decorating a child's room {my philosophy}

When it comes to decorating, I believe in:

  • simplicity
  • organization
  • functionality
  • aestheticism
  • space for imagination and creativity

Even in kids rooms.

Especially in kids rooms.

I can't stand cheap-o plastic toys and relics - and I have a dream of discarding all of those things someday. Little by little, I'm trading them in for high-quality, handmade furniture and playthings.

The perfect kids room? One that includes a bed (preferably on or near the ground), a bookcase (or two, filled with books - old and new), a wooden trunk (filled with dress-up clothes), a desk or table and chairs (with craft supplies, art smocks, colored pencils, and sketch books nearby), a cozy rug on a wooden floor, plenty of natural light, and a full length mirror.

Notably absent? A TV. An overflowing toybox. Plastic doodads. Talking toys. Hand-held video games. Brand names. Pop culture posters. Extravagance.

I like rooms that can be lived in, rooms where dreams can take flight and hopes can be harbored.

In a child's room - simplicity should reign supreme.

That is my decorating philosophy. What is yours?


Because I thought some of you might be interested, I'm hosting a giveaway for a wall set from Poochie Prints, a site that specializes in fun and affordable stationary and nursery art.

Perhaps one of these sets fits your decorating style:

poochie prints beach wall set

poochie prints under the sea wall set

poochie prints critters wall set

There are other colors and designs to choose from as well...and you can even have custom prints designed if you wish. Single wall prints cost $25; a set of three is $75.

poochie prints logoWIN IT! One winner will receive a wall set {of choice} from To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Tuesday, October 27th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #45 Rebecca. Congratulations!

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104 comments on “decorating a child's room {my philosophy}”

  1. I saw someone write about gathering too many toys at christmas. My friend told her son that Jesus only got three gifts so that's all he needed too. My husband and I decided to try that with our one-year-old twins.

  2. If you are looking for something inexpensive way to decorate your child's room, check out They offer some funky and girly vinyl wall decals. These wall decals are great because they wont ruin your walls, when it's time to redecorate, just removed and redecorate with someting else. I'm thinking about ordering either the flower power wall decal package and the daisy dot vinyl wall tatoo package for my 8 year old much fun!

  3. Both my grandkids (ages 5 & 2) have the bed, dresser and a small desk in their rooms. Of course both rooms open up onto the playroom which is filled with so many toys and books.

    Right now their mom and I are getting together to buy things to decorate both rooms.

  4. I totally agree... although we don't exactly follow all the things that we wished we did. The plastic light-up talking toys are still around at my house and in bedrooms, but at least I can rest knowing that my girls play more with the ones that require more imagination than batteries.

  5. I think simplicity is great but there's so much great stuff out there you really have to pic and choose wisely.

  6. I think less is the way to go. My kids rooms have just enough of what they need and no more. And we are all happy with it. Also thanks for the great site.

  7. I love the pink prints. We're trying to decorate my daughter's room and it's so hard to find kids stuff that isn't ridiculously expensive or ridiculously tacky.

  8. My daughter is three and at Christmas and birthday times I just want to say, "Next year, just give her cash! Or,instead, just throw your money in the trash because that's what happens when you buy cheap toys!" I know that's rude but I can't stand junkie kid's toys, furniture, or clothes simply because they don't last. I like use-able gifts, like books, zoo memberships, movie passes, etc. instead of stuff that sits and clutters. Simple IS better.

  9. Yikes! PoochiePrints is not coming up right in firefox!

    In other news, my philosophy on decorating has been really simple -- use what you have. Our house came with a nursery with moose appliques, so we've used that theme throughout the room. She seems to like it, other than the fact that she suspects the moose of poking her in the eye at night.

    [email protected]

  10. I don't really have a philosophy yet, pretty much whatever is cute :) I'm not due until Thanksgiving weekend, but we've got most of the nursery done already. I'd love to have some of these wall stickers to cutie up the place a little more! Thanks!

  11. When it comes to decorating my childs room less is more. I love a clean tidy room with lots of space. I have a few focal points and love to focus on those. Lots of storage area is a must!!

  12. Just found out I am gonna be a grandmother for the first time. I am gonna start decorating a nursery and have been looking for ideas online. There are so many cute rooms to choose from. Only if I knew the sex of the child first...hum. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  13. We've just about finished decorating our daughter's nursery, all we need is something great to go on the walls! :D

  14. I think the Under the Sea set in blue would look great in my SIL's nursery for the baby boy she's expecting around the holidays. Thanks!

