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Monday, January 26, 2009

~Cool and Clear Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Blue and white is a timeless decorating scheme that appeals equally to boys and girls, big kids and small. In a stressful world, blue can bring home a serene feeling -- ­something a teen may especially appreciate.

cool and clear teen bedroom decorating idea, pale blue and white color scheme
Pale blue and white look great with modern furniture, especially
when you use accents in vibrant red. Retailer: Gautier USA, Inc.

If your youngster's room is on the small side, a blue-and-white scheme creates a more spacious feeling. To start the decorating process, let your child choose a shade of blue he or she likes best. Sky blue and baby blue are lighthearted favorites that work well in a contemporary setting. For a traditional scheme, rich cobalt is the classic most associated with blue-and-white porcelain.

Don't stop there, however. There are many other blues from which to choose, from teal and turquoise to periwinkle and indigo. Whatever shade appeals to your teen, blue really goes the distance.

Making the transition from a juvenile room to a more adult look, while still retaining a sense of individuality, can seem like a daunting task. However, with the help of these decorating ideas, you and your teen should have no problem creating a room that is tasteful but unique.

Source : HowStuffWork

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Mary Wynn Ryan is the author of numerous interior design books including The Ultimate Kitchen, The Ultimate Bath, Cottage Style, Fresh Country Style, and Garden Style. She has written about home furnishings and interior design for various magazines and served as Midwest editor of Design Times magazine.

Heidi Tyline King is an accomplished writer and editor. She has written extensively about America's arts, culture, history, nature-based attractions, and decorating projects, including All About Paint and Wallpaper, Beautiful Wedding Crafts, Pelican Guide to the Florida Panhandle, The Unofficial Guide to the Southeast with Kids, and others.

~Fresh and Frolicsome Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Yellow-green, the color of young lettuce, is one of the most versatile hues around. Virtually every color pairs nicely with it, from sedate navy to cheery orange. But, when you pair yellow-green with red-violet, its color wheel complement, you get a scheme that's truly delightful.

fresh and frolicsome teen bedroom decorating idea, garden fresh room
A bed ensemle of frisky butterflies matches well with garden-fresh colors.
Retailer: Bombay Kids

This room shows how foolproof it can be. Against a chartreuse ground, bright white and magenta stand out as freshly as tulips in a spring field.

Even if your furniture is a darker wood you don't want to paint, this green keeps the whole scheme light and bright. It's a look that's fun and feminine and not at all babyish. If your gi­rl is looking for a more sophisticated take on pastel pink and green, this may be it!

On the next page, you'll find a design utilizing a color pairing that never goes out of style.

~Cool and Clear Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

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~Rustic Retreats Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Teens crave a space of their own to get away from it all, and this handsome room fulfills that need without any fuss. Whether the room is as small as a bunkhouse or as big as all outdoors, the decorating style known as "lodge" can make it a getaway any boy would enjoy.

rustic retreats teen bedroom decorating idea, cozy nature room
A big room can still be cozy with a warm color scheme of forest green and
taupe, which also brings the calm tones of nature indoors.
Manufacturer: Stanley Furniture Co.

Start with simple squared-off furniture in strongly grained oak or pine, or go for even more rustic pieces made of coarse-hewn or peeled logs. Add homespun fabrics in ticking stripes, lumberjack plaid, or other timeless country patterns.

A color scheme of red and hunter green or red and denim blue will give a rich, lively contrast to neutral wood tones. Let your boy's interests dictate the accessories, whether he's into cowboys or camping.

The next page of­fers more decorating ideas with a different kind of outdoor style.

~Fresh and Frolicsome Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Blue Reigns Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Not every girl goes fo­r pink in a big way, and some lose interest in it when they reach their teens. No problem! Versatile and popular, blue is a decorating idea just as likely to win her favor.

blue and yellow teen bedroom decorating idea
© Alain Giguere
Creamy yellow glazes simple furniture for a luscious look that's
rich against French blue walls. Manufacturer: EG Furniture

Blue is widely used in the bedroom because it's inherently soothing. In a south- or west-facing bedroom, the color is a practical choice because it's psychologically cooling. What's more, if your teen's room is on the small side, pale tints of blue work like white to visually expand the space.

Virtually any color looks fine with some tone of blue, but you may want to create contrast with darks and lights. Royal or navy blue comes alive with yellow; pale blue looks sophisticated next to deep magenta or fuchsia. Either way, blue is clearly cool.

