Searching through Pinterest or your favourite home style magazine you will find so may beautiful children’s rooms. Beautiful bedlinen and accessories all matched to a gorgeous theme carried right through the child’s bedroom. The pictures are enough to make anyone sign at their beauty.
But have you ever really stopped to really look at those pictures? Those perfect colour schemes, the matching bedlinen and accessories? Every little detail so perfect? Now step back a little from the page and put your child in their, when you look at their face in that room do you see a child filled with lust and wonder at this beautiful room? Do they point the the precious rocking horse on the dresser and say “this piece really finishes it all off mummy” ...... NO. Those rooms in those magazines are beautiful but in all honesty what child would want to sleep in one?
When we decorate our homes we add pieces we love, we paint the walls the colours we like and match furniture to create rooms that are personal to us. Rooms that we love.
So why is it that parents want to carry that into their children’s room? Imagine if someone walked into your house and started painting your walls a colour you hated, they put up pictures on the wall and placed ornaments around that weren’t your style and had no meaning to you. The added curtains and ugly bedlinen to your bedroom and said “there you go, it’s perfect!”. You would be far from impressed and you would change it all very quickly to represent you and your tastes but not before giving that person a piece of your mind and showing them the door!
That is how your child thinks when you decorate a “perfect” room for them, that is all the things you love and has nothing that represents them, their interests or their tastes.
When they are babies they really don’t care, but at the age of 4-5 they start to develop a sense of identity. Many children go through stages of being scared in their room or having night terrors. This is when it is really important to create a room that they feel safe in and love!
Yes it can be hard to take your 4 year old shopping and let them select everything. It is never going to be this perfect magazine worthy room that you dream of. It will likely be filled with a mishmash of their favourite colours, favourite TV or movie characters none of which will match very well.
But it is time for parents to let go of their children’s room and focus on their room as being their own space. Their sanctuary, somewhere they can feel safe, where they can walk in and love everything about their room.
You can still guide them to help them create a space that is aesthetically pleasing to the rest of the family as well as letting them explore their own interests. Start by letting your child pick their own bedding and build from there. Pick the perfect curtains to match and select a paint colour to compliment it all. With paint and curtains it is best to stay neutral, as children grow and change so quickly a neutral base of paint and curtains your can replace easy things like bed linen and cushions to give the room an updated look and move with their new trends.
Talk to your child about what they would like to do in their room. Perhaps they would like a desk to write or a comfy chair or beanbag to read. Maybe your child loves building things so would like a mat to sit on and a tub of blocks. Whatever it is, use your child’s interests to dictate the layout of the room. Include areas to embrace and encourage your child’s interests.
Posters, wall stickers or pictures in a frame are a good way to add a personal touch to the room. Perhaps use a message board where your child can put pictures of their favourite things and they can update it whenever they like.
Creating a space for your child is not about your likes, their room is their space in the house that is just for them. Therefore it should be styled by them and include only things they love.
Stepping back and letting your child have creative control can be hard, but you can guide them into selecting things to match that will work well. At the end of the day, as long as they love it, feel safe and want to spend time in their room, that is really all that matters.
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