A good friend of ours asked me to help out with some ideas for their toddler’s room as he transitions from a nursery to a big boy space and I couldn’t be more excited to lend a hand! As I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a fun space that will last for several years, I have grown to love the concept of transitional kids rooms for toddlers that will last longer than just the “terrible twos.” I think kids rooms are becoming a whole lot less literal and a whole lot more design oriented. Themes that are more flexible allow the room to grow with the little ones and prevent you from having to switch up room decor every few years. Neutral colors on the walls, floors, and furniture let you add color with bedding, toys and accessories (the easy parts to change as your children grow) which can be swapped out quickly and easily as your child’s interests change. More flexible storage solutions like baskets and boxes allow easy clean-up and organization of toys and can continue being used years down the line.
For example, say your little one is a big fan of good old Lightning McQueen (because really…who isn’t?) Rather than going full-blown Disney’s Cars, why not try a more subtle approach and stick with transportation? A neutral wall color like grey or beige (or somewhere in between like Benjamin Moore’s Going to the Chapel) along with a simple and neutral area rug and solid wood furniture will create the perfect base that will allow you to add color and character through bedding, toys and accessories. Framing old maps makes great artwork and adds an educational factor when the little ones get older. Fun helicopter bedding like this adds a pop of color to the space and a simple switch when your little boy gets bigger. Colorful books, toys and table lamps are another great way to bring color to your little one’s room that won’t overwhelm the rest of the space. Take a look as some of my inspiration for a transportation themed transitional kids room for a little boy to grow into…
I love the idea of creating some DIY chalkboards or cork boards that can be used to learn shapes, letters & numbers and also display any artwork your kids might bring home. As they get older, these can be used to display weekly schedules, remember homework assignments, and highlight their accomplishments!
Here’s a list of elements I think are important when creating a transitional kids room that will easily grow with your child:
- Neutral base colors: Using neutral colors on the walls, flooring and main elements in the room will allow you to add color through smaller pieces (toys, books, bedding, etc.) that are much easier to swap out for new things in the future.
- Themes that can grow: When choosing a “theme” for your transitional kids room, try to go with something a little less literal. Try choosing or creating artwork that could work in a teenage room. For example, instead of a Lightning McQueen poster, find some cool vintage car prints on Etsy to frame and hang. This kind of artwork will grow with your kids and work in a bedroom long after the terrible twos. Using toys, books and accessories to add that childlike theme to the space, you will be able to add and edit whenever you need to and change them as your child’s interests change.
- Long lasting bedroom furniture: Buying nice, substantial furniture for your toddler may seem excessive at first, but will save you money and energy in the future. Buying solid and well-made furniture like a bed, dresser and storage units that your child will be able to use up until they leave for college is a great investment and one that you will appreciate in the long run.
- Smaller storage options: Additional storage options, like baskets and boxes placed on shelves, provides quick and easy clean-up and organization of toys when your kids are younger and can be used for other purposes as they grow.
- Age appropriate Textiles: One of the biggest statements in your child’s room will come from your choice of bedding. Go for fun, child themed bedding when they young. This is where you can insert the shapes and colors they are loving at the moment. When they have grown out of their Toy Story comforter or Kung Fu Panda duvet cover simply swap it our for a new one. This is the easiest way to change the vibe of the room without breaking the bank or undergoing a major facelift. Bedding, blankets, window treatments and other textiles in your child’s space is a simple way to age-up the space while your kids are growing up.
- Display Boards: Once project idea that I love for transitional kids rooms is DIY display boards. Creating chalkboards, corkboards, or magnetic boards to hang on your child’s wall will be a great way to learn and explore when they’re young and to display artwork, awards, and schedules as they grow.
I’m excited to get this project started and can’t wait to fill you in on how our transitional kids room design is going!
So, what are you thoughts on transitional kids rooms? How do you let your child’s room grow right along with them?