On the next page, you'll learn how to "stay cool" with your teen by transforming the bedroom into a private getaway. ~Rustic Retreats Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Space-Age Sleek Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Just how modern can contemporary style be? Very! Teens are essentially forward-looking beings, so it's no surprise they're often attracted to decorating ideas with a slee­k modern style.

space-age sleek teen bedroom decorating idea, studio apartment furniture
Go beyond bedroom basics and add pieces that befit a chic studio apartment,
such as a scaled wall unit or a dining/work table perfect for studying.
Retailer: Gautier USA, Inc.

There's a practical aspect, too: If your teen's room is small, simply styled light-color modern furniture can help it look more spacious, and laminate surfaces make cleaning a breeze. What's more, even lightly scaled modern pieces may be big on savvy storage.

Decorating's a snap as well. You can emphasize the cool spacious factor with blue and green backgrounds and add warmth with yellow and orange. Furniture like this would be as much at home in a first studio apartment as in a teen's bedroom, so, if you shop carefully for quality, you might be able to send him or her off with the basics.

On the next page, learn how you can make basic blue go a long way.

~Blue Reigns Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Definitely Hot Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Once upon a time, you weren't supposed to use hot pink and orange together, but the 1960s changed all that. Today's teens love the intensity of these saturated tropical color combinations. Adding vibrant colors to your teen's space has become a timeless decorating idea.

­hot teen bedroom decorating idea
Large areas of brilliant sunset orange are balanced by lots of cooling white
and naturally finished wood floors. Manufacturer: Stanley Furniture Co.

As exciting as they are, hot colors can be wonderfully livable. Just balance areas of dazzling color with areas of white, another neutral, or a pale tint of one of your hot colors.

Funky flowers are a great motif for this color scheme, but just about any motif your teen enjoys can be worked into a one-of-a-kind design. Florals are just the start of what you can find in today's contemporary fabrics, wallcoverings, and accessories, so let your girl shop for her current favorites. Balance busy prints with areas of solid color to create visual breathing room.

For more visually pleasing decorating ideas that keep your teen's bedroom sleek and modern, turn the page. ~Space-Age Sleek Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

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~Sport Authorities Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Successful, active teens have more complicated studies and more elaborate hobbies than their younger siblings, but they're still kids who need room to move. Great decorating ideas incorporate these hobbies into your teen's room.

sport authories teen bedroom decorating idea, baskeball bedroom
© Laurence Taylor
This bedroom sports a scaled-down basketball court done up in favorite
team colors. The shelving echoes the Cubist-inspired bed ensemble.
Designer: Montanna & Associates. Architect: Tom Price

Sleek, well-designed storage furniture can house a multitude of things in an orderly way. Even if orderliness is too much to hope for, furnishings like these at least keep the clutter out of sight and off the floor.

If your teen appreciates the natural warmth of wood furniture and built-ins, follow through with fabrics that echo these tawny tones. If he prefers an industrial look, you can furnish his space with laminates in cool neutral shades and inject a bit of warmth with red or another hot accent color. Either way, strive for simplicity, minimal hardware, and maximum freedom of movement.

Give your teen freedom of expression with hot decorating ideas, found on the next page.

~Definitely Hot Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Checkmark Shelves

What You'll Need (for each checkmark)

Image of Checkmark Shelves for Sport Authorities Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea.

  • 2 lengths 1x10-inch pine shelving, 10 and 20 inches long
  • Hammer and 4 to 6 brads
  • Wood glue
  • Damp rag
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Paint and paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Screws and 3/4-inch-wide keyhole plates, 3 each
  • 3 drywall anchors
  • Screwdriver

1. Using hammer, tap brads about 11/2 inches apart along 1 side edge of 10-inch length of shelving so brads are secure but not through wood. Apply line of glue along same edge on opposite side of brads.

Image of glue applied to Checkmark Shelves under construction.

2. Place 20-inch length of shelving perpendicular to other piece so edges are aligned. Hammer pieces together; wipe away excess glue. Let dry, then sand smooth and wipe clean. Apply 2 coats of paint; let dry between coats.

3. Position shelving on wall as desired, marking screw holes with pencil. Attach keyhole plates to edge of checkmark at top, bottom, and top of bottom portion of checkmark. Using screwdriver and drywall anchors, secure screws into wall, leaving unscrewed about 1/4 inch. Hang shelf onto screws.

Image of completed Checkmark Shelf ready for positioning.

­4. Repeat steps for more checkmark shelves.

