Here are 8 rules to help your family make the leap to a big-kid bedroom with flair.
1 Let her pick the palette
It's her room after all. Letting your kid select the wall colours is a great way to empower her design sense. Besides, even the nuttiest of preschooler (or punky pre-teen) picks can simply be painted over if you put your house on the market, or her tastes change.
- HOT TREND: Loft-tastic hues like lime green, tomato red, and vibrant aqua, or, at the opposite extreme, nature-inspired neutrals and chalky pastels.
2 Avoid the theme park look
Steer clear of branded TV show or movie characters. Sure, your kids like Disney movies, but must their room be decorated like Disneyland? Toys, books, DVDs, clothes even – but draw the line at decor unless you want them to confuse corporate advertising with decorating.
- HOT TREND: Reproduced illustrations from children's literature, or fun, boldly graphic wall-art decals prove kids rooms can be fun minus the branding.
3 Go natural
Create a safe nest for your little one by using eco-friendly materials where possible. It's better for the planet he'll inherit, as well as his health. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) latex paint, solid wood furniture (as opposed to chemical off-gassing fibreboard and plywood) and linen or cotton window treatments (instead of vinyl shades) are all wise choices.
- HOT TREND: Extend the natural home trend with organic cotton towels, bedding and natural cleaning products.
4 Stay healthy from the floor up
Promote a healthy room environment with hard-surface flooring. (Carpets trap allergens like dust, mould spores and pet dander, and off-gas when they're new.)
- HOT TREND: Eco-friendly reclaimed wood flooring is super-hot (look for antique planks from places like revivalflooring.com), and will always be classic. Other attractive, lung- and earth-friendly options include bamboo, cork and linoleum (made from linseed oil). Soften things up with a washable cotton rug.