When decorating a kids room it can be tempting to go all in with your theme. Pink wall, butterflies and fairy princesses for girls. Blue walls, spaceships and dinosaurs for boys.
But what about when they turn 12 and no longer think fairy princesses and dinosaurs are cool?
Renovation expert Cherie Barber says going all out when decorating kids rooms is a common mistake she sees parents make.
“I think a lot of parents always do a pink or blue number and that’s really not the smartest way to renovate a kids bedroom. They might be infatuated with Peppa The Pig at three and then move onto Barbie,” the creator of the Renovating For Profit says.
“The best thing about kids is they’re easy to please and you don’t have to spend a lot of money decorating their rooms.”
Instead, she suggests renovating your kid’s rooms with flexibility in mind, so that it can be easily updated over the years to suit their changing tastes as they get older.
Here are the top tips to creating a bedroom your children won’t grow out of from Australia’s renovation queen:
Paint the walls a neutral colour.
Whether this is your unborn bub’s nursery or an update of your seven-year-old’s bedroom – paint the walls a neutral colour, says Barber.
Think variations of off-white or pale neutral colours like a light stone or taupe. While yellow can also be a neutral colour, Barber doesn’t recommend it, as it’s not the best for versatility.
And don’t think the walls all have to be white either.
“There’s chalkboard paint out these days, so you could paint three walls off-white and one with the chalkboard paint. That way the kids can actually scribble all over the walls.”
Decorate with decals.
Give those walls some personality with easy-to-apply (and remove) decals and wall stickers, says Barber, whose work has featured on Channel Ten's The Living Room several times.
"We have incredible wall decals in Australia. There's also little ornaments and statues that can be really cute."
Keep your flooring fuss-free.
Carpet can be soft, yes, but it's also a nightmare for cleaning spills. For this reason, Barber recommends parents install hard floors in their kid's room, such as tiles, vinyl, timber floorboards, timber laminate.
"We have such incredible options with tiles these days... ones that mimic the look of marble or timber," she says.
"You need to make sure your flooring material consistent throughout your whole home or else it will look strange."
Then you can add a nice - and cheap - rug to the floor which can be updated as your child grows.
Change the accessories - but don't splash out.
"It's very easy to give your child a different looking bedroom by just updating the accessories and the styling," Barber says.
And that's not to say you have to replace all of them - it can be something as simple as replacing the bed quilt and adding some different cushions to give it a new look.
No doubt there's a lot of exxy bed linen, cushions and other bedroom accessories out there - but as these are the items you're going to be changing constantly, don't splash out.
If you keep costs down in this area, you can afford to update the room more often, says Barber.
"I think what's really important in a kids room is creating zones - a sleeping zone and play zone," says Barber.
She recommends creating an area to stimulate kids creativity and keeping their bed for sleeping.
"You could set up a play zone with table and chair - Ikea has cut affordable sets - and setting it up with crayons, maybe over a colourful rug."
Put safety first.
Creating a stylish bedroom for your children isn't as important as creating a safe one.
Barber says there are some important safety tips parents should consider when designing their children's rooms.
First, make sure any heavy, potentially-unstable furniture, such as chests of drawers, are mounted to the wall with brackets, so they can't topple and crush youngsters who climb on them.
Also, think carefully about where you place your overhead shelves.
"People underestimate the weight that shelves can carry and they can fall. So I would say don't ever install shelving over children's beds or children's cots. They should be on a wall away from that."
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It's also a good idea to pay attention to potential choking hazards sewn into pillows if you have children under three. If buttons or objects aren't well secured they could dislodge and end up in your child's mouth.
And finally, consider where the cords for blinds may hang.
"You know the bracket that comes with the blinds where you wrap and tie the cords. A lot of people place that at the bottom, but my tip is mount near the top of the window frame so little kids can't reach dangling cords and hurt themselves."
Barber says while blinds can be a great option for kids, she says it's important to have curtains as they do a much better job of blocking out the sun.
So there you have it, simple ways to create a bedroom of your child's dreams - for now, and the future.