By: Jeremiah Brent
With school back in session, I find that most parents I know — including Nate and myself — take this time to re-focus on our children, regardless of age. Even if your kids aren’t in school yet, there’s something about the transition from summer to autumn that seems like a wonderful time to re-center on our family life. And, as any parent knows, our children are often the heart of our families.
Re-imagining your child’s space in your home is a great way to reinforce your focus on them, and to make sure that you’ve firmly established a comfortable, safe space in which they can explore, develop, learn and play. It’s so important that our children have the chance to truly discover themselves and gain independence as they grow — these are life lessons that they will carry with them throughout their lives. Having a dedicated space in which to do that is a wonderful start to that journey. Here are my tips for creating or re-working an inspiring, inexpensive space for them in your home.
Think Outside of the Toy Box: Many parents I know feel trapped inside the world of “Kids Furniture”. The options out there can seem limiting, or frustratingly cookie cutter. While there is a wonderful selection of furniture meant for our younger counterparts, I always encourage clients and friends to consider other options. Furniture that is “meant” for adults can often do double duty — and if you have unused pieces sitting around your home, they can frequently gain a second life. Take an unused console or storage table and put a basic changing tray on it to create an instant baby changing table. Not sure what to do with your old, extremely comfortable arm chair that no longer looks right with your new living room furniture? Use it in your child’s room as the perfect place to sit and read to them at night.
Back to Basics: Often with nurseries and children’s rooms, we’re tempted to pick a very specific color palette. But tastes change — both yours and your child’s — and it can be time-consuming (and expensive) to redo their room every time they decide they have a new favorite color. I know I might sound like a broken record, but like with all rooms, I suggest that any parent start with a basic, neutral color palette. Soft greys, taupes and beiges are not only gender neutral, but can be accented by decor and accessories in whatever color your toddler currently favors. Since kids often wear through sheets, blankets and pillows at a higher rate, these items are the perfect place to bring in a punch of color.
Crafting Creativity: Every child loves crafting and creating — it challenges them to think a little differently and helps them develop important skills. Consider DIY decor projects that you can do with them. Maybe, it’s refinishing the frame of a mirror, so you can use it for their room, or learning to sew by creating pillow covers for throw pillows. Whatever project you choose, your child will have fun and exercise their mind, you’ll save money on redecorating their space, and you’ll both enjoy important quality time together.