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Soft Impressions Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

If you prefer to invest in traditionally styled furniture but your teen longs for a more modern look, one easy way to compromise is with fabrics and colors.

soft impressions teen bedroom decorating idea, floral and plaid prints
© Stacey Brandford
Contemporary floral and plaid prints in soft lime, lilac, and white
create a romantic scheme your teenage daughter won't outgrow.
Designer: Susan Comfort, INTERIORS by Decorating Den

This room's scheme of pale lime and lilac creates an airy, youthful feeling that's enhanced by the contemporary floral patterns. Adding to the lighthearted ambience, trompe l'oeil lattice and vines are hand-painted on the wall.

You could create a similar effect with just about any other fresh, light color scheme, such as aqua and peach. To create a modern feeling with traditional furniture, keep the­ backgrounds simple -- no busy wallpapers or elaborate draperies. Contemporary prints, such as these abstract watercolor florals (large scale for the bed, smaller scale for the window valance), enhance the fun-loving look.

On the next page, you'll get more fun decorating ideas that bring favorite hobbies into your teen's space. ~Sport Authorities Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Naturally Smart Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

If you and your child appreciate modern style, you may be open to today's inventive combination units that put sleep, storage, study, and play areas all together. Cleverly designed and w­onderfully functional, these spacesaving systems have warm appeal when they're made of naturally finished wood.

storage bunk bed teen bedroom decorating idea
This room combines function with modern style; the bunk bed not only works
as a sleeping area but also as a storage space and a sturdy desk.
Retailer: Gautier USA, Inc.

When it comes to decorating a room around a unit like this, soft contemporary style is a natural. Bright colors and stylized motifs lend a cheerful note that appeals to any age, from tot to teen.

To complete the room, desks, bookcases, and other furniture pieces are widely available in naturally finished wood. Look for those with polyurethane-lacquered worktops that extend the life of the wood without obscuring its attractive grain. Can you have a casual room and substantial furniture? Naturally!

If you and your teen are butting heads when it comes to modern versus traditional, find solutions on the next page. ~Soft Impressions Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Easy Chic Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Decorating ideas for your teen's bedroom don't have to be expensive. If you think you have to invest in a wealth of brand-new matching furniture to set up a cool teen's room, take a second look. Pink and white never looked so hip!

­chic inexpensive teen bedroom decorating idea
© Michael Dunne
A black garden bench has an airy look that keeps it in sync with the light look
of this room. Find reasonably priced furniture at resale shops.
Designer: Laura Bohn Design Associates. Architect: Shope Reno Wharton

A collection of unmatched pieces with graceful lines finds a home in this rather spacious room, but, even without the square footage, a space like this is anything but square. Are these pieces French antiques or just inspired finds? Who needs to know? The classic girl's room recipe of powder pink and white is enlivened by touches of dramatic black plus a rainbow of interesting jewel tones.

Look for furniture like this everywhere from casual outdoor furniture stores to resale shops, and keep function in mind. Without trying too hard, the result is an enviable offhand charm that can go the distance.

You'll find more smart ways to decorate your teen's bedroom on the next page.~Naturally Smart Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Ribbon Bulletin Board

What You'll Need

Image of Ribbon Bulletin Board for Easy Chic Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea.

  • 2 pieces of cork, each 16 inches square
  • 16-inch square foam core
  • Craft glue
  • 20-inch square quilt batting, 1/2 inch thick
  • 20-inch square cotton fabric
  • Hot-temperature glue gun and glue sticks
  • 6 yards satin or grosgrain ribbon, 1/2 inch wide
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • 15 to 18 matching buttons
  • Matching thread and needle

1. Use craft glue to attach cork piece to foam, and let dry. Glue second cork piece on top of first; let dry.

2. Place batting over board so 2 inches hangs over on each side. Hot glue batting edges to back of board, making sure it is straight and lies smooth. Put fabric over batting, and secure in same manner as batting.

3. Starting in bottom left corner, stretch piece of ribbon diagonally over board. Let last 2 inches of each ribbon wrap around back of board. Glue ends in place. Continue attaching ribbon, moving up board diagonally and spacing each ribbon 4 inches apart. When completed diagonally in 1 direction, attach ribbon in opposite diagonal direction to create a checkerboard effect.

Image of glue gun attaching ribbons to bulletin board.

4. Position button over intersection of 2 ribbons, and stitch in place. Repeat at all ribbon intersections.

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

~Playful Color Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

High-ceilinged room in the Playful Color Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea.
A deeper shade of turquoise adds depth
to this room, while contrasting orange
and lime green inject excitement.
Manufacturer: Stanley Furniture Co.

Color scheme is an important decorating idea for your teen's bedroom. The right colors can do a lot for your outlook, and your teen is at least as sensitive to emotional currents as you are. You can't protect her from every bump, but, when she gets home, you can wrap her in a comforting, uplifting environment that starts with colors she loves.

