Decorating for Children


I thought it was time to talk about rooms that at least half of all households have but are not focused on often enough – rooms for kids from nursery to teens.

Nurseries are the most fun to decorate. If you don’t know the sex of the child, the color yellow or green is perfect. For a girl, nothing is prettier than petal pink. A newer color for baby girls is peach. For a little boy blue is always perfect. To create a unique color scheme to patriotic using red, white and blue. A creative way to go is with all the basics in the room in vanilla, then add a splash of another color for a dramatic look.

Rooms that grow with the child. With a little thought and planning, you can create a happy room for your baby that will remain appealing into the elementary school years. The charm of a toddler’s room starts in a simple way, with a lively striped fabric that’s easy to live with. Choose a bright, unexpected color (like peach or coral) and pair with the always-cheerful polka dots for long-term style.

Organized storage is a must. Built-ins for your child’s bedroom may seem expensive, but if you consider the safety hazards of hinged toy chests or wobbly bookcases, built-ins are worth the investment. And when you plan carefully, adjustable built-ins can adapt to a homework/study area or home office. Plan for additional space, such as under a desk-top, that you can convert into extra drawers or cabinets as needed. This makes way for a room to grow with a child from nursery to teen.

Consider changes between tot and teen. Children’s interests and needs change as fast as their shoe sizes. Think of ideas like a nautical motif, sports, dance, southwest style, a secret garden surround. Think of twin beds for best-friend sleepovers. Design space with play areas for games, puzzles or craft projects.

Plan for the teen years. Ask your teen what he or she wants in a bedroom. You’ll probably hear privacy first, followed by preferences for colors and phone service, and hopefully a desire for storage and study areas.


About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is an interior designer and founder of Chicago-based Karen Carpino Design. A professionally registered interior designer with over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carpino's clientele includes both residential and commercial projects. She brings you techniques, trends and tips in “Style At Home.”