Tips for Making a Big Kid Room Your Kid – and You – Will Love

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I remember all the time I spend getting the nursery just right. Choosing the perfect paint color, the softest crib sheets, the sweetest pictures for the walls. And then my daughter started growing up and having opinions on all things, including that any kind of pasta is gross, her rain boots work with every outfit, and that her room was a baby room. Ugh.  

When they get to that phase, where they’re ready for a room suited to a big kid, it can be difficult to give up control and make it a room that they’ll want. But the thing is, their room really should be about them. In the process of appeasing three little ones in their transitions to big kid rooms, I’ve learned a few tricks to save money, make them happy, and still keep things reasonable – as in, no, daughter, we are not painting your room black with stars to look like the sky.

Image via Sara McTigue

First up – a great place to start is with new bedding.

Now, if you’re making the first jump from a crib to a bed, there are decisions to make regarding whether to transition through a toddler bed or jump straight to the standard twin or full options. While toddler beds can be adorable and fun, they can also be expensive and definitely aren’t necessary. If you’re worried about your little one falling out of bed you can always transition by starting out with the mattress on the floor, then adding a box spring and bed rails as you’re comfortable. If you have the space, a twin with trundle or a full size bed are great options for the future sleepovers and to keep rooms suitable for growing kids.

When you’re choosing bedding, if your kid is like all three of mine and many others, they’re going to head right for the stuff covered in characters. If you’re cool with that, go for it. If that’s character overload for you, try to compromise with one of the soft throw blankets or pillows that many stores now stock. Then you can always make the bed with linens a little more to your taste and your kiddo can still have their special chosen blanket to cuddle up with at bedtime. Win, win.

Next up, paint can be your best friend. Now here’s the thing. If you ask your kid to choose paint samples there is a good chance that they’ll choose a super bright, super saturated color that threatens to damage your retinas. Instead, go back to that bedding and find some subtle color options that will be stand the test of time and soothe your eyeballs. But don’t totally shoot down that request for neon orange or snot green. This is where you can hit the spray paint aisle. I tell you, spray paint is a wondrous thing. You can paint anything – lamps, picture frames, chairs, cheap lighting fixtures, plastic toys, the list goes on and on. If your little one wants the color of sunshine in their room, why not go for a bright yellow desk lamp and some matching pillows on the bed?

big kid room
Image via Sara McTigue

Speaking of pillows, this is another great way to add in color and personalize the room. The folks at Mermaid Pillow Co were nice enough to send one of their pillows my way and I have to say, it has made its way onto each of my 3 kiddos’ beds since its arrival. It’s a great pop of color but it’s also a quiet and soothing addition to a bed space, especially nice for anxious or fidgety kids. It's soft and totally adorable and now they even have matching blankets available now, too. 

You can also add color and style using temporary wall stickers. They come in so many designs, with colorful alphabets, polka dots, or even a sky of puffy clouds. The best thing here is that when their tastes change or you move furniture they can easily be removed or repositioned. 

Once you’ve got your bedding and colors in place, don’t forget to add something special to make the new room all about your kid. Whether it’s a custom superhero dresser, a wall of mirrors for your future ballerina, or their own little nook, find a way to make the space special and just for them. My girls newest plan is that they've chosen their own posters to design an art wall and my little guy is cool as long as there are Pokemon, dinosaurs, and Star Wars everywhere he looks. I know that these may be temporary interests and their tastes will change, but I love that they have space that is all about them. 

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Image via Sara McTigue

We'd love to see your kids' spaces! Share a picture on Instagram and hashtag it with #myeverydayfamily #bigkidroom so we can check it out! 

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Tips for Making a Big Kid Room Your Kid – and You – Will Love

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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