Once you've nailed the color scheme, furniture and accessories can be much easier to pull together. If you're shopping, a new bedroom group in warm woo­d looks great against cool-colored walls, while warm-tinted walls take the chill out of cool laminates.

Choose a contrasting color or two for accents; when the mood strikes, she can change them and get a whole new look with the basic background hue. That's a guaranteed mood-lifter.

Get more mood-lifters on the next page, where you'll learn how to decorate a chic room with inexpensive ideas.
~Easy Chic Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

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~Color Me Confident Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Image of colorful room in Color Me Confident teen bedroom decorating idea.
Dramatic fuchsia, magenta, and
shocking pink fill this room with color.
Retailer: Bombay Kids

Fearless, passionate color is a decorating idea that electrifies these teen rooms with individuality and youthful flair. The eye appeal of this space illustrates an established decorating rule: You can use a variety of strong colors in one room if they're of a similar intensity that creates balance.

Color is the most compelling, emotionally charged element in any decorating scheme, and, for many youngsters, identifying a favorite color is important to developing a sense of self. This cheerful room shows how far you can go to indulge a favorite­ hue or two -- and still have a room you won't need to close the door on.

So go ahead and indulge your child in his or her best-loved shades. Simple treatments and a few well-placed neutrals can tame the mix in style.

On the next page, you'll learn how you and your teen can play around with the colors you've chosen. ~Playful Color Teen Bedroom Decorating Idea

Source : HowStuffWork

To get more decorating ideas for your children's rooms, check out:

Safety Tips for a Teenager's Room

If you didn't redecorate your youngster's room during the preteen stage, you will probably want to do so now. Ideally, you and your teen can work together to create a look you're both happy with and one that can last awhile. For starters, new wall paint and a new bed ensemble can be had on most budgets. If the room needs adult-size furniture, good quality hand-me-downs can enjoy a new lease on life with custom refinishing. A computer armoire or a desk/hutch may be the only "new" pieces really needed; if so, ready-to-finish furniture stores offer pieces you can finish to coordinate with existing furniture pieces.

safety tips for teenager's room, contemporary natural wood
Natural wood in a comtemporary style offers both cool and warm qualities.
Retailer: Gautier USA, Inc

If your teen is the responsible type, new carpeting or area rugs also may be worthwhile now. For practicality's sake, you'll still want to skip the pastel velvety carpets in favor of a more robust variety in a tweedy midtone hue. Oriental-style rugs, with their jewel-tone patterns, give an opulent grown-up look and hide spills, too. For another adult touch, replace floor cushions and beanbag chairs with a small easy chair for a guest. The more the room looks like a hip studio apartment, the better most teens will like it. Not coincidentally, this approach will let the room do double duty throughout the college years, too.

Aside from a dramatic-looking bed, the best investment you can make for your teen, if the budget allows, is a professional closet-organizing system. A walk-in closet is a dream come true for most girls and many boys, but even if the closet is small, a professional system can make the very most of the space. If a closet consultant is outside the budget, check out the do-it-yourself racking and stacking systems available through home storage and organization specialty retailers.

Large framed cork bulletin boa­rds corral posters and other teen treasures; if you provided bulletin boards for your preteen, you may want to change the cover fabric and add an extra board or two. Teens have many of the same hobbies as preteens, but by now, they've also got serious levels of homework and lots of post-high school planning to do. Make it easy for them to build their futures from a safe place, right at home.

More than anything, a bedroom needs to be safe and secure. Keep these tips in mind when you're planning a room for your child, and you'll have both a comfortable kid and your own peace of mind.

Source : HowStuffWork

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Safety Tips for a Preteen's Room

Children ages nine to 12 are at a crossroads between childhood and the teenage years. Bedroom decor becomes a major means of self-expression at the same time it becomes a significant way to gain peer approval. While toys are still important, hobbies, collections, electronic equipment, music, and clothes are much more so. Storage for all these items can be a challenge, but they can provide a basis for decorating, too.

Image of a preteen room decorated in colors and posters.
A girl who loves vibrant colors and
patterns may use calendar pages,
posters and photos to express her
personal vision. Manufacturer: 3M

Preteens and teens tend t­o want a real hand in decorating their rooms, so encourage them to express their individuality with displays of equipment, trophies, and decorative motifs that symbolize their accomplishments and interests. Just be sure to leave room for the usual celebrity posters and memorabilia, too.

