Decorating Idea  Growing A RoomDecorating Idea Growing A Room

Some decorators prefer to plan a room with long-term needs in mind, and wish to create a space for their child that will ?grow? with them easily and inexpensively.

Your practical nature doesn't need to stifle your creativity. By learning how to identify alternative functionality in furniture and accessories you can create a room that can be adapted to accommodate the needs of your child from toddler to teen. Remember, it won't be long before your newborn is wanting a friend to stay for a sleep-over.

In your child's nursery, all furniture choices apart from the crib can be made with growth in mind.

Accessorising the room for different ages becomes the key to maintaining your childs delight and enjoyment of their room. Accessories can be changed easily, with a minimum of fuss and expense.

You need to visualise your child as a toddler, a preschooler, at Elementary age ? right up to Junior High. Think about furniture your child may enjoy and use at those ages.

Toddlers and preschoolers often use furniture as props for imaginative play, so a chair might "become" a train; a toybox may transform into a "boat". Any detailing that adds interest has the potential to spark imaginative play. The furniture of baby and children rooms needs to be both practical and functional.

A change table for example, can be any waist-high cabinet or chest of drawers fitted with a padded foam diaper mat. Look at cabinets you may see in a living room. Check for height suitability and other features that may make it appropriate, such as storage facilities. Think about how it will be used by your child as a toddler, an Elementary student, pre-teen etc. If you can see the piece adapting to your childs needs through different ages then it's suitable.

Likewise with a nursery feeding chair. It needs to be comfortable for you, who will be using it for night-time feeding, but will it service the needs of your toddler, right through to his/her pre-teen years? Would a small sofa be better? Or a sofa-bed to accommodate having a friend stay over?

When deciding on a bed for your toddler, consider the suitability of it for an 8 year old, a pre-teen, a teenager. Your choice of bedding accessories will customise the bed to your childs age.

Furniture used as bookcases, storage cabinets and cupboards can also be found in living room and office furniture. Low T. V. units offer great storage for toys and sporting equipment and a padded cushion placed on top transforms the space into a reading area.

Tall T. V. cabinets also provide great storage and the space for the T. V. can be used to hold a doll's house, a fish tank, or even a curtained area for puppet shows ? let your imagination run wild.

Many ? cabinets found in the dining room section of furniture stores could be utilized in your childs room to accommodate growing needs. Dining room cabinets often have a range of smaller compartments, shelves and drawers. This storage space can be utilized to accommodate toys, books, puzzles, blocks, shoes, clothes and sporting equipment, especially in a boy's room.

Wall cabinets used in bathrooms, either mirrored or plain, can be used in children's room with great success. In a nursery they are great for storing diaper wipes, creams, pacifiers and baby's hair brush. Toddlers can use them to store their ?precious? things, teens can use them for personal hygiene items. Think about who will have access to the cabinet when considering it's placement.

You should keep window treatments functional and in neutral tones, by using a blind, shutters or elegant curtains. These will age well. Accessorize with a pelmet, swag or sheer curtains, customised to suit your child's age.

by Nell Frances
References and Bibliography

Nell Frances is author of the Step-by-Step Guide to Baby Room Projects Ebook and brings over 20 years decorating experience to her articles. She's helped families decorate using miniscule budgets and zany ideas, to create baby rooms and child spaces that echo with squeals of delight! For all your Baby Room Decorating information and advice visit

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