Give your child’s bedroom a makeover with these inexpensive ideas.
Any budget is sufficient if your imagination is healthy. There is no shortage of second-hand items that can be put to a secondary purpose. The question is, how much time do you have – a precious commodity for many single mums and dads? Or alternatively, how motivated are you? Look at this video to find out how to make a kid’s desk with hidden storage and chair all by yourself. Now granted, she had a few tools available, and the skillset to get the job done efficiently and to a high standard. There were probably a few years of craftsmanship condensed into that short video. But the point stands: If you have time and motivation, you can do anything. The same applies to home décor. The bedroom of your children can be four blank walls, a carpeted floor, and a ceiling. Or, it can be a work of art, which stimulates your child’s imagination and development: It all depends on how you improve the room. In this article, we will explore the things you can do to make the most out of your kid’s space on a budget.
Plan a kids bedroom for the future
First, you need to know the scope of your project. Are you designing something for an impending arrival, or are you designing a room for an older child, possibly a teen? If you are on a tight budget, and you are expecting, then you are probably hoping to decorate a kid’s room that caters to infant needs, and which can grow with the child as it gets older. As sensible as this sounds, this may not always be feasible.
Nevertheless, it pays to think ahead. The further into the future you plan, the less money you will ultimately end up spending. So, weigh your options up carefully when you splash out on décor and furniture, and try to envisage how functional and acceptable the furniture you acquire for your baby’s or kid’s bedroom might be for an older child.
Acquire multi-purpose furniture
You can save and double up on storage by purchasing a mid-sleeper or a bunk bed. With mid sleepers, the space below the bed is designed for storage, a play area or a desk and chair. You can use a bunk bed in a similar way: Use the best mattress for kids for the top bunk and fit the bottom half of the bed with any mattress and curtains. That way the bottom bunk can be used as a bed as well as a den or storage space for toys or even clothes.
If your child is still young, it might not be safe for him or her to sleep at the top. So, if this is something you are worried about, you can buy a cot for baby, which can be converted into a toddler bed lasting for many more years. Alternatively, you can buy a single bed with storage or a pull-out bed underneath. The list of multi-functional furniture that grow with the child goes on: Cots can be turned into kids sofas when no longer needed, beds double up as castles or cars, modular nursery furniture convert into playhouses and so on.
Whether or not you are a single parent, if you don’t have the cash to buy new, you can always go second hand. Many families are happy to pass on their kids’ furniture for free. Just check your local freecycling sites, Facebook page or go to a site such as Preloved.com. There are always parents offering kids furniture for free saving them the hassle of disposal. And it is surprisingly easy to restore wooden furniture: Look for pine, oak, walnut, maple, and birch. Avoid veneer, which splits and peels. If you are a perfectionist, strip the paint (a messy and prolonged process) and apply primer before painting. Otherwise just sand down and get painting choosing a satin or semi-gloss finish. You can thus create a kids bedroom with colourful, beautifully matching furniture with little effort and potentially without spending a penny.
Play with soft furnishing and accessories
If you have the furniture and just want to spruce up your kid’s bedroom at minimal cost, get creative with soft furnishings and accessories. You will be surprised how much you can achieve with a new inexpensive rug or colourful new bedding with matching throw and cushions.
Another way to give your kids’ bedroom a makeover is the use of accessories, which don’t have to cost the world: Get crafty and frame your kids’ artwork, make your own pretty bunting or get creative with wall stickers or stencils. Ikea is always a great place for finding cheap and colourful bits for all ages: A funky bedside lamp or pendant, colourful storage boxes, and other bric-a-brac, which can follow your child’s favourite theme, such as stars on the ceiling to complete the space look. Just a few carefully chosen pieces are enough to turn a bland kids bedroom into a beautiful and cosy place they will be proud of.
Whilst it is perfectly fine to re-paint or repurpose old furniture, it is equally worthwhile making things entirely on your own. If you have a tiny room to work with, you could design a small walk-in wardrobe under a slanted ceiling or turn the windowsill into a reading corner, all on a small budget.
Painting a child’s room can also be a cheap and effective way of upgrading your kid’s bedroom. Pick up an inexpensive paint in a colour of your child’s choice and get painting. If your child is old enough, he or she might enjoy helping.
If your kid’s carpet looks stained and dated, consider replacing it with non-carpet flooring. Wood-effect flooring or quality vinyl can add a clean look and will last forever, even with messy toddlers and teens. To complete the look, add a cool rug, which can double up as a farmyard or racetrack. Polypropylene rugs can be cleaned easily and exchanged for a low cost if necessary or outgrown, whilst carpets with slime or food stains, might be ruined forever and will be expensive to replace.
Use your imagination
Be willing to think outside the box to create your own solutions and don’t be afraid to try something new. If you have a skill, use it: Are you creative? Sit in your kid’s room and try to visualise how it can be transformed. Can you sew? Put those skills to use and make beautiful curtains or throws from old fabric. Can you draw? Draft a design with a theme of your child’s choice on paper and paint the walls and ceilings with an ocean, space, farmyard, or fairy theme. You can use leftover paint for this – ask around, almost anyone who has ever moved house, will have some gathering dust in the garage, they will be happy to shift. Don’t be afraid of trying something new!
Part of cost-effectively decorating your child’s bedroom will involve saving money on future repairs. Avoid items that won’t last or can be replaced cheaply. Do it yourself if you can. Pick up freebies and restore or repurpose them – what’s one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure. Decorating your kid’s bedroom on a budget is possible and it’s fun if you have the time and the motivation.