One of the best gifts for a child this age is a large (22x26-inch or more) cork bulletin board, stylishly framed and covered in a kid-friendly fabric. Depending on your child's tastes, fabric depicting everything from rainbows to race cars can be used to cover a corkboard. For a more ageless, chic look, consider a leopard or zebra skin print, jewel-tone stripes, or another funky pattern that works with the room's color scheme.

At this age, bunk beds and other childish structures will probably fall out of favor. A bunk bed set that can be converted into two twin beds or a daybed that has a studio apartment look will probably meet their needs better. Girls may want a dressing table, student desks may be outgrown, and the open-bin storage units from earlier days may no longer handle the job.

If you've already purchased furniture with an eye to the future, a classic twin bed or a daybed with a trundle will do just fine. If not, now may be the time to buy a full-size (double) bed or a more grown-up-looking twin bed. Dressers and chests of drawers gain new importance as do hutches or bookcases with open shelving to display trophies and other treasures.

A full-size desk and an adjustable-height desk chair are essential now, as many preteens start preferring to do homework in their rooms. At this age, unsupervised Internet use can pose a danger, but a computer is likely to be a schoolwork necessity. You may want to designate your child's bedroom desk as the spot for paperwork and simple project typing and leave the Internet-connected computer in the family room. Wherever they work, kids of all ages need good task lighting positioned so that there is ample illumination on pages but no glare on the computer screen.

Preteens don't play on the floor much any more, but they still love to lounge there. If you've got the "no messy snacks in the bedroom" rule down pat, you may want to indulge your youngster in a new carpet now. New rug or not, a few big colorful floor pillows will be an instant hit with the after-school and sleepover crowd.

Most kids at this age are much more interested in clothes than ever before, but, unfortunately, they are seldom more interested in taking care of them. Plenty of drawers and cubbyholes or shelves can make it worth their while to be neater: With everything visible, it's easier and faster to put together outfits on those rushed school mornings. Hooks or pegs will still work better than hangers, but you can start making the switch now by offering some of each.

If you're waiting until your preteen is a little older to redecorate, you'll find safe decorating tips for teen bedrooms on the next page.

Source : HowStuffWork

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Safety Tips for a Grade-Schooler's Room

In the early grade-school years, roughly ages six to eight, children have more opinions on decorating ideas and can begin to articulate what they like in a way that you can use. The line between reality and fantasy is still blurred at this age, so you'll need to interpret and help them compromise. If your child wants a tree house to sleep in, a bunk bed customized with a trompe l'oeil rendering of leafy trees gives this childhood dream practical expression. The latest movie or cartoon hero plays big at this age, and all you may need is an easily strippable wallpaper border and a coordinating toss pillow to make the grade.

By age six, most kids are able to safely use bunk beds and loft beds, but be sure upper berths have safety rails on both sides and that the mattress sits well below the top of the rail. If space is tight, loft beds with storage and a desk configuration below make a clever solution kids will love. Because they're double-decker, you can usually fit two such structures into even a small shared bedroom.

safety tips for grade-schooler's room, loft bed with toy storage
Instead of second berth below, the lower space of a loft bed can be used
as storage drawers, bins, and shelves. Retailer: Gautier USA, Inc.

Sleepovers start becoming important for young grade-schoolers, so consider how you'll accommodate these visitors. A trundle bed is ideal, but an inflatable air mattress or even a sleeping bag on an area rug will often do the trick. (Be sure to have a night-light in the bedroom and bath plus a lighted path to the bathroom for the comfort and safety of young guests.)

By age eight, most kids have outgrown their child-size table and chairs, so if you haven't put a desk and work chair in the room, it's probably time. Even if your child does most homework at the kitchen table or in the family room, he or she needs a dedicated study spot to stash paperwork and start responsible work habits.

Plan for a student desk and chair -- or a full-size desk and a chair that has a seat that can be raised -- plus a two-drawer file cabinet or equivalent storage. If your child will be using the computer anywhere in the house, make sure it's on a desktop that allows for comfortable, strain-free use. Kids have enough challenges sticking to a task without having to cope with premature aches and pains. In addition, good task lighting is essential to prevent eyestrain, so be sure to put a lamp at your child's desk and another at bedside.

Toys of all kinds proliferate more than ever at this age, and, now that the choking danger is past, you can expect to find tiny Lego blocks, Barbie shoes, and other miniature items migrating all over the house. More storage with more cubbyholes, drawers, and compartments really come in handy now, and you can be fairly inventive in your storage solutions. If you want kids to help with picking up, opt for good-looking open storage containers. For clothes as well as toys, systems that require neat stacking and folding may not work as well as those that allow items to be tossed into storage units. You might decide to choose your battles and be satisfied as long as they stash all similar items together -- off the floor.

