How to design your toddler’s room – the fun, the color, and the need for change.
When my daughter had her first child, I was more anxious about birth than when I was going through the same thing.
And while I believed I was ready to be a grandmother – I soon realized the emotions were quite radically different than when I was becoming a mother. For starters, I found myself ready to spoil this little girl rotten. This was certainly not the case with my own kids.
This fall we started redoing our daughter’s old room into our granddaughter’s one – and we had some incredible fun in the process.
Here are my top tips for designing a room for your toddler – and why you need to make sure it’s easy to redecorate again:
It will need to change
First of all, remember that the room will need to change from toddler to young child just as fast as it has changed from nursery to toddler room.
Don’t make any design choices that are overly expensive and that you will come to regret, as you find you are getting rid of them all too soon.
Personality becomes dominant
While nurseries can be a bit more “general”, your toddler’s room should be injected with a fair amount of personality.
You can start by repainting the walls into their favorite color – as long as it’s not too garish.
The main pieces of furniture can remain neutral, and you can use art, toys, and all the smaller (and less expensive) items to reflect their likes and interests.
You don’t have to have a theme
I do have to admit we were considering a Disney theme for a long while. But then all the non-Disney toys would seem out of place, and what if she got bored with the world and the stories? Not likely, I admit, but still.
The room does not have to stick to a theme – you can add plenty of personality with the pillows and blankets (and you can switch them as their interests change).
Consider their use of the room, not yours
Toddlers are certainly old enough to use their room. Instead of adding shelving and storage that they can’t reach (but that might be convenient for you), make sure the entire room and the height of every item are tailored to them.
Place the shelves lower so they can put away their own books and toys. Place their clothes at a height they can reach too.
Provide plenty of storage (whether it’s boxes or cupboards) where they will be in charge of putting their things away after playtime.
But make it functional too
While you are aiming to make the room usable for your toddler, you also want it functional – so that you don’t have to store certain items elsewhere, or have to go to another room to, for example, sort their clothing.
Throw in a colorful collapsible laundry basket they can reach (I’ve reviewed some good ones here), but that you can also take with you to the washing machine.
Build in higher storage space for storing the stuff they don’t need – bedding, out of season clothing, extra bath products, and so on.
Leave plenty of floor space
Playtime is what a toddler’s life is really about – so making sure there is space for them to spread their toys is important.
If the room is very small, you might want to set up a play area somewhere else (but where they won’t be underfoot, so to speak). However, if you can, make their room their playful oasis.
You can set up a reading nook (or reading tent), an area for creativity (ideally a desk large enough for them to spread their artwork and colors), and an area for unstructured play.
Of course, teaching them to put the thing they are not using away is important, but you can leave some of these areas semi-messy at times, so as not to have to set everything up from scratch.
Ask their opinion
While your toddler certainly won’t be able to make completely competent decisions, you should still make it a point to involve them in the process.
Take them shopping with you if you can, and let them choose the decorative items. The furniture can be left up to you, but you can present them with a choice between two colors. Don’t let them wander around the shop and notice a whole lot of other furniture they might want – limit the choice to two, and actually ensure both will work well for the room.
Ask them where they want certain things – maybe they would prefer the reading nook in the left and not the right corner.
As they produce drawings and other colorful and fun craft items – ask them which one they would like to display, and where.
Wrapping it up
Don’t forget to have a lot of fun when designing this dream room for your toddler. This is one of the most fun and exciting ages, both for them and for you, so make the most of it and enjoy all the colorful possibilities.