A post in which I share my opinion. (Hopefully, graciously).
You know there's this big trend right now toward sophisticated kids' rooms. Nurseries with chevron and designer prints, little girl rooms with glam mirrors, gilt cribs, etc. It's all in answer to the years of overly themed kiddie rooms. Kids' rooms these days don't have themes, and the overall aesthetic of the rest of the home is flowing over into the kid spaces more and more.
I've spent a decent amount of time looking at kids' rooms over the last year. Room tours on Apartment Therapy. Pins on Pinterest. I've read books. Lots of grown-up nurseries and stylish, "designed" bedrooms for children.
And I've thought about this whole idea of ditching a kiddie look in favor of more stylish spaces for children. Kind of a lot.
I gotta say it.
I'm not a fan.
I understand why someone might choose that direction for their home, though... I do. And, really, many of the kids' rooms out there right now are knock out gorgeous. They're so well done! I see the appeal. But here's the deal. Honestly, the only way I could have an of-the-moment-ultra-designed kids' bedroom like those in my own home, is if I ignored what my kids wanted. Basically demanded it. Disregarded anyone else's preferences. Made it happen... my way. Like perfectly arranged bookshelves that I obsess over on a daily basis. Like a recently vacuumed room I won't let the kids walk on. I know that's not true for everyone. Some children want the glam, grown-up room. I don't want to insinuate that every trendy, chevron-bedecked kid's room has some uptight, type A, overly particular momma behind it. That's not the case. But, it would be true for me, and - because of that - those kinds of rooms give me a negative impression. They feel uptight to me.
When it comes down to it, our choices for our homes are just so personal... what communicates one thing to one person easily communicates something completely different to someone else. A single room can stir up totally different emotional reactions in different people. Like colors. Some look at yellow and think it's happy and cheery, while others look at the same yellow and think it's loud and tacky. When I look at a bedroom... designed for children... I want it to look like it's obviously for children. Not for adults. Regardless of how well it's done, how beautiful it is, if a child's bedroom doesn't have a sense of imagination, of play, of childhood about it... it just doesn't grab me.
I like order. I like symmetry. I like traditional, classic foundations. But, more than I want those things, I want my children to really love their rooms! And to look back on those rooms fondly as an especially sweet part of their childhood. In decorating their rooms, I want to show them that their preferences, their personalities, their individualities matter. That what they think is beautiful has worth.
Now, it's not all pie in the sky. I know that. Reality comes in and I do have to guide them. We have to make choices that will last for a while. At my children's ages, neon orange walls probably do not have staying power. Maybe I help them work the neon in some other way. We need to try to avoid scenarios where someone totally dislikes their choices a year later. And, since all of our children share rooms with one another, I need to mediate between what often prove to be two very different visions for a single bedroom. I also need to be a good steward of our time, money, and other resources while I'm attempting to steward the children's plans and ideas. It has not been easy to try to hit this balance so far. But, I feel like I'm learning so much from the process.
I have a few images I've been referencing. But, "real" kids' rooms are hard to come by on the internets. Everyone stages rooms into oblivion for photos. There have been, happily, some exceptions. I want to share a few that I feel really get to the heart of what I mean. If children didn't have direct say in the look and feel of these rooms, it seems to me that at least the adults making the choices were very sensitive to what would naturally appeal to children.
Cozy. Homey. Childhood.
This summer, I'm really hoping to make great gains in all three of our kid bedrooms. I'm guessing some of my choices would not have made sense to you without this post. Especially given the little sidebar list of things that define our style. I'm not going to lie, my style is sneaking in there. I think it's inevitable that it will. But, my children have different senses of style, and those are - I really hope - going to come through, too. They don't necessarily mesh with the whole sidebar dealy. One thing has already become very apparent... my children don't care much for neutrals :)
Found this last one after I originally posted this. Pinned with the caption "a real room". Made me smile, because it's so true. But, it would make me crazy if that were my child! ha ha. I have to draw the line somewhere! I haven't followed the link, yet. How much would you bet that's in Sweden or Denmark?
Anyway. Do you all have any links to great, "real life" kid's rooms? Not too so-so, now. Not too picture perfect. I would *love* to have some more resources!
And what do you think of the photos in this post? Too wild looking? Too chaotic? Would you let your kids choose Pepto Bismol pink? What are your thoughts on the highly-designed vs. real life kids' rooms?