To further clear out the clutter in a grade-schooler's room, kids this age might be willing to part with some of the toys, clothes, and collections from their younger years, but don't be surprised if they are a bit ambivalent. Giving to children in need may inspire some altruistic youngsters, while other kids will get excited if you hold a garage sale and let them keep the money made from their old toys and clothing. If all else fails, you can transfer your children's outgrown items to the attic or the basement for the time being. Remember: The important thing is to make more room for everyday living -- kid style.

When that transition from everyday kid to everyday preteen takes place, your child's room will likely need a change, as well. Get decorating ideas for a safe preteen space on the next page.

Source : HowStuffWork

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Safety Tips for a Preschooler's Room

Somewhere around age two, children start perceiving colors and details more and their ability to move around and explore is up and running full tilt. At this point, you can indulge yourself and your little one in decorations that feature storybook or cartoon characters, but don't invest a lot unless your budget is ample, as tastes change often at this age. Keep safety in mind, and avoid decorative items with small parts -- anything reachable will be subjected to a taste test!

If your child hasn't left the crib yet, now's probably the time. Youth beds are available in a variety of amusing forms, from sports cars to rocket ships, but their appeal may be limited and their quality is often questionable. If you don't like faddish toddler beds but are worried about putting your child into a full-height twin bed, a practical alternative is to simply put a good-quality twin box spring and mattress on the floor. For the year or two you'll be using it, this interim solution may be easiest. A colorful, washable comforter and bed linens make the look complete.

Image of chest with arms akimbo to illustrate safety tips for decorating a preschooler's room.
Storage space is essential to keep toys
and clothes off the floor, and a fun
furnishing like this chest will make
putting things away child's play.
Manufacturer: Straight Line Designs Inc.

Toy storage is paramount at this age. Kids accumulate lots of playthings but are easily overwhelmed by even simple cleanup efforts. Make things easier on yourself and on them with lots of low, open storage bins, baskets, and shelves. Choose pieces with smooth surfaces and rounded corners for safety's sake. Under-the-bed storage drawers on wheels are another practical option to help keep less-used items available but not underfoot. A classic toy chest with a flat top can provide ample storage plus an extra play surface. (Just make sure to reinforce hinges and remove lock.) A low chest of drawers is usually sufficient for storing young children's clothes, but you may also want to provide a few low, rounded pegs to make quick work of hanging jackets, overalls, and robes. Hangers are a hassle for youngsters, so plan to hang dressy outfits yourself or provide extra pegs so kids can help.

At this age, children want to play wherever you are, so have some good-looking, easily accessible baskets for collecting toys that tend to end up all over the house. If you have the space, dedicate some low shelves for toys in the family room. If space is too limited, a couple of large handsome baskets stationed in the family room can make short work of cleanup.

In the family room or in their own rooms, children this age will happily play on the floor, so make sure it's still as clean and comfortable as when they were crawling and falling. Wall-to-wall carpeting offers great comfort but can take a beating with craft projects. Consider layering a washable rug or two, or use nonslip rugs on top of easy-to-clean resilient or wood flooring. (Don't use carpeting remnants over carpets or rugs; the rough burlap backing will damage the underlying carpet.) Avoid very dark or very light solid color rugs and carpets that show every spill and stain; opt for midtone hues with some gray, brown, or taupe undertones. For example, choose olive green instead of lime green, royal blue instead of baby blue, teal instead of turquoise blue, burgundy instead of bright red, and mauve or antique rose instead of pink. A strongly patterned rug in midrange jewel tones, including just about any Oriental rug, will hide stains even better and add timeless style.

A child-size table and chairs come into their own for this age-group. Charming affordable sets abound at ready-to- finish furniture shops, and pieces you customize now may be treasured for generations. A small table can become a lamp table later; small chairs work as timeless accessories to hold potted plants on the porch or a colorful stack of towels in the bath. If space or budgets are tight, a round-cornered end table and a footstool or ottoman can stand in as pint-size furniture, as long as the seat and table height are right. Let your child try it out: Make sure there's enough table surface to spread out projects and that the child's feet fully touch the floor.

To complete the room, station a small additional table at bedside to hold a lamp and storybook. A floor lamp is an alternative if space is tight, but be sure it has a heavyweight base to keep it from tipping over during boisterous play, and don't use halogen lights where children can reach them (they are dangerously hot).

