Transitioning To a Big Kid Room: 9 Design Tips and Tricks

Recently, I realized that my little one had outgrown her nursery and was ready for bigger and better things… a big kid room.

Neither the decor, nor the set-up, suited her personality, interests or needs any longer. It was time for a change. I have a girl who loves nothing more in life than the color pink and all things “park-uh-lee” (sparkly), so I knew that the gender-neutral space I had originally created just wasn’t doing it for her anymore. In general, I try to create her room as a space for comfort and calm, but I also want it to be a place that she likes to be and a space that feels like it is just for her.

The old room? She never really wanted to be there. The new room? She loves hanging out! It’s not overly-stimulating, but it’s a fun and happy space — and, as an added bonus, we have had less tears at bed time since the redesign. Whatever it takes, people!

Here’s a little peek at the new space along with some tips and tricks that helped me in creating a toddler-friendly space that would accommodate her interests and preferences, while still appealing to an adult aesthetic!

  • *Have a plan 1 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    Going into a room redesign, whether it's for a toddler or an adult, it's important to have a plan. Sit down and jot down your inspiration. Ask yourself a few questions about what your child's interests are and what their favorite colors are. Write down what your storage needs are and how you need the space to be able to function. For us, the criteria was to create a space that would incorporate things my daughter loves (i.e. the color pink, animals, and all things sparkly) with things that I like or need (i.e. storage space, neutral colors, a design that she could grow into).

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Think storage 2 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    Storage was high up on my list of priorities when creating Fern's room, because you can never have enough storage space to stash toddler items. I found a few great storage solutions that I really liked to help keep me organized, but keep things simple and keep me from having to dig through endless modular bins. This wall storage basket, is a cute and fun way to keep books from pouring out all over the floor and the coat rack is perfect for throwing jackets and hats on right when we get home (especially since we lack an entryway closet). But, my favorite is the storage bookcase. It made me happy because it's cool and modern and can grow with my toddler while keeping her organized along the way!

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *More simple storage 3 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    Toddlers aren't particularly tidy, so making things as simple as can be when it comes to putting things away will be beneficial for all. I love simple storage items like this basket that kids can just dump toys into. The chalkboard is a nice touch for keeping things tidy and in their proper place.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Divide the room into areas 4 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    With the design of my daughter's "big girl room," I ventured away from the Montessori feel of her nursery. I do, however, still like the idea of having designated areas within the room to break up the space. Fern's room has a little reading area, an area for dolls and dramatic play and an area for playing with puzzles and other manipulatives.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Make it a cozy space 5 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    Consider ways to make your toddler's space warm and inviting. I wanted my daughter's room to be a place where she wants to spend time. This little corner nook with blankets and pillows adds texture, pattern and color and creates a place where she can just cozy up with a book or her dolls and she loves that it's just her size.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Add some art to suit them 6 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    Obviously, some of the art I chose for the wall gallery were pieces that I was drawn to myself, but it was fun mixing things in that I knew she would like and that fit her preferences. I knew she would love the floral print because she loves flowers so much, as well as the pink print of the girl with her cats, since she adores animals. The gold dot wall decals were a fun way to add whimsy -- she loves polka dots and anything sparkly. Also, when you're hanging anything in a toddler's room it's important to consider safety above all. I used these Command velcro strips to adhere the frames to the wall -- they worked like a dream. My daughter can't pull the frames off the wall and truth be told, I can't pull a few of them off myself either! Definitely way more secure than using just a nail.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Don’t take it too seriously 7 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    While I probably wouldn't decorate my living room with these tassel garlands, I knew they would appeal to my little toddler magpie -- and I was right. They're fun and this is a kid's room -- it should be fun! Always find ways to add in unexpected items that you know will make them smile. When we were on vacation this summer, Fern loved my aunt's massive deer wall mount, so I knew she would flip over this faux deer taxidermy. It's fun and cheeky, but not baby-ish. Definitely a piece that can grow with her.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Personalize it 8 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    When I was a kid, I always loved having things with my name on them. While my toddler doesn't yet recognize her own name, I thought it would be fun to include something personalized -- like this fun banner -- in the mix for when she does. With a name like Fern, odds are she probably won't be seeing her name printed on stickers or a notebook anytime soon.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

  • *Mix grown-up pieces with whimsy 9 of 9
    Transitioning To a Big Kid Room

    I think the key to creating a room that both you and your toddler will love is to balance the more grown-up pieces with items that are more fun and whimsical. For example, this comforter is wonderfully simple and great for grounding the space. In order to keep it from becoming too uptight, it gets paired with a fun polka dot sheet set and a decidedly girly pillow sham. Suddenly, you've got bedding that appeals to all ages. This is an approach I used in the rest of the room as well and I think the give and take can be seen and leaves everyone feeling good about the space.

    (See full product source/where to purchase list here)

 

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

Tagged as: , ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.