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Decorating Children's Bedrooms


Choose the right design, furniture, storage and flooring for children at every age and stage.

One of the challenges faced by parents is the planning and decorating of their little one’s bedroom. Children’s rooms are unlike adult bedrooms in that they are not only a place to sleep, but also a place to explore, play and grow.

Children’s rooms must be able to keep up with the developmental changes of a child — adult-size furniture and decorating schemes may not cut it. Here are some ideas that cover all the stages of childhood:

Planning for All Ages

  • Consider safety first when planning and decorating a child’s room
  • A child’s age will determine many of the decisions surrounding furniture purchases and finish choices
  • Be flexible as children grow and change quickly
  • Think ahead to your child’s future needs
  • If your child is past the toddler stage, involve him or her in the space planning and the selection of furnishings and finishes so that the space reflects your child’s tastes and interests
  • Make sure that all materials and finishes are practical and easy to maintain

Bedrooms for infants and toddlers


  • Providing a space for sleeping, changing diapers and nursing is the main concern
  • Use simple patterns: an infant’s sight is not developed enough to distinguish busy visuals and will be more at ease in an environment with minimal visual stimulation
  • A baby’s touch and hearing are more developed than sight: infants enjoy texture and sounds
  • Keep room warm, secure and free from drafts


  • Basic requirements are a crib, change table, some storage and seating
  • Before bringing a crib home, make sure it meets safety standards
  • Seating should be comfortable for nursing
  • Storage should be accessible and able to accommodate diapers and clothes
  • If floor space is limited, purchase a combination change table and dresser unit
  • Select furniture that will meet future needs and be able to grow with the child


  • Floors should be durable, washable, non-slip and warm to provide a comfortable surface for a child who is learning to crawl and walk
  • Look for window coverings that adequately block sunlight as your baby will spend much time sleeping during the day

For more guidelines, check out Baby Nursery Design Tips.

Bedrooms for preschoolers


  •  Be certain that the room has a safe play area as children of this age will be active exploring, climbing and jumping
  • Use bold colours sparingly
  • To encourage discovery and play, all furniture should be appropriate for a young child’s height
  • Many children enjoy images of cartoon or storybook characters integrated into their bedrooms. If you go this route, try incorporating temporary elements that can be easily phased out as your child develops new interests


  • Select strong, sturdy pieces with rounded edges
  • Dresser and desk drawers should be easy for a child to reach, open and shut without risk of injury
  • If floor space won’t allow, place a dresser or have drawers built into the bedroom’s closet as your child’s clothes will need to be mostly folded rather than hung


  • Choose flooring that is durable, washable and non-slip
  • Paint walls in a washable finish for easy clean
  • Incorporate colour and pattern in the room through window coverings; blinds in combination with drapery panels are a good choice

Bedrooms for school-aged children


  •  Update juvenile themes with décor that incorporates your child’s personal tastes
  • Your child will now have a greater need for a space to do homework rather than for play


  • If space allows, place a comfortable desk and chair in your child’s bedroom to encourage good study habits; this homework area should be well-lit and in a corner with little distraction
  • Provide storage space for your child’s increasing number of possessions such as colourful plastic or woven bins on a bookcase
  • Choose sturdy adult-sized furniture that can grow with your child into her teen years


  • As your child matures, the range of safe finishes will expand; area rugs are a good way to add style and pattern to the space, while providing warmth and comfort
  • Walls are best painted to allow for display of personal items
  • Any type of window coverings can now be considered, as daytime naps are not an issue
  • Choose colours with more subdued tones

Bedrooms for pre-teens and teenagers


  •  This is a time when your child will request more privacy and independence
  • A teen’s bedroom is his personal space and he will likely have strong opinions and great ideas — request your child’s input when making any decorating decisions for their room


  • A large desk, good task lighting and book storage are essential for tackling school projects, studying, or working on a computer
  • A DIY or custom built closet system is practical for handling a teen’s increased amount of clothing


  • Choose floor, wall and furniture finishes that appear mature to reflect your child’s transition into adulthood





Angus Fergusson

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