Kids Rooms Are For Kids…Right?

A friend of mine shared this article with me yesterday written by Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil.  It is titled “Warped Childhood, Restoration Hardware Style”, and features photos from the Restoration Hardware baby & Kids catalog with some rather funny captions.  Here’s an excerpt:

restoration hardware baby & child

restoration hardware baby & child

“Realizing that playthings would certainly spoil the aesthetic of their daughter’s bedroom, little Emmaline Clothilde Sinclair-Murray’s parents wisely limited her to an iPad and one rag doll. “

Really, you should read the article simply for the children’s names the author chooses.  They are hilarious, and in my opinion, the best element of the whole piece.  But what really struck me is the heart of what the author is saying, and what I have actually been thinking about lately as I put together my daughters room.

My girls are three and nearly two so they don’t have much of an opinion on what their room looks like.  But I was up one night planning a gallery wall for them, and was struck by something when I stopped and really looked at it.   It was not for them, it was for me.  I immediately threw my draft away, and started to ponder the balance of sophistication I wanted and the childlike whimsy of bright colors and sparkle.  (truth be told, I feel embarrassed that I lost touch with my own advice)  For example, I love the photo below, but it is rather adult-like, yes?

lonny

Perhaps a blend of the photo below and the one above would be more of what I am hoping for?

lonny

lonny

Are we so out of touch with childhood (and so into our adulthood) that we forget to include “the kid” in our kids rooms?  

Sometimes, our kids are able to express what is meaningful to them loud enough that it covers the noise of what we think should be meaningful to them.  Case in point, I put up this strip of wallpaper in my boys room, imagining us painting the frames and placing sweet photos inside.  Pretty much from day one, it has looked like this.

AStoriedStyle.com

And I love it.  They tape up work they are proud of, and pictures they like.  They’re never gonna remember my wallpaper strip, but I hope they remember their work, and their effort, and their pride in it, and their creativity, and that I loved them so much that I could take myself out of designer world and let them tape their pictures up to their heart’s content.  It’s not a magazine, it’s authentic.

Kids rooms are for kids, and I’m sure there is a happy medium here just like there is for everything else.

How do you handle what your kids desire for their rooms  vs. what you think will be pretty/look good?

P.S.  I touched on an element of this subject here.

Written by Grace

10 Responses to “Kids Rooms Are For Kids…Right?”

  1. Emily October 16, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Great topic Grace. I agree, it should be all about the kids. Especially when they are old enough to start having interests, favorite colors, etc. I loved my room as a little girl, and it was all about me! That is why my boys rooms are covered in music, video games, and sports posters etc. It’s all them, and they love it that way!

    • Grace October 17, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      Emily, I have made such an emphasis on the kids being creative, that I want them to feel that freedom with their rooms, with some restraint of course. 🙂 Kudos to you!

  2. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door October 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Amen Grace! I totally agree. When I worked on my girls’ bedroom last year it was a good exercise to me to figure in things that I wouldn’t have necessarily picked but they love. Most of the work on their gallery wall is made by them and they love telling everyone who comes over that it is ‘their artwork’. I know you will do a great job! 🙂

    • Grace October 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      Elizabeth, this is so sweet! I can totally see my kids saying that, too. 🙂 Nice job, Mama!

  3. Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus October 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Wow, Seriously love that you wrote about this! I agree that we can get caught up in what we want their room to look like and not take in to account that they are tiny humans. Love it. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Grace October 17, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Ashley, I needed the reminder as much as anyone else. 🙂

  4. Erin October 17, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Completely agree, and very well put. My kids’ room is a hodgepodge of hand-me-downs and pieces I bought to try and pull it all together, because it gives me joy to have a room that looks at least somewhat intentional. But it’s ultimately their room and their joy and comfort that matters, and my ego about design aesthetic, etc., should really be kept out of it. Pretty good metaphor for parenting! 🙂

    • Grace October 17, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Erin, I know, right? So much of parenting in a mentally healthy way is realizing it’s not about you! I love that you connected those things!

  5. Monica October 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I receive RH’s catalogs and I’m always dumbfounded by the decor in them, especially the nurseries. So stark! I remember questioning my taste because I didn’t like any of them.

    I remember being in that dilemma when I was putting together my girls’ first room (not nursery). They were 3 and 4 at the time and in love with Disney princesses. They still are, actually, 3 years later.

    I looked longingly at the PBK catalogs and I really wanted to dive in with one of their duvet sets that had a print of Parisian doggies and little girls in pink and chocolate tones. Soooo lovely.

    Upon consulting with my neighbor, she totally voted for the PBK kids. She said: I don’t like character stuff. I replied: Me neither. And that’s when I realized I shouldn’t, because the room is not for me or the things I like, but it’s theirs and the things they like.

    Soooo of we went to Target and the girls picked out their sheets, comforter, pillows, and even a blankie. We put together a princess room complete with sheer bed canopies.

    They recently started ballet classes. The sheets need to be replaced and I got them ballet sheets, I even suggested we remodel the accessories to ballet. I didn’t get green light. They still love their princesses. I guess I chose right back then. 😉

    • Grace December 19, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      Monica, you are a good mama! I will remember your words! Thanks so much for sharing, G

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