Children ages two to five are mentally developed enough to have scary thoughts and feelings, but most still don't have the ability to distinguish real from fantasy information. Even if you are vigilant about protecting them from violent or menacing images on television shows and movies, little ones often find nighttime very frightening. To ensure adequate sleep, close closet doors, put on a small night-light, and provide a security blanket or another "lovie" to cuddle with. These usually count more than all the adorable accessories in the world.

Another scary step in your child's li­fe is starting school. The next page offers decorating ideas for a safe grade-schooler's room.

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Safety Tips for a Toddler's Room

Babies who are old enough to crawl, let alone toddle, are at their most challenging in terms of safety. At this stage they can perceive colors better than infants, but they still lack the ability to understand, say, a storybook scene on a wall.

Image of changing table with shelves to illustrate safety tips for decorating a toddler's room.
Lower shelves can stash toys where
toddlers can easily reach them without
climbing. Stylist: Amy Leonard.
Manufacturer: The Glidden Company

Keep decorating ideas simple for awhile yet, and concentrate on making sure every square inch is clean and safe. For example, no hanging tablecloths, no exposed electrical outlets, no breakable or heavy items on tables and shelves, and no sharp corners on any furniture.

Tots making the transition from crawling to toddling will use any available vertical item to pull themselves up, so choose furniture pieces that are sturdy and stable.

For the inevitable tumbles, make sure floors are clean and resilient or softly covered with carpeting or rugs. If you don't have wall-to-wall carpeting, use slip-proof pads under every rug. Vinyl resilient tiles and wood flooring are more forgiving than ceramic tile or stone, but nonslip rugs can make a real difference on any floor.

Depending on how active or how tall your child is, you may want to make the transition to a low youth bed now. If there's even a chance your child can climb out of the crib, it's time to move on.

The next page provide­s safe decorating tips for when your child moves on to the preschool years.

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Safety Tips for a Baby's Nursery

Babies' needs are crucial but simple: a safe nest to sleep in, a safe place to have diapers changed, and a comfortable spot for you to sit while feeding, cuddling, and rocking him or her. In fact, a comfy rocking or gliding chair is as important as a bed and changing table. Scientific research has shown that babies actually need a lot of cuddling in order to thrive, physically as well as mentally. If you are a new parent, you'll probably be tired and stressed, so make it as easy as possible to spend cheek-to-cheek time with your baby. You'll both be healthier!

Image of rocker and Mother Goose mural illustrating safety tips for decorating a baby nursery.
A rocking chair makes it easier to spend more time with
your baby, with is better for both the baby and you.

Babies sleep most of the time, so a comfortable bed is a must. A bassinet or cradle may be charming, but it's only safe for a few months before babies start moving and rolling. If you do use a bassinet, be sure it's on a sturdy base that won't move. If you're using a cradle, make sure the cradle won't rock more than a few inches either way so that baby and all don't fall. A more practical solution may be a well-made crib; you can swaddle a young infant to give him or her the comforting sense of being in a smaller enclosure. (Don't fill the bed with stuffed animals and pillows, though. Except at playtime, confine the soft stuff to securely tied bumper pads and relatively thin blankets that won't pose a smothering hazard. Babies can often get themselves into situations they can't get out of!)

A changing table will get a lot of use, so be sure to get a good one. You can make a changing table out of a waist-high chest of drawers, but be sure you add a top with a low guardrail as well as a waterproof pad. A chest may be more versatile later, but it generally is not as safe and, therefore, not recommended. In addition, diapers and clothes will be easier to reach if you opt for a changing table with open shelves below. Choose a unit with a safety strap to go across baby's middle, or make sure you can get at things you need with one hand while keeping the other on your little wiggly worm at all times.

To aid with midnight feedings and diaper changing, use an overhead light on a dimmer that you can switch on from the door for your safety's sake. Choose a room-darkening shade to facilitate daytime naps.

When it's time to decorate walls, remember that, until they're between six and nine months old, babies can't see subtle colors and details. Black-and-white and other strongly contrasting colors work better as do simple patterns. A proven favorite is two dots and a curve within a circle that suggests human eyes and smiling mouth.

If you don't care for vivid color schemes, choose a pastel you'd like to use longer term and pair it with a dark or bright accent hue you can change when your child gets a bit older. Another option is simply to stick with more restful pastel hues throughout the room and provide visual stimulation with age-appropriate toys.

Although newborn babies' sight may be lacking, their hearing and sense of touch are almost fully developed at birth. Indulge them with safe toys in a variety of textures and soft melodic sounds. Crib toys and mobiles that move or play music will appeal to most babies as well as add attractive color and pattern to the room. Just make sure that any hanging toys your baby can reach are safe and that they do not have small detachable parts.

