Decorating for the Wonder Years

Flexible furniture makes things easier

By ClubMom Decorating Expert Lauri Ward

Here are a few ideas for ways to transform baby’s room into a more grown-up-looking space for a small child:

Replace the rocking chair with a comfortable upholstered chair for reading. Many changing tables are set atop a complete bureau. By removing the changing-table top and hanging wall shelves, you’ll have a unit that won’t need replacing for several years.

Replace baby prints and designs with more mature fabrics, such as plaids or stripes in the same color scheme, so that they will complement the walls and floor coverings.

Replace large infant floor toys with a pint-size wooden or Formica table and two matching chairs to be used for drawing and playing games with friends. Kids need a place of their own — not the kitchen counter — to play and entertain friends

Remove the baby wallpaper and replace it with a simple, light-colored, washable, vinyl wallpaper that coordinates with the new fabrics.

Kids always seem to get the smallest bedroom in the house, and, therefore, they never have enough storage space, especially as they get older. To store out-of-season clothing and keep toys out of sight, consider a high wooden platform bed with two to three feet of open space beneath the mattress section where you can keep closed storage bins or boxes that your child will be able to access easily.

Although children do need open shelving for toys and games, they also need someplace to keep things out of sight, and the traditional toy chest or trunk may not be the best choice. Things that open upwards, and can, therefore, also slam down, can be dangerous for little people. Better choices would be cabinets with sliding doors or doors that open out.

The most practical and classic furniture finishes for any child’s room are either all-white or wooden surfaces with simple lines.  A bed, bureau/chest, and desk in these neutrals are suitable for either a girl or a boy and will allow you to change the colors and accessories in the room as time goes by and your child grows.

© Lauri Ward, 2006.

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