  15. My grandkids think that Florida is as far as the moon and that's where all these sea creatures live. They are fascinate with anything in the water, so I'd like to give them the sea creature pictures.

  16. I would like to get some nice artwork to hang on my daughters wall. After getting her a nice bed and dresser we didn't have the funds for artwork. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. I'm with you! We're trying to slowly get rid of the cheapo stuff and replace it with quality handmade things. Our goal this year is a no plastic Christmas too!

  18. I've just started re-doing my little one's room (trying to make a real little kids room) and these would certainly help brighten up the bare walls!

  19. I agree with you 100% on keeping tacky plastic toys and branded decor out of children's rooms, but it can be hard with so many external influences (like school and other peer groups) and also when family members give well-meant gifts that don't match the parents' preferences.

  20. these are not really my style although they are sweet (don't enter me). i do agree with you whole heartedly though. i like the kids room to be all those things. our rooms are upstairs and we don't go up there much besides sleeping. so the imagination part usually happens in our play room. it's great to see the kinds of things they come up with.

  21. I couldn't agree more! Simplicity harbors creativity! If we only had an Ikea in our state - that would be a good start to at least the furniture! Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Decorate with things that are educational. Bookshelves, bookends, and classic children's books could take up a good portion of the room. Buy a nice globe to decorate a room and teach your kids geography. Take out the video games and replace them with with classic DVDs like Pride and Prejudice, Oliver Twist, Adventures of Huck Finn, etc. Just because kids today are marketed towards activities that kill brain cells doesn't mean you have to go along with it.

  23. I have such a hard time trying to figure out age appropriate decor for my boys that will grow with them. I don't have the time or the money to redecorate every other year. These prints would be a good start for my youngest's room- right now its still a nursery, but I'll have to redecorate soon. Thanks for this giveaway.

  24. I just visited Poochie Prints's website. The "in the dog house" and "down on the farm" sets are totally adorable. They could fit in throughout the house for a whimsical accent. Thanks for the chance to win a set!

  25. My little grandson's room is already filling up with lots of quality goodies... items that are durable and I know that I can trust. One thing he lacks is art on his wall... I've been undecided as to what to add. I want something simple, cute, that makes good use of color and is fun too. I'd never seen these prints before, and they definitely fit that description to a T!

  26. I have to say, I love your philosophy-sounds like the makings of a perfect room. My thoughts are to surround my little one with the things he loves, animals (both on the wall and on shelves), books, and things that spark his imagination.

  27. My son's room will be done by the end of fall. We had to build on to make another bedroom and this would be perfect for his new room.

  28. My sister is in the process of redecorating her nursery. She redoes it with each child they have and this is number three. She is an interior designer and is always looking for trendy nursery accessories. These would look great on her walls. Thanks so much!

  29. we went with non kiddy themes. I know that firends of ours did winnie the pooh and ended up decorating within 2 years.

  30. I would love to simplify my kids toys and rooms but every birthday, Christmas, Easter, the list could go on, we keep accumulating junk. Last year Santa left his sack at our house asking my kids to help him out by donating any old toys that they no longer used so he could fix them up and give them to less fortunate kids. This was a great way for my kids to make space for new toys and give back a little. We will definately being doing it this year too!

  31. These would be perfect for decorating my infant room, well my future infant room. lol. My toddlers room is complete, but i know i am looking to next year to decorate a another one. :)

  32. we did a cheap job on the babys room but ar emoving soon and need to really do a good one for she will have it a while
    this would be awesome

  33. My son's room is simple, granted he's only one lol! He's room has an antique toy decor with dark woods. It is a calm place for him to relax. We have fun signs and decorative mirrors that look like race car dashs that we've picked up along the way, some at mom and pop baby stores, even craft fairs. As he grows I can promise he will never have a tv in his room. My parents told me I could have one when I could afford to buy it. Personally I never saw the point in it as a kid. I do however have one now as an adult lol.

  34. I couldn't agree with you more! I loved decorating Evangeline's room! It was so much fun to collect different items for her nursery and not to just pick something generic from Babies R Us. I used real artwork for her walls, made her bedding from fabric I picked, and collected antique toys, books, and nicknacks from Etsy, boutiques and family. And I did all this for under $200! one of the favorite things I did for her nursery is to get vintage Sugar canisters to put toys, hair ribbons, pacifiers, etc in. She has three in her room and they are really cute!