At toddler age, your child's reach will have increased a great deal. The next page explains decorating ideas that keep your toddler safe.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lure of the Sea Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea

For a youngster who can't get enough of the water and rustic environs in general, this seafaring space is a permanent island getaway.

Lure of the Sea Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
Jay Rosenblat
A boat makes a charming bed for a young sailor. Designer: Diane Boyer, ASID,
Diane Boyer Interiors, A Division of Bill Behrle Associates. Window treatment:
L&G Decorator Workroom. Trompe l’oeil painting: Holsten Interior Artisans.

Lure of the Sea Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
Jay Rosenblat
A weathered Adirondack chair makes
a classic perch for gazing out to sea.
The hand-painted floorcloth puts sea
and sand at a young mariner’s feet.

A small room with awkward eaves may seem an ambitious canvas for a seascape, but a masterpiece of trompe l'oeil painting turns the whole room into a natural setting that blurs the boundaries of ceiling, walls and floor.

Craggy rocks, beach, sea grass, fir trees, rustic little boats and a sea that meets a cloudy sky all weave a spell.

In decorating as in advertising, power comes from having one big idea on which to work variations. With a big idea like the sea, it would be easy to take a side trip from this rustic fishing village to a treasure island or a tropical getaway, depending on your child's personal preference.

There are many big ideas for kids' bedrooms out there. With help from this article, you can find the one that's right for you.

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Garden Flair Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea

The mother of this Garden Flair Kids' Bedroom's occupant is a Montessori teacher who believes everything around the child will affect the development of her daughter's personality.

­Garden Flair Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
Steve Martin
A laser-cut border of cascading leaves suggests an airy pergola, enhanced by
a wrought-iron daybed. Designer: Gloria Rinaldi, INTERIORS by Decorating Den
.

Garden Flair Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
Steve Martin
A charming mix of fabrics gives this
window seat a feeling of luxury and fun.

Inspired by her own childhood garden memories, the mother requested a garden-theme room that could grow along with her young daughter. The decorator obliged with a complementary color scheme and a mix of pretty but not childish fabrics.

Walls the color of Granny Smith apples make a background both soothing and lively; accents in rosy red add punch.

While the wealth of dressmaker details on pillows and other fabrics are delightful, this room is practical, too. The window seat contains a number of roomy storage drawers, the trundle daybed will host sleepovers through the teen years, and there's plenty of floor space for play.

Personality abounds in the decorating idea on the next page, a seafaring theme.

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Crayon Box Colors Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea

When your vision for a room is bigger than your budget, reach for a can of paint. It delivers the fastest, biggest change for the smallest investment, and your choices are unlimited.

­Crayon Box Colors Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
Spaceships decorate these bed linens, but you can find the same rich blue on
a host of patterns. Stylist: Amy Leonard. Manufacturer: The Glidden Company.

Crayon Box Colors Kids' Bedroom Decorating Idea
A slatted table and chairs create
a parklike feeling that’s enhanced
by the cheerful Kelly green hue.

Changing the wall color will have a great impact just by itself, but why stop there? Unite an array of unmatched furniture pieces by using paint colors that harmonize with the walls, and you'll have a pulled-together look without breaking the bank.

In this room, pale blue walls visually expand the space; rich blue and green furniture blends in and preserves the room's visual flow.

Against this cool blue and green background, hot red and yellow accents really pop. What kid wouldn't love it?

Being cool is fun, but it's important to think about substance, too. The next page shows how a decorating idea can stimulate your child's development.


Ribbon-Hung Chalkboard

What You'll Need

  • Bulletin board
  • Black chalkboard paint
  • 2 small paintbrushes
  • 6-inch-long piece of trim, same width as frame
  • Hammer and 3/4-inch-long brads or finishing nails
  • Waterbase latex paint
  • 2 lengths 15-inch grosgrain ribbon, 1 inch wide
Ribbon-hung chalkboard
1. Paint back side of bulletin board (except frame) with an even coat of black chalkboard paint. Let dry; repeat twice.

2. To make chalk holder, center piece of trim on front of chalkboard over frame. Tack in place with small brads or finishing nails.

3. Paint 2 coats latex paint on chalk holder and frame, letting dry between coats.

4. To attach ribbon, thread end of 1 ribbon length through hanger on back of board, and tie into knot to secure. Repeat for second piece of ribbon. Bring free ends of ribbon together and tie into a knot. Hang on wall as desired.

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