Does the thought of decorating with kids make your head spin? It shouldn’t. With the right preparations and expectations, involving your kids in a decorating project can be a great experience. Decorating with kids can provide you with time to learn about what’s important to them and teach them skills they can use throughout their lives. Read on to learn how Jamie and her daughter worked together to repaint Emilia’s bedroom.
Jamie lives with her husband and three children in a 1,700 square foot, four bedroom in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. They built the home 15 years ago. They picked that lot for its residential location right next to an elementary school.
Where to Start Decorating With Kids
Until a few years ago, Emilia shared a bedroom with her twin brother. There was a bunk bed unit in the middle of the room and each child decorated their “side” to their liking. Emilia chose a vibrant, almost neon green for her walls. Eventually, the kids needed their own space, so the den was converted into a room for her brother and Emilia had her own domain. Last summer, she was thrilled to receive new bedroom accessories including a comforter, pillow shams and storage cubes for her birthday. On the cusp of her teenage years, Emilia was on a mission to make her space her own so she approached her mom about painting the room.
Jamie took Emilia to the paint store. They brought along one of the pillow shams and Emilia picked several color strips and brought them home to make the final choice. Ultimately, Emilia picked a gray that matched a stripe on the comforter for the walls. Her original intention had been to paint the whole room gray, but she was afraid that would be too much, so she selected a teal color for an accent wall.
Challenges of Decorating with Kids
The biggest challenge of the project was (and continues to be) sorting through Emilia’s toys and collected treasures. When it comes to deciding what to donate or toss and what to keep, Jamie says, “It’s a matter of finding balance.” Some items Emilia has clearly outgrown and don’t hold any sentimental value. And while she’s outgrown others, Jamie can see the value of holding onto certain items, like heirloom Barbies for future generations to enjoy.
The second challenge is patience. Emilia has a vision for the space that includes additions both large and small. She’s currently saving her money so she can purchase a new desk she has her eye on.
Tips for Decorating With Kids
Both Jamie and Emilia are happy with the finished product. Jamie has the following tips for working on decorating with kids.
- Kids are ready to work on a decorating project when they are mature enough to follow instructions.
- Involving kids from the beginning gives them experience in the overall scope of the project.
- Keep expectations realistic – especially if you are working in your child’s space. Kids will make mistakes; guide them as best you can and then stand back and give them the freedom to learn. Remember they have to live with the space. Sometimes you’ll have different definitions about “good enough.”
Jamie was unsure whether Emilia would see the project through to the end, but she stuck it out and they are both happy with the results. Emilia has space that fits her developing personality and she’s learned skills that will serve her throughout her life.
At the age of 31 with 3 kids under the age of 3, Jamie found herself on the back burner big time! She was exhausted physically and emotionally and believed she had to “do it all, all the time”. Jamie realized she didn’t have to live her life on the back burner and was able to make shifts in a way that led her to live in her “Sweet Spot”. She is passionate about teaching moms the techniques and skills she learned to get back into balance faster so they don’t have to spend several years feeling burnt out, exhausted and guilty like she did. Subscribe for free magazine for moms at www.FrontBurnerMama.com