  35. we decorate my daughters room for her love of horses but we made it very personal with heer ribbons and pics all over

  36. What an inspiring post. My little girl's nursery is filled with books, and short on plastic toys, which is how I like it! These prints are absolutely lovely. Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. We tend to keep things pretty simple around here, though my MIL keeps buying us way too many toys. They end up at Goodwill, more often than not, because the kids are happier with fewer, less noisy toys.

  38. Down on the Farm would be a great addition to my niece's room. She loves to come to our place and "drive" the tractors and look at the animals. Perfect. (how about a set incorporating different "large machines"...dump trucks and that sort of thing)

  39. These prints are so cute, so much that I know my 9 year daughter would want the pink ones in her room. We'd have to fight her for the baby!

  40. We've often had comments that our little one's room is not "decorated" because we don't have a "theme" or "set" however I think our eclectic approach works well. We don't worry about matching as much as we want things to be functional and kid friendly without being overwhelming. In fact our mantra is more is less!

  41. If it makes you smile when you look at it, hang it somewhere you'll see it often. If you can find a good tasteful place for it, make one.
    That is it, those are the decorating rooms in our tiny apartment.
    Who doesn't need a few extra smiles a day anyways.

  42. I 100% agree with your philosophy. I am trying very hard to avoid plastic talking toys. We have a few things but for the most part we are managing to avoid the clutter.

  43. I love your philosophy. But I'll warn you. Kids have minds of their own. ;-)

    We do NOT do TVs in our rooms. They do have plenty of books and dress up clothes. They also have hand-held video games, and we have a Wii and a Playstation in the family room (but not in their rooms).

    There are too many plastic toys for my tastes, but also plenty of wooden puzzles and wooden toys and kitchen play stuff. And American Girl dolls and Bitty Babies and their paraphernalia. :-) Oh, and baseball cards. LOTS of baseball cards. My son has Phillies posters all over his room, but the girls still have uncluttered walls. I like it that way, but I know it won't last.

    It's all about compromise, I guess.

  44. I am so big on organization in my kids rooms. My husband does not quite understand it, but if all the different kinds of toys each have a place to go then it's easier for the kids to find them!

  45. I don't believe bedrooms should be used for play at all. I want it to be a relaxing and sleeping place for my children. My kids room is sun filled during the day and dark at night (thanks to blackout shades) comforting shade of yellow with white trim and wood floors with a seafoam green rug, bed and cribs with simple yet classy linen that isn't busy. There is a mobile hanging and a dresser with a few books at a chair and that is it. My son stashes his treasures in a box under his bed otherwise all toys are stationed in the living/family room and homework is done on the dining room table with the family together. My choice of artwork is from spot on square, fun yet simple and stylish.

  46. We haven't yet really designated a room for Elizabeth, although theoretically our office is her room. I say theoretically because while her bed will fit just fine along with two office desks, four monitors, two UPSes, two phones, two office chairs and two computers, I'm not entirely sure this is really the right decor. Plus naptime will make it really hard to get work done.

    I'm a fan of simple decorating for any bedroom. As little as possible on the floor so that it can be vacuumed automatically (by our roomba Rosie). And as few toys as possible - I had a playroom growing up, but my baby sister didn't. I think Elizabeth will...

  47. It sounds like we are very similar in this area. I'm very picky about what comes in my house and how Levi's room is decorated (not to mention the rest of my house). I don't hesitate to make toys "disappear" (give them away) if they don't fit into certain criteria. Unfortunately, some plastic has sneaked its way in, and I can't get rid of it because Levi would be looking everywhere for it.
    I periodically go through the whole house and purge unnecessary and unwanted items. We live in a very small house, so I have to do this pretty frequently to keep things from getting overcrowded. I think its important that toys, supplies, and books be easy to access, fairly orderly (I'm not perfect at this one), and not too crowded. These things seem to foster more creativity.

  48. After my fourth baby I decided that perfect room is one with very little in it. I was tired of bumping into every little thing, having things fall off shelves, and having to maintain a "fruffy" room. So now it is a crib, dresser/change table combo to save space and a rocking chair. Of course we have book baskets/shelves and art on the walls but without all the extra "stuff" it has made my toes very happy. Both my youngest have the theme "sock monkey" all the fabric items made by a fabulous Etsy seller. K.

