Fantasy Beds for Kids
- Kids Rugs – Playtime Hits the Floor
- A Room With a Pooh
Top 6 Ways to Find Ideas for Kids’ Rooms
Children’s rooms are a very special place in the home and should reflect the interests of the occupant and blend with the rest of the decor. You don’t have to settle for the traditional decor schemes. Read here for some sources of inspiration for themes for kids’ rooms.
- Treasures and Collections
Your child will love being in a room that’s a reflection of their likes and interests. While you can’t bring in live tarantulas and frogs — pirates, fairies, dolls, and airplane themes are good possibilities. Let your child display her collections as a focal point for the room. Be sure to leave space so your child can add to a collection over time. Take a cue from these items for the room’s color scheme, bedding, artwork, and patterns as well.
- Start with Art
Just as a child learns to appreciate music by early exposure, he can learn to recognize and love fine art by having it around him. You may have set aside a wonderful watercolor or oil painting that didn’t fit into your decor. If you still love it, however, it could be used a focal point of the new child’s room. Beautiful water lilies by Monet will be serene and peaceful, while dramatic prints of Warhol’s work could be a dramatic source of colors.
Swatches from clothes or household items from your own childhood can serve as a wonderful source of color and theme for your child’s room. These colorful fabrics sewn into a quilt, used as a swag over a window, or fitted into frames will be a reminder to you of your happy youth and be a source of conversation with your little one. If the fabrics are muted or dull, they might work well in a country or cottage style room. Colorful, bold fabric tones work well in more whimsical rooms.
- Travel Memories
It’s always fun to bring back souvenirs from trips and sometimes these can fit well into a child’s room. Hawaiian mementoes work for a beach-themed room, New England ship posters or pictures of old dolls fit into a classic theme. Use color schemes from travels as well. Tuscan muted tones of gold and ochre with iron or painted furniture will create a serene space while bold, sunny colors of Provence are cheery for any age child.
- Nursery Rhyme Prints
You can pick up vintage nursery prints online, at flea markets, or you might have some from your own childhood room. You could even remove some pictures from a colorful child’s book. Mat and frame them to coordinate and you’ll have the centerpiece of a room any child would love. Be sure to have lots of books around so your child can read (or listen to) the story of the prints on the walls. Nursery rhymes appeal to both boys and girls so these prints also work well in a shared room.
- Furniture Hand-Me-Downs
Most everyone has a piece of furniture from a past home. It’s a fun idea to bring the bed from your growing-up years into your child’s new room. An old chest from your grandmother can be painted to look fresh, but will still evoke the memories from the past. Just as you cherish the old pieces, so will your child as he grows up. If you keep the piece as original, one option is to choose a color scheme that links to the past. If you update it, you may want to select more contemporary colors.
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.
Choose Color for Kids Rooms
Pale or Delicate, Bright or Bold: Create a Wonderful Child’s Room With Color
When I was growing up, my parents chose the color for the kids rooms. The room my sister and I shared had floral baskets on the wallpaper, beautiful blue carpet, and girlish decorations. I’d never replicate it, but I’ll always remember it with fondness.
Decorating a kids room using an age-appropriate theme and favorite colors is a great way to create a memorable space for your child to call his or her own.
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.
Abort’s Fashion Guide offers tips
Decorating a child’s room can be lots of fun. But what do you do when you need to get it done in a real hurry? Could you make the decisions, do the work, and finish in time?
Three years ago Cynthia Nellie already had a hectic life as a fashion journalist for About.com and The Dallas Morning News. Twice a year she would jet to New York to cover the spring and fall fashion weeks where she photographed cutting edge fashion at numerous trendy fashion shows.
With all of that on her plate you’d think she’d scarcely have time to breathe. Yet when she and her husband decided to adopt two boys she hardly missed a beat as she focused on decorating a room for her two new sons. The “blue room” worked out well and soon the family embarked on building a large new home where everyone could spread out.
Still writing about fashion and photographing the New York runways at every opportunity, Cynthia recently announced that she’s just adopted a baby girl. We were tempted to think it’s probably because she wanted to buy all of those darling baby clothes — yet once we saw pictures of her new little one it’s easy to see how it must have been love at first sight.
Since becoming an “instant mom” to three active children, Cynthia has planned and decorated rooms for each of them. Along the way she’s learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. She’s found sources, tried her hand at stencils, and come up with unique items to add to her kids’ rooms.
We recently sat down with Cynthia to get her tips on creating fun themed rooms for kids. Here’s what she had to say.
- Tell me briefly about the timing of the boys’ adoption and what decorating you did before they arrived.
Cynthia: We adopted the boys when they were four and six. We had less than a month to prepare a room, so I concentrated on just getting it painted and furnished. The walls in that first room were bright blue with yellow trim and doors. I also put their names on everything — a painted file cabinet, door hangings, coin jars — so they would feel more comfortable in their new room.
- How involved are the boys in selecting items for their rooms?
