Your toddler's first bedroom can serve as his play area, creative workspace and a cozy place to sleep at night. While it can be tempting to decorate his room with bright colors and fun accessories, resist the urge to decorate the entire room with his favorite cartoon character -- or you will find yourself decorating again within months. Instead, incorporate neutral backdrops and easy-to-change decorations.
Painting walls, doors and even the furniture in your toddler's bedroom is an easy and inexpensive way to decorate and change the environment. Choosing a neutral backdrop lets you change the decor without having to repaint the room. Go with a soothing wall color, such as lavender for girls and mint green for boys. This makes the room appear comfortable and relaxing -- easier to get your toddler to sleep at bedtime. Offset a one- or two-tone wall color with painted white furniture. Take advantage of the space used up by closet doors or behind a door with black chalkboard paint so your toddler can draw and scribble freely.
Instead of the typical cartoon character artwork that your toddler will likely grow out of quickly, make personalized artwork for his bedroom. Enlarge favorite photos of your toddler and the family and frame them. Or cut one large photo into sections and frame them in different sized frames to make a puzzle-picture work of art. Your toddler can proudly display his own masterpieces in a corner gallery in his room. Simply frame drawings and paintings in clear acrylic frames and update as often as you wish. Or use a piece of string and clothes pins to hang your child's artwork.
You don't want to spend too much on decorating your toddler's room because she will likely explore decor and also grow out of it quickly. Use decorative items you likely already have at home. Brighten up a dresser with colorful ribbons tied into bows on each handle or wrap a tutu around a stool to make a whimsical bedside table. Use your toddler's favorite things to decorate his room. Display favorite books on a bookshelf and make a cozy reading nook in a corner with pillows and a lamp. Store toys, art and craft materials, and clothes in decorated baskets. Make functional decorations, such as framing a tall poster of a giraffe to use as a growth chart for your toddler.
If you are using a theme to decorate your toddler's bedroom, go easy on the decor and don't overpower the room. Instead use a few pieces to set the theme in subtle ways so that other objects in the room don't clash with the decor. For a jungle or safari theme, place a mosquito net over your toddler's bed and use removable animal decals on the walls along with your toddler's own stuffed animals. For a vintage feel -- which may be more for you than your toddler -- outfit the room with a few pieces of retro furniture and display photos and models of antique cars.
Your rambunctious toddler will soon turn into a school-age child; it is practical to have a bedroom that can grow with him. Buy furniture that he can use as he gets taller, with shelves and hangers that you can easily raise higher. Consider safety first for your toddler's bedroom. Secure free-standing furniture to the walls to prevent toppling over and avoid placing heavy items on high shelves. Use child-proof latches on drawers and cupboards. A dimmer switch is useful for checking in on a sleeping toddler and a safe nightlight is ideal if he is afraid of the dark. Cover all electrical sockets and keep power cords out of reach.