Every well decorated room tells a story. A story about its inhabitants, their likes and dislikes, their moods, even their lifestyle. Comfy and family-friendly, or formal and precious? A room that’s truly well designed lets you know its story immediately.
I think the same is true for kids’ rooms. And with kids’ rooms, the story develops further. A child’s room can tell a story about the child who slumbers and plays within, or it can create a story for that child.
When I moved my oldest from the nursery to his big-boy room, I chose a theme of vintage cowboys. The theme reflected my tastes, yet, to me anyway, spoke of who I thought he was and who I hoped he would be…a rough and tumble, “all boy” boy. It wasn’t busy, it wasn’t fussy and I worked hard to keep it that way, utilizing key pieces — a wall hanging, an antique cowboy lamp, a couple of rusty horseshoes, and valances and a pillow sham I made from vintage cowboy fabric and edged in suede fringe. The walls were brown, the furniture was cream, and it was dotted with reds and blues. I thought it was fabulous.
But that fabulosity went awry very quickly. As it turns out, you absolutely CAN have too much of a good thing. I found that when I got carried away with the cowboys in my story, that it became very limiting. And suddenly, cowboys were running wild throughout the house.
Through my own experience, I learned the key lesson in creating a themed space for your child — the importance of editing. If you have a theme that you love, go for it. But don’t go overboard. Why? Two reasons.
1) You end up limiting your decor options as your child grows and develops. In a room overpopulated by cowboys, there’s no place for a race car driver. Population control, as it were, is key.
2) Your child’s tastes grow and change (see #1). This is called story development. And when it does, you’re left with a bazillion cowboy prints, trinkets, sheets, etc. that he’s suddenly outgrown too. And then you have to start all over. If you maintain editorial control, you’ll find it easy and liberating to substitute the occasional cowboy artifact, or add to that artifact so that your child’s story continues to develop with your child.
Editorial comments? Suggestions? Did you overdevelop your child’s story too? Share!