What I have found out about being creative whether it be singing, cooking, painting, gardening , decorating or pretty much any artistic endeavor, it is always done better with confidence. When anything is done with confidence the viewer/audience can really feel the positive energy. Even when something goes wrong, it still can be a ‘tour de force’ if done with zeal.
It reminds me of the scene in the movie about Julia Child where she says, and I am paraphrasing, “Never make excuses to your guests about the food you serve.” What she means by this – and I am a firm believer – is to be confident! What you might think is a mistake or you might have done differently, nobody will notice or care.
When it comes to decorating your child’s room, the formula is no different. Have courage, be creative, do whatever you want. There are really no rules! Try to look at the room like a movie set and take it step by step as you layer the room first with paint colors then furniture placement, lighting, art and finally accessories.
When I begin decorating a child’s room I usually start with the wall color scheme. I consult with the child, depending on his or her age, then look in a color deck and go for it. My advice here is just be a little careful about colors that are too bright or very dark and always paint the ceiling white. Put sample patches of colors on the walls to try it before you buy it. Maybe you want to paint several colors in the room. Sometimes it’s a good compromise to paint one wall that bright lime color your little girl is begging for with softer tones on the other walls. Maybe choose one wall to be painted with chalkboard paint. Another idea is to drape inexpensive fabric like scrim on one wall. It is so important to inspire your children to be creative.
When placing the furniture, try unique arrangements. Usually there are only one or two places the bed will fit. Start with the bed and then go from there placing the side table, dresser, bookcase, desk, etc… Another good idea is placing glass on top of a dresser or desk. This gives your child a place to put photos, art, and anything that is important to him while maintaining a clean look. Most rooms are very angular and because of this, I often like to put bookcases on the diagonal in a corner. This helps break up the monotony of a square room. Also, consider using unique items that are not typically used as furniture for the side tables. I have used small toy pianos, rolling tool bins, earthy tree stumps, upside down galvanized trash cans… have fun!
When it comes to lighting, it is most important to have sufficient overhead lighting, preferably canned lighting, especially over the bed so your child can easily read at night. Next is finding some cool lighting fixtures for the side table lamp and the desk lamp and maybe a chandelier or overhead fixture. My experience tells me that these are all best used for mood lighting. A lot of great inexpensive lighting can be found at flea markets. Look for the fixture that is more art than lamp, something with a fun base and a funky shade or vice versa!
It is important when choosing your art and accessories that you are not “ decorating” with them. Everything you put on the wall should mean something to you and your child. It could be an old photo of Grandpa or Zayda blown up or something you saved from your childhood room, a framed letter or poem that you love. My wife and I just found the list of prospective boy and girl names we made before our first child was born (we decided to name him Emerson). We are framing it right now. The key to loving the room you decorate is loving the things you put in it. I can honestly say everything in our house I love…everywhere I look is something that has meaning to me.
Be creative, be confident and be honest in your decorating and you and your child will love the room you end up with for many years to come!