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Room To Grow

Room To Grow

Cost Effective Tips to Transition a Bedroom Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood 

By Jennifer Kennedy 

Designing a baby nursery is filled with exciting anticipation and endless possibilities. Crib styles? Furniture options? Paint color preferences?   

Before long, though, the crib and changing table are no longer necessary, and it is time for a real bed and toy storage. When elementary school starts, a space is needed for homework and books. Preteens want to feel that their bedrooms are an expression of their developing personalities. Teenagers are looking for a comfortable place to retreat.     

Bedroom redesign decisions can be costly and overwhelming throughout the stages of childhood. Giving careful thought to early choices can save time and money down the road. Selections that will grow with the child will simplify the transition at each stage. 

Gainesville Interior Designer Sarah Cain recommends first choosing neutral paint colors and using art, accessories, accent pillows and bedding to add color and express interests as they change. Cain suggests built-in bookshelves for children’s bedrooms. Their contents can be updated as children grow, but the solid piece of furniture is timeless. 

The University of Florida Interior Design program graduate notices that even young children enjoy being involved in redesigning their bedrooms.   

 “Change can be challenging for anyone, even positive change. So, help empower your child to be a part of the process,” Cain said. “This is a great way to teach your child that their opinions and ideas are important, especially in creating their own spaces.”  

Pro Tips from Sarah Cain Design Owner Sarah Cain and Senior Designer Paola V. Perez 

Choose furniture children do not outgrow. 

  • Instead of purchasing a changing table for a nursery, choose a dresser and add a changing table topper. When diapers are no longer needed, remove the topper and use the dresser for years to come. 
  • Look for a crib that can convert into a twin bed frame.   

Decide on pieces that will stand the test of time.  

  • Opt for classic styles instead of themed designs.  
  • Select neutral finishes such as whites or natural woods.  

Smart Solutions  

Accent with a Wallpaper Border: Tempted to cover the entire nursery in cute wallpaper? Choose a wallpaper border instead that can be easily updated when children are ready to choose their own theme.  

See Also

From Crib to Cozy Corner: Many crib mattresses are in excellent shape when they are outgrown. Reuse it in the corner of the playroom or bedroom to create a relaxing book nook or quiet time spot. Adding colorful pillows and blankets makes a cozy reading corner for the toddler or early elementary school years.  

Front-Open Artwork Frames: Matted frames designed to showcase children’s artwork are a nice way to add their personal touch. A front-opening frame means no one has to remove and rehang the frame to switch what is displayed. Toddler finger painting can quickly be replaced with elementary school watercolors, middle school sketches or high school photography.  

Adjustable Desks and Chairs: Selecting furniture that can change size as soon as the child does saves money. An adjustable desk can provide the perfect homework space from kindergarten through high school. A chair with the same option can keep up with all those teenage growth spurts.  

All photos courtesy of Aaron Bailey Photography. 

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