children-419446_640It’s easy to judge when it comes to a child’s bedroom. We’ve all been to the homes of friends or relatives and passed junior’s room, only to be surprised by how little imagination went into the décor. Maybe his bedroom has a stark white wall with a few balloon decals left over from the days when the room was a nursery. Maybe there’s a green plastic playhouse in the center of the floor. Maybe a well-meaning relative tried to paint a Disney character on the wall, and no one has the heart to paint over it.

There is a better way to decorate your child’s bedroom. It doesn’t require artistic talent and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You just have to follow a few simple steps, and your child’s room can become a place that encourages dreaming and learning.

Ask Your Child What He Wants

A child who has no vote in how his own bedroom is decorated is apt to become disheartened or resentful. Let your child tell you what he wants. You don’t have to give him everything he asks for, but the general theme should be his choice.

Keep it Flexible

Your child’s interests will most likely change often, so don’t commit too much time or money to the theme. A change of wall color, some decals or themed wallpaper from the home improvement store, and a few inexpensive props can sometimes be all that you need. For example, and “under the sea” theme might only require a gallon of blue paint, a few fish decals or movie posters, and accessories such as seashells, fishing net, or a paper maché “palm tree.” Sometimes you can change the look of a chair or rocker with reupholstery in a different fabric. Take a look at these affordable décor ideas.

Keep it Easy to Clean

Any new decor that goes in your child’s room should be low-maintenance and easy to clean. That means furniture materials that can be wiped dry with a cloth or sponge, and ideally, upholstery that’s been treated with some form of fabric protection.

Keep it Portable

Your child’s bedroom furniture will change often. It’s wise to keep this in mind when buying new furniture. Just remember that you’re probably going to be moving it before long. If you have a large heirloom bed, rocker or crib in your child’s room, and it’s time to move the piece elsewhere, you can prevent inadvertent damage to an irreplaceable antique by having a furniture pro disassemble the furniture, and then reassemble it in the new spot.

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes it helps to channel your inner kid when decorating your child’s room. This space in your home is a small, separate kingdom; it doesn’t have to conform to the rest of the house. What would have delighted you as a child – a secret room behind a hidden panel, bunk beds, hundreds of flowers hanging from the ceiling, paper maché dragons flying out of the wall? Let your child’s requests spark your own creativity!