When Kids Decorate

How do you feel about letting your kids’ make their own decorating choices? Do you let them pick paint colours for their room? Their bedding? Or are you – like me – afraid they’ll pick Moshi Monsters duvet covers and glossy orange walls?

It’s a tough one isn’t it because, for me at least, my home is really important and I want it to look great. But I also want to raise independent-thinking, creative children.

Mary Randolph Carter, whose amazing interiors book A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life is a must-read for anyone who cares about interiors but has kids and a busy life. In it she features the home of Pamela Bell, one of the founders of Kate Spade. Her home is the perfect blend of stylish, eclectic, cool, elegant and kid-friendly.

Rather than upholster her John Derian sofa and chairs, she let her kids colour all over the muslin. Some people hate it and think it’s a waste and a bit spoiled to let kids “destroy” an expensive piece of furniture. I think it’s fabulous regardless of the price. If you’ve got the money what does it matter? It’s all relative isn’t it?

But I was brought up by a mum who let us do anything to our rooms and always let me decorate the Christmas tree. (Pink ribbons on every branch? Sure, why not!) I once drew a large pair of big-lashed eyes on my bedroom wall (not sure why exactly). I dipped my palms in paint and covered my wardrobe doors in handprints (again…why?). I plastered my walls in hundreds of fashion magazine tears as a teen and experimented with all sorts of ideas over the years. If nothing else, it led to me being the creative and resourceful person I am today.

What do you think? How much input should kids have in their home’s design?

For some creative kids’ space ideas have a look at my kid space Pinterest board.

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  • Reply heather (love your space) 25 May 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I love that you mention the Christmas tree–because I am a decorator, people are always surprised that I let me kids decorate it themselves–and don't "fix it" when they are done! That said, when my 5 year old told me I chose the "wrong pink" for her room, I decided that was too bad. I'm doing their room now, while I can. when they are a bit older, I will let them do it themselves, just like my mom did when I turned 13. (though in retrospect she also painted my room bright orange at my behest when I was 4.) slightly separate issue, but I don't believe in buying gross "kid friendly" furniture. I want to have a nice-looking house and I want my kids to learn to respect their things.

  • Reply Emily Henson 29 May 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Thanks Heather. As long as you can have some input I say go for it!

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