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A new bedroom for a one year old – some big questions

The time has come for us to make our daughter her first proper bedroom. She’ll be moving rooms into our larger spare room, which used to belong to a little boy, who’s skill at darts, carving and staining carpets was clearly first class.

I’m excited at the prospect of creating a new room for Tibbs, but I’m also feeling curiously nervous and hugely responsible. This grimy, begging for a new look room is becoming a metaphor for motherhood itself. How much do I foist my own tastes, likes and interests on a little girl by decorating the space? How do I really know what she’s thinking and what she would like in her room, possibly for the next ten years?

For all I know, she might be the titchy equivalent of that Grand Designs guy and just can’t actually tell us. What if, in her tiny head, she’s got a look book that contains any of this kind of madness?

I love animals and anything to do with the outdoors, and she seems very keen on horses, dogs and other creatures. But if I make them a permanent feature in her room, am I guilty of trying to twist her taste my way? And pink…well, I like pink, especially pale pink and white stripes. But what if she’s more of a yellow fan? I like yellow too, and orange is my favourite. But who, aside from a Dutch football super fan, wants an orange room?

I’m not looking for a silver bullet here (let’s face it, they don’t  belong in anyone’s bedroom) but how did you approach decorating your baby’s first bedroom? If you have any thoughts on the below dilemmas I’d be grateful:

  • Did you use wall stickers so that you can make changes if you need to?
  • Is a rug a bad idea, should I just accept dirt based defeat early on and get a hard wearing carpet?
  • Should all the shelves be at her height, or my height?
  • Is blackboard paint so she can create her own walls a silly idea?
  • What should I leave space for? Play tent? Height chart? Armchair?
  • I quite fancy a Bristol theme in there somewhere, is this too prescriptive again?

Lastly, I’m not mega worried about this, but how long after painting a room would you leave it before letting your baby sleep in it?

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  1. Wall stickers and canvases are great for non permanent features. We live in rented housing, so personalise the girls room with them. But ours are 2&4 so could point or tell us what they wanted. We have Disney Princess in one, and butterfly’s in the other.
    We found an armchair essential for bedtime story cuddles 🙂
    Good luck.

    • I like the idea that by 2 she might be able to help us choose to decorate, and when she can, she can have anything she wants!Thanks for coming by.

  2. We had great fun decorating my son’s nursery before he was born, though at 16 months old he has yet to sleep in it! We went for a woodland theme which I created with wall stickers and he loves pointing out all the animals and birds when we play in there. We used ecos paint which it might be worth you checking out – it’s free of the nasty chemicals you find in lots of other paints but still goes on really well. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! #sharewithme

  3. woah, those rooms are crazy!

    i can’t remember my rooms at all as a really young kid, so i think in that respect you could just do whatever you want as long as it’s safe/etc.

    but when i was say..5 & up i remember my room was pretty basic. lilac walls, a cute little border and all of my toys. didn’t need anything else to be honest, but i guess it depends on your child and lifestyle 🙂

  4. I’m really into the wall decals that you can replace when you like to…I would like to be more imaginative with my children’s rooms but as we’re always thinking of moving it’s hard to be at the moment. But I think splashes of colour and things that can be changed and updated are always good!

  5. wall decals are great – easy to change the room as they grow without having to totally redo it. Rugs in my house are a must, as long as they can be thrown in the washing machine!!

  6. Those rooms are amazingly awful, I think I’d get a headache being in the first one haha! I love florals and pinks but have tried to hold back a bit incase my lg is not a girly girl like me… although I rather hope she is! xx #sharewithme

  7. I always buy the minimal voc paint which doesn’t have many chemicals in, or in fact I think you buy special children’s paint which is chemical free x

  8. Oh dear those are very over top. I like to decorate the kids rooms with solids and patterns and little things on the walls and floors then you can do accents with themes so that it’s not over powering and that you can change it as she ages but not have to redo the whole room. Good luck I bet whatever you do it will be awesome! Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  9. Hahaaaa definitely go for the pink frilly room. She will love that forever. I wrote about paints recently for work, and had previously no idea that they leaked chemicals into the room for a while after. We will be painting a room for my daughter in the coming months, and I’m planning to use VOC-free paint to avoid the chemicals, and also be kinder to the environment. I found a brand called… ecos… or something, and they have some beautiful colours in their range. xx

    • You’re the second visitor to recommend VOC-free paint, I’m going to give it a go, thanks!

  10. Oh how exciting – for you and her. It’s always hard to think of a design but as long as there is enough space to place and be creative she will love it.

    Laura x

  11. I think wall decalls are a great idea, we are at the stage now where Wilf is asking for a ‘blue room’..which kinda goes against my aesthetics ha! x

  12. We bought a duvet set from Next with cats on it as Little 2 loved cats then picked the colours out of the duvet to paint the room, lilac and pink, it also has light green and purple in it too so we could change the room colours easily without needing new bedding and curtains. We bought a co-ordinating room sticker and bunting too, it looks lovely and girly and will still suit when she is a little older, she is 2 now. #sharewithme

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