One of the toughest things about decorating with kids is that they grow up. Statement of the obvious, yes? But it is more than just a kid’s taste that changes as they grow up. We don’t always want to acknowledge it as parents, but our kids do get bigger. It happens quickly at first when they are babies, then slows down a bit such that when we turn and look one day, we have big kids in elementary school. How did that even happen? Let’s not continue the progression from there.
I know it is a tough reality to swallow. As parents, we plan for the future but we don’t want to think about our kids growing up. We want to savor them today as they are, in our laps and reading a book. Trust me, I am all for that. But I am also for planning a little. There are choices that you can make today for your child’s room that will grow with your child.
A toddler bed is super cute but it is obviously not going to last for long (although go for it if you have younger kids coming up too and the space to put one!). But what about the twin bed that you are about to purchase for your 5th grader? That ten-year-old son of yours might be 6’ tall before his junior year of high school. Wait! Don’t turn the page! I promise not to be all doom and gloom.
So what’s a mom to do? Well, if you subscribe to the furniture industry’s plan, you should just buy new things every couple of years. Let’s be practical. There are a handful of pieces that can take your child from pre-k to high school around which tastes can change and personalities can evolve. That’s not to say that styles won’t change. Trends come and go faster than you can blink. Even “timeless” pieces can look dated in certain periods. But if you have a good foundation, you can build around it and replace fewer things as your children grow.
Every child’s room needs a few basic things, regardless of her age. She needs a place to sleep, a place to put her clothes and a place to put her stuff. If she’s lucky, she will also have a place to do her homework (or art projects or build legos or whatever for younger kids) and a place to relax that isn’t her bed. But that is getting ahead of ourselves. Let's start with the basics, building a foundation with a bed, dresser, and shelving.
Classic kids' beds
Room size and budget are two major factors in buying a bedframe for a child. If you kids don’t share a room, consider buying a quality full or queen bedframe so that your kids can grow into their beds. Full beds are fun for sleepovers and your child’s bedroom can double as a guest room in a pinch.
Loft and bunk beds from grade school to high school
Children’s bedrooms tend to be smaller and are often shared by siblings. This makes buying a full or queen bed difficult since there isn’t enough floor space for young kids to move around and play. If space is at a premium, consider putting the bed frame up against a wall or corner to maximize floor space. One solution for shared spaces is to invest in a full over full bunkbed (or even a twin over full bunkbed), some of which can be taken apart later as kids grow.
Dressers for kids and teens
We just sold the six drawer dresser that we bought my older girls in 2003. It went from the girls’ shared room in an apartment to their shared room in our first house to our temporary master bedroom in our second house to another shared girls’ bedroom in that same house. It wasn't the prettiest, but is sure was functional. The simpler the dresser, the longer it will last. Make sure the dresser you buy has room for clothes to get larger. Kids collect a lot of stuff. If you are religious about cleaning it out, you might be able to get away with a smaller dresser, if not, go as big as you can.
shelving for kids rooms
We’ve talked about this before. Kids have a lot of stuff. Their collections grow along with them, even if you declutter compulsively. Give them some shelves that work for Legos when they are young and text books as they grow.
Need help putting it all together? You know where to find me!