Cynthia: As I said, we had the walls done and the furnishings were in place when they arrived. After the boys moved in we let them pick out their own bedding: one chose Pokémon, one Toy Story. We’ve since moved into a larger home and each boy has his own room. One decided he wanted a pirate room View Photo) the other a sports room. We started working on their rooms just a few weeks after we moved in and there’s still more to do a year later!
- What are some of the most creative touches you’ve added to each themed bedroom?
Cynthia: I picked up a some cool stuff on eBay — a treasure map and “Pirate’s Rules” — and had it framed with weathered wood View Photo. The window covering is a fishing net with a pirate hat that you can see over the window.
In the sports room, I painted a stencil border that took more than 40 hours to finish (see photo below). I’ve also added a few vintage wall hangings mixed in with new items. Both rooms have a stenciled growth chart so the boys can check their height.
Fantasy Beds for Kids
Sweet Dreams in Living Color
The one room in your home where imagination and fun can run wild is a child’s room.
Castles, dragons, fairies, and royalty are written about in books and captured in the hearts of children everywhere. But they don’t have to stay in a child’s imagination!
Parents can help to make those dreams come true in their child’s room. Wonderful fantasy beds expand a decorating theme for any boy’s or girl’s dream room.
What little princess wouldn’t love to sleep in a golden coach? Do you know any race car driver who couldn’t slow down enough to dream in a colorful model car? A future sailor can rock gently to sleep in his or her own private boat.
There might be more practical solutions to childhood sleep, but the fun that a fantasy bed brings to a child’s life will more than make up for the added expense. And you’ll always know where your child is, since your child’s friends will want to play at your house and plan wonderful sleepovers!
Posh Tots interior designer Pam O’Hallaron advises that whatever style is chosen for a child, “Make the new bed an occasion to remember. Get them excited about their new environment and they’ll love spending time there. Talk to your children and find out what they like. A favorite book or color may be the decorating theme you’re looking for.”
Before you or your child has their heart set on a specific bed, make sure your room will hold the bed. Some of the beds come in strange or oversized shapes. Remember that some styles will require custom-made bedding.
Your child will undoubtedly outgrow the fantasy bed before it’s worn out. And the novelty of a “golden coach bed” might get old before your child changes his or her interest or goes off to college.
Be ready for the added expense and have a place to store the fantasy bed once it’s outlived its usefulness. You’ll probably have no trouble at all finding another youngster who would love to dream in the fantasy bed.
Kids Rugs – Playtime Hits the Floor
Add Color and Pattern with Rugs
Colorful kids area rugs add lively interest and playtime pattern to kids bedrooms and playroom.
In addition, they’re a terrific patterned alternative to expensive wallpapers and custom paint techniques. Even with the plain white walls that are often necessary in rented homes and apartments, these rug designs can instantly spark up the look of a child’s room.
Play rugs are a good option, too, for kids who change their minds about what is their “favorite” thing. Whereas you might think twice about removing themed wallpaper or painting over a custom mural, it’s a pretty easy decision to just roll up a themed area rug and put down a new one as your child’s interests mature.
These rugs lend themselves wonderfully to fanciful playtime, with designs that include roads, highways, bridges, and planets, as well as colors, letters, numbers, maps, and more.
What little boy under the age of twelve could possibly resist getting down on his knees for hours of make-believe on the streets of “Creatively” fromKidCarpet.com? (Creatively is pictured above: click on the image to see more.)
Budding young astronomers, transportation executives, and sports fans too will take to these area rugs like a duck to water.
When using a strong element such as a colorful area rug, use the colors in the rug as the basis for your color scheme.
While most kids rugs would fit into a primary color scheme (red, blue, yellow), you might also add one as the accent to a room that is white plus one color (such as yellow or blue). The bedding in the room could be in a mix of bright plain colors that will not only add lively color, but will last years longer than themed bunny or teddy bear sheets.
A Room with a Pooh
Color your world with new Disney themed-paint
Paint a room a single color or go all-out and give it a designer’s touch.
Begin by choosing a theme for your room such as a Princess or Pooh nursery, Mickey bath, or Buzz Light year bedroom.
Home Depot’s free paint project cards offer suggested color combinations for painting the ceiling, floor, and trim. To complete the look, decorative techniques like sponging clouds (see instructions on Page 2) and striping walls also are included. A coordinating line of stencils and stamps are also available.
“Most of us are skittish about choosing color, even for a child’s room. This Disney collection takes the guesswork out of coordinating color and takes us beyond the basic pink, yellow and blue tones usually selected for a nursery or kid’s room,” said Jason Feldman, director of style, innovation and design for Home Depot. “Creating a Pooh bedroom or Mickey bath is just as much fun for the parent as it is for the child.”
The new Disney collection is part of the new Color Solution Center paint displays at Home Depot stores. Designed to take the fear out of choosing color, the centers offer a wide selection of paints and an interactive color selection kiosk that allows consumers to preview colors in virtual rooms.