  49. I completely agree with you. I wish that I could afford nothing but high quality furniture for my kids rooms (and all rooms, for that matter). I definitely believe in simplicity. My daughter has a bed, dresser, princess vanity and that's it in her room. She also has her toys but no other furniture. She has books on her dresser (it's a hutch). I also have all furniture bolted to the wall. My son's room is similar in that he has a loft bed (cute one, from Ikea) and a small desk and chest of 5 drawers. One entire wall is just shelves. HIs books and some toys are on it. I'd love to win the set of pictures for my daughter's room. She'd love the cuddly bugs cute!!

  50. I agree too! I hate the cheap plastic stuff that my son has gotten, most of it has broken anyway, but not the wooden toys! And no TV, we (the parents) don't have a TV in our room either.
    We're expecting so these would be great for decorating a baby's room.

  51. I share your decorating philosophy. My girls (ages 6 & 8)have bedrooms overflowing with cheap-o plastic toys, pop culture everything and extravagance! I'm on mission to de-clutter, simplify and cultivate their imagination and their dreams. I'm new to your blog today, via Huckleberry Prairie. I'll be back often! Thanks for a great giveaway.


  52. I totally agree with you Stephanie!

    My daughter room has two cribs (one of them made into her toddler bad), two matching purple gingham chairs that flank a tall bookshelf of books, a pretty rug and a box of stuffed animals.

    Not TV, no video games, the only things on the wall are quilts that match their decor.

    I love the simplicity of their room, it stays relatively clean, with books strewn everywhere and a set of sandals always at hand.

    I love the craft table idea, perhaps when they are a tad older I might incorporate that :)

  53. How exciting. Since were in the process of moving into our new house and painting I think Olivia would love some of these adorable poochie prints i her room. The butterflies would make a great addition! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  54. I like simplicity in decorating and timeless pieces for my kids rooms and through the rest of the house too!

    Sugar loves farm stuff so I think the farm animals prints are perfect for her - of course she also loves puppy dogs and that set is adorable too :)

  55. My decorating style is the exact same as yours. The less the better if you ask me. I too don't like all the plastic, junk, etc. I always give it away when we get it as gifts too!

  56. I completely agree with your views on kids' rooms. We don't allow a TV in our daughter's room either. However, I do admit she has a bit too many stuffed animals in it, but they are all her "babies" so its hard to part with them. :)

    Please enter me in your contest -- I'd love to decorate my daughter's room with some of those prints. Thank you! :)

  57. I'm terrible at decorating. I'd love to win these-- especially if Baby #2 turns out to be a girl!

  58. Once the kid is old enough, I'm all for letting her choose what makes her comfortable. Within reason, it's her space and I allow her to choose what she likes. Of course if it's something I completely disagree with, not timeless enough, or we can't afford, it's not going to happen. Otherwise, sometimes our birthday present is a new room. :)

  59. I'm pretty terrible at decorating but with triplets that doesn't matter much. What we had to do in their room was go for safety.... 3 beds, a shelf (high up on the wall), a comfy rocker, and 2 very low to the ground bookshelves filled to overflowing with their favorite reads. We've even had to lock the closet doors with hook and eye latches way up at the top of the doors to keep them out of the dresser and all the shoes and clothes!

  60. I'm tired just thinking about decorating. I'm not very good at it. I always like the end result but I'm really bad at visualizing along the way. We've been in our new house for two months now and there's still nothing on our walls. I keep saying it's because I want to paint. But have I bought paint? Nope. Oh well. I'll get there someday I suppose.

  61. I agree with you. What I really want for their rooms right now are some sling bookshelves. We like to decorate the walls with our own creations, like tissue paper butterflies and pictures, we also love glow-in-the-dark stars :)...I want their rooms to be full of imagination, not junk.

  62. We have a toy room that holds most of the toys and
    "stuff!" That way, the children's rooms can be less crowded and more open. I love Poochie Prints.
    I think I have been on their site before.
    What a classic design look. The Cute Critters
    are a favorite of mine. Thanks, Cindi

  63. we haven't decorated our son's room since we moved into our new all he has is his regular bed and a dresser....he has his own tape player (that he can work on his own) so he can listen to music at night, and books (his headboard has 2 shelves) and his stuffed animals....all toys are in the toyroom...i LOVE how clean his room stays now!

  64. I am not the best decorater. We painted the girls room this year and got them some nice headboards and dressers. The walls are still bare.
    I need to get motivated. But, I do not have a tv in their room.

  65. Ugh...we have just finished decorating the downstairs of the house. I know we need to start on the kids' rooms...but I'm like you...I don't want ole cheapy stuff. So, we're saving up and doing a little at a time. At least they have beds, right? :-)

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