I wasn’t going to write today, since I pre-wrote and posted my daily ramblings last night. But, I just decided to go ahead and write again anyways. I have so many ideas always in my head I truly could post hourly. But, I have other obligations. Like tending to my earthly treasure — my son. So I will try to pace myself for his sake and spare you my hourly ideas.
After having had two lovely daughters together and living happily as a family of four, my husband and I decided we wanted to keep the pitter patter of little feet in our home a bit longer. The girls were 8 and 11 and we knew time was marching on, so we decided to add one more. God blessed us with our son seven years ago, the cutest brown-eyed curly haired boy you’d ever see. At least we think so!
But, I must say, after having sweet little girls, I was not prepared for the noise, the big personality, and all the stuff boys do. I didn’t have a quiet, sweet, studious boy. I had a spirited boy with a quick wit and a dramatic temperament. He has a twinkle in his eyes that lets you know he is up probably to something! I know he is going to be a great man someday. But he also has a tender side, mostly saved for me, and I melt when he slows down enough to hug me.
One of the things I really looked forward to before he was born was decorating his room. My husband spent hours painting a beautiful mural from The Lord of the Rings on his wall. If I had a digital photo, I would post it.
Now, after moving, he has a new room and of course, we had to create another room for him! Pity! You know I loved the opportunity. I was introduced to a really lovely site for boy things … I found it while perusing another blog I am enjoying now (when you are new to blogging, everyone’s blog is new to you!), Design Mom. There was a quote on the Simply A Boy site (check out their charming wall hangings!) that so appropriately describes how I feel about decorating for children.
The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things. – Plato
As moms, I think we should introduce our children to the concept of taste and beauty, interpreted through the richness of childhood fantasy and imagination. Children’s rooms can handle themes in a way most rooms can’t. They are my “no theme room” exception! But if you do a theme room for a child, try to find a theme that will endure for many years. Kids go through phases like they go through shoe sizes. If your child currently can’t get enough of Sponge Bob, that doesn’t mean that he will love it next week.
I have found it helpful for myself and for clients to choose themes that are not directly related to current movies or cartoon characters. Not only are those themes generally tacky when used to decorate, they can become outdated quickly. If your child really insists on the dreaded cartoon or current superhero for his room, here are some ways I get around it:
- Frame a picture of the cartoon character and set it on his nightstand. Seeing that picture of a smiling Sponge Bob every morning on his bedside table will make him happy and you won’t have to live with gaudy yellow Sponge Bob comforters.
- Have a bulletin board in the child’s room and let him plaster it with Spiderman comics.
- Let the child have free reign over the back of their door or inside their closets. I designate those areas for easily changing creative pursuits.
- Install shelving in the room where action figures can be stored and viewed. This gives the child a place to showcase their current loves.
Once I have acknowledged my son’s current interests, I can let the rest of the room breathe with a fresher, more enduring style. Whimsical or vintage interpretations of appropriate themes can work well for children’s rooms. I think fanciful yet tasteful things should be a big part of children’s rooms — you can’t possibly be too creative in making their room special and memorable. Childhood is about having a vivid imagination, so their room is a great place to reflect who they are and to train their eyes to recognize truly wonderful things in the world.
If your child is fascinated by sports, for instance, you can find wonderful vintage photos, mobiles or murals to accent his decor. Choose a yummy selection of colors for the walls and bedding and have fun with the accessories. Somehow I think vintage inspired things look so fun for kids’ rooms. Or, if you prefer a more contemporary look, find whimsical things to add a youthful slant to his room, while keeping the basic furnishings and bedding free of overkill trying to illustrate the theme.
Often times you can incorporate a teachable aspect to the things around the room. Give your decorations a purpose and the room will evolve on its own.
- Try adding a wonderful world map or educational poster to stretch his little mind.
- Put a jumbo ruler in the corner to keep track of his growth and teach him about measurements.
- Add chalkboards to foster creativity.
- Have memory boards to remind children of happy times and special achievements.
- Have lots of books to encourage reading and discovering new things.
- And of course, frame family photos to show how much he is loved.
As our children enter school, their rooms become even more important. The way their room is organized, the simplicity of the systems you create for their every day routines, and the environment he wakes up to each morning really can contribute to his success at school. Nurture his creativity, his sense of order and daily routines by creating a room that supports his needs. Make it easy for him to succeed in getting himself dressed for school, finding his backpack and gym shoes, and keeping his things organized
August is the perfect month to start focusing on your child’s room. September will be here before you know it!
Photos: Top, Street of Dreams Portland 2008