With spring in the air and life racing along in its sing-song pace, flowers are popping up in gorgeous colors bringing bursts of smile from everyone’s face.
And in the home, sprucing up and redecorating has begun its seasonal run and many parents are thinking about updating their child’s nursery to toddler status. This is a big step for both the child and the parent. A child’s space is definitely part of the developmental process, so crafting an environment that speaks of love and creativity as well as providing a safe and comforting environment can make a parent wonder where to start.
Jenette Di Fazio works her talent best in this area. She is a designer who connects immediately with her client and instinctively understands what needs to be done. The space of any room is the palette an interior designer works from and Jenette herself says, “…to me it’s the meeting place with my client and an opportunity to transform an environment into a reflection of one’s own personality.”
She gives some tips below to help those transitioning their child’s room into the next stage of growth that contains marvelous moments of exploration and fun, waterfalls of creativity and learning, and lots and lots of love.
Q: What is a good place to start with updating an infant’s room to toddler?
A: Focus on structure. Ask yourself, how does my child function in the room? This gives you a better idea where to start assessing your needs. Is the child very active while in the room, stomping around, climbing, jumping and enjoying herself in the room? Then creating a large open space in the room is on the agenda. Put in a cool free form basket for sports minded children to dunk balls or a hopscotch designed into a rug to make the room interactive. Do they sit in a cozy corner in the room and read? Then get a little table with a bench and put a bookcase nearby for a place to sit and read. A child who loves to build or construct using artistic abilities would enjoy a whole wall of peel and stick to use as a creative canvas.
Q: Should a theme be considered?
A: Absolutely. Once you see how the child interacts in the room then you can go for a theme. Hone in on their interests such as outerspace, sports, animals or butterflys, etc. There are so many fun themes these days. New and fun wallpapers that have the image of their family or the places they have visited can surround a child with warmth and memories. If animals are a theme, consider African and Indian prints with their bright colors and animal designs to give an exotic feel. Travel themes such as Paris with the Eiffel Tower can be depicted in artwork or lamp shades.
Q: How about keeping to a style along with a theme.
A: Then you need to look at finding your own style to blend with the theme. Do you like straight lines or curves? If you like straight lines, you probably tend toward a more contemporary modern look, with less colors and more monochromatic tones that creates a simple clean space. You might want to consider that type of style if the amount of space is limited. Now, more curves invite more colors and a playful atmosphere that flows and reaches everywhere. Pick out selective furniture and patterns with curves and patterns that repeat throughout the room. I like to suggest staying with three colors and one type of shape for more of a whimsical look. Curves at eye level will make the room busy and fun. Check out Disney – everything is curves.
Q: What about the crib? Where do I go from here?
A: All children grow at different rates and if your child seems ready to explore more of the world around his room, it might be time to go from crib to a toddler bed. If the room your toddler sleeps has enough space, consider a full bed instead of a twin. The bed will probably be used into the teens, so it might be worth the investment. You might already be prepared if you invested in a convertible crib that goes from crib to toddler to full size. Then it’s a matter of getting the bigger mattress, swinging it around and putting up guard rails for the toddler then removing them when you feel comfortable with the transition.
Q: You mentioned function, but what about storage space?
A: Your child has only just begun to collect a surplus of fun stuff so you’ll want ample space to store those things. You can replace the changing table with a quality wardrobe or you might consider upgrading the closet to include storage space, even if you only install some organizers to start a categorized closet from the beginning. Bring in bookcases and storage bins. There are a lot of fun designs out there made of canvas, wood, or plastic that can play up the room with bright bold colors while keeping it organized.
Q: What’s trending in bright colors?
A: Actually I see two types of style going on these days. A more conservative, low key Old world look with stained dark furniture and wood elements of mid-century mixed with urban rustic. The urban look with its metal colors and clean lines can be depicted in wall art or textiles, and in random items such as old style airplane models and things with a vintage feel. Then there are bright and bold colors such as sherbet bubble gum pink and pear yellow green splashing around kid’s rooms with fun and vibrant wall art, and colorful knitted dolls from places like Peru or Nepal. Another popular color is Adriatic blue. What I like to do amongst the color mix, is add a neutral grey to harmonize the colors and create an even flow in the room. Another way to add color is bring in throw rugs. Try a shaggy raggy that can simply be thrown in the washing machine to clean.
Q: What other fun things can be done to the room?
A: Artwork can be personalized or just monograms or even an enