How to Transition a Baby’s Bedroom Into a Big-Kid Room Effortlessly
Making way for your baby big girl’s or boy’s bed means it’s time for the crib to go (sob). And now that your baby’s older, the nursery could use an update, too. But transitioning to an older kid’s room doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul every few years.
“As much as you might want to deck out your child’s space in all their favorite colors and patterns, it’s important to understand your child will grow—and her interests will be ever-changing in these early years,” said Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design in Los Angeles.“Encourage this, and let your child discover her personal style by creating a space she can grow into.”
“The room should emanate a sense of comfort and ease through a soft and dreamy landscape filled with imagination and freedom, but should also keep in line with the child’s own interests,” said Lauren Reik an Interior Designer based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“You also want to make sure the furnishings are adapted to the child’s size and ability to instill a sense of confidence and control over her own space,” Ms. Reik said.
Here, more advice from the pros for creating a child’s room to grow.
“I love to incorporate floating shelves on the walls around the room. These will elevate the space with a custom touch, and will continue to be useful as your child grows and her storage needs change. I also like to implement mirror-mounted rods and hooks for functional storage with a playful flair—while making the space feel bigger. Cabinets for hanging jewelry and accessories can also be compact and allow you to see what you have more easily.
” I often see children in adult-height closets and wonder why they aren’t putting back their things; they often can’t reach or don’t know where to put things back. The closet height should be designed/adjusted for the child in mind, so hanging heights, shoe shelf heights, and hampers will be easily accessible.
“Also consider repurposing nursery furniture. Changing tables can be repainted/refinished with new decorative hardware, creating a refreshed bureau and landing space in the room. If you don’t need the drawers, these can easily be swapped for shelves, providing additional storage for books and accessories as storage needs change.”
— Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design in Los Angeles
Create a fluid design
“Opt for clean lines and a gentle color scheme with delicate wallpaper and soft, neutral tones.
“Lighting is very important especially for the varying needs of children—good, gentle lighting for the quieter hours as well as natural overhead lighting for playtime. I love elegant and artistic lighting pieces.
“An open, generous space for movement and playing is elementary for the child. There seems to be a tendency to overcrowd a child’s room. I prefer to leave the space open and relatively free of clutter to be purposely minimalistic. It is also nice to lay a soft, easily cleanable rug to allow for comfortable floor play.”
— Lauren Reik, Tel Aviv-based interior designer
Decorate for the long term
“If you want to get some longevity out of your nursery investment, then limit the ‘theme’ items to inexpensive art, bedding, accessories and rugs. Choose wall and window treatments that can transition as they grow so you aren’t constantly updating the entire room. It’s best to stay away from juvenile prints and opt for more sophisticated wall coverings and fabrics that have a youthful vibe but are not age specific.
“Wall-mounted octagonal boxes in fun colors can make book storage look super chic. These also work well for the many ‘collections’ kids can’t seem to part with.
“I’m also a big fan of wall coverings. Some hot trends are large scale florals or butterflies, Chinoiserie prints in fresh color combinations, and graffiti art. If you want an accent wall, make sure your other walls blend with the colors in the wall covering. And don’t forget about the ceiling. It’s a great opportunity to add color, or even put your wallpaper there instead of on the walls.
“In terms of artwork, choose something that transcends age limitations and go for more of an all-ages whimsical style your child can grow with.”
— Donna Mondi, founder and principal, Donna Mondi Interior Design in Chicago