Having a baby is an exciting new chapter in our lives, and decorating the baby’s nursery is often all part of the fun – especially for nesting mums. But what we often forget to think about is when the baby outgrows the neutrals, becomes a toddler and suddenly demands stimulation, colour, and lots of FUN! I know that when we decorated our daughter’s room I didn’t think at all about how it might transition into an engaging kids space in the future. Now I’ve been through it I have some easy and practical ways to turn that space from cosy to cool.
Even if you have a small room you will want to create different zones for sleeping, playing and reading. Create different ‘stations’ around the room where you store the objects for each activity and talk your child through what each station is for and what they can find there.
Armchair to playtable
If you had a chair for nursing you may want to move this out of the room into another room or storage and replace it with a play table or small, child sized chair for quiet reading time before bed or messy arts and crafts. Regretting that cream carpet now are we?!
Use surfaces (perhaps the one you used as nappy change station) to display toys that can be easily picked up and played with. Rotate them every month to stop them getting bored with toys they’ve seen for a while.
Toddlers and young children are more inquisitive than you think! Ensure that furniture is extremely sturdy. Bolt mirrors, wardrobes and shelves to the wall, as they are likely to try and climb them at any opportunity. Load shelves with the heaviest items at the bottom to prevent any toppling that might occur.
Switch up the storage
For the baby you may have had jars or pots for things like cotton balls and wipes. These can now become cool little storage spots for a collection of Lego in different colours, mini dinousaurs or anything else that is small and can be grouped together. Alternatively, they can house hair clips or bands for little princesses.
Stimulate the senses
For babies we often create simple visual stimulation points such as fairy lights or dangling mobiles. Older children need something a bit more exciting, so now is the time to get them to help you pick out some artwork or funky wallpaper.
Within reason, it’s great to have your kids help you pick out how their room will look. If you’re feeling extra adventurous then let them pick out colours and patterns from the start. If you still want your place to look classy and cool, then instead narrow it down to a few choices and get them to pick the favourite.
Once your child is out of nappies (or even earlier for some, sorry!) they will be starting to exercise their independence. Make sure their room is completely accessible and dressed with units and furniture that they can access, move and lift themselves.
If there’s a chance you might expand your family in the future then you may want to invest in a self-storage unit to keep large pieces of furniture or loved childhood items in. You can never predict what may come in the future, but knowing these items are being kept in a safe location for you should give you peace of mind, and save you money in the future!
Enjoy your child’s expanding mind and make the process fun and functional for you by following my easy tips. I’d love to hear if you have any handy tips for transitioning a room from baby to toddler. Share in the comments below!
Sarah Akwisombe is an interior designer and stylist. An expert in home improvement, Sarah’s mantra is to bring out an individual’s style and personality at home through fashion and art influences.
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