Refresh Your Child’s Room for a New School Year
Whether your child is just entering preschool or starting senior year, a new school year is a transition worth marking. Giving his or her room a reboot is one way to honor the growth your child has made and set an inspiring tone for the year ahead. Some years it may be enough to shed a few old toys and clothes and stock up on school supplies. But for other occasions — moving from a “baby” room to a big-kid room, starting a new school or living the last year at home, for example — call for a bigger effort. When you want to really give your kid a boost, consider going for a whole-room makeover. Here’s some inspiration for making over the room of your preschooler, school-age kid, tween or teen.
FLO Design Studio, original photo on Houzz
Fresh and fun big-kid room. Forest wallpaper is cool enough for a kid and beloved by modern parents, too. A simple, clean-lined bunk bed and graphic rug in neutral gray are classics that will stand the test of time. And a tire swing hung from the ceiling? No kid could resist that! (Just be sure to get some pro help hanging it safely.)
Colorful chalkboard wall. These days many paint companies will mix up chalkboard paint in any color you want. Try painting one big wall in your child’s room with chalkboard paint in a color of his or her choice for a high-impact, budget-friendly room makeover.
Superpower bedroom for two. Graphic wallpaper brings this bedroom to life, and the red white, and blue color scheme sets a superhero tone. A beanbag chair and knitted pouf provide comfy places for kids and their friends to plop down.
A great big shelving unit provides ample storage for toys and books, and a framed series of superhero prints is sure to bring smiles.
- Cut out pages or covers of old comic books and slip them into frames.
- Use a stencil (available in-stores) to paint a graphic pattern on the wall instead of papering. (Bonus: You can simply paint over the pattern whenever you want a change.)
- Buy an inexpensive beanbag chair and re-cover it in a nice indoor-outdoor fabric.
Janet Paik, original photo on Houzz
Preschool adventure. Orange animal-print wallpaper sets an adventurous tone in this safari-inspired space. A well-secured canopy over a daybed or the floor makes a fun play area (avoid hanging anything over the bed in a young child’s room for safety). Leather ottomans surround a chunky wooden table, a creative departure from the expected kids’ table and chairs set. A hidden rug layered over a patterned natural-fiber rug brings textural interest.
- Paint your own pattern on a plain natural-fiber rug.
- Use an old coffee table as a play table, surrounded by poufs you made yourself.
- Use animal decals instead of wallpaper.
- Boost the safari feel by using a stack of vintage suitcases as a nightstand. (Bonus: They’ll double as hidden storage.)
Name wall decor. Choose your child’s favorite color for the painted background and pick up letters that fit your budget. Measure the area needed by laying out the letters on the floor before beginning. Use painter’s tape to mark out the area, paint it and let it dry before hanging the letters.
Room to grow. When it’s time to move from a crib, consider going bigger if you have space. A twin or double bed will serve your child far longer than a toddler bed. Try to choose more versatile colors and materials for furniture items you expect to be used for many years to come (like the bed, dresser, and nightstands), but let your child have fun picking out the paint color and choosing new accessories that can be easily swapped out when he or she tires of them.
Sarah Gunn, Interior Stylist, original photo on Houzz
Tween fun. Soft gray walls and a gray and white print rug are classic, but an aqua ceiling and cherry zigzag shades bring megawatt personality to this tween’s bedroom.
A wood-framed bulletin board covered in pretty fabric provides a spot to keep inspiration and notices, and a storage bench provides an extra seat when friends come to visit.
- Covering inexpensive white roller shades with pretty fabric costs far less than custom shades. To do this, simply lay shades flat on the floor, centered on fabric trimmed to fit with a small overhang, fold the edges of the fabric over the shades and secure them with fabric glue.
- Upgrade an old entryway bench by painting the interiors of the cubbies with leftover paint and topping it with a new cushion.
- Make a name sign out of cardboard craft store letters wrapped in bright-colored yarn.
Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC, original photo on Houzz
Surf inspired. Talk about big impact! A wall-size mural of a surfer in the curl of a wave has completely transformed this room. An organic-shaped light, a grass-green rug, and striped bedding add to the beach-inspired, outdoorsy feel.
- An extra-large poster or canvas will still be impressive but will cost less than a full-size mural. If you want to fill more wall space, choose a series of three photos that go together and hang them side by side.
J+G Design, original photo on Houzz
Grown-up details. For an older teen, consider buying things that can make the transition away from home — like the folding screen, bamboo chair, Oriental rug and headboard with nailhead trim shown here. The chair, screen, and rug are versatile enough to be used in many different rooms and settings, from a dorm room to the living room of a first apartment.
- Go “shopping” for free by digging through your own (or a relative’s) attic and basement for good pieces that aren’t being used. And as long as something is not a family heirloom, be open to suggestions from your teen for updating it with paint or new fabric.
Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz
Chic hideaway. What could be more appealing to a teen than a private hideaway? Oh, maybe just one this luxurious! Tucked into an alcove and upholstered on all sides for a cocoon-like feel, this cozy corner would make a great place in which to read, nap or listen to music. A fiddle leaf fig tree in a woven basket, a ceramic elephant stool and a sheepskin throw are glamorous finishing touches.
- Make a cozy lounge corner by covering a daybed with layers of patterns and lush textures.
- Keep an eye out for sales on ceramic garden stools and scoop one up when you see it.
- Hang a simple pendant light from the ceiling over the daybed area — the installation will cost a bit more, but the boost in ambiance will be worth it.
Vintage romantic. Perfect for romantic spirits and creative souls. A bucket of white paint, ruffly linens, fresh flowers and a few vintage pieces are what you need to create this simple, charming look. Look for schoolhouse chairs, milk glass lamps and old wooden tables. Rinse out old jelly jars and use them to hold pens on the desk or flowers on the windowsill.
By Laura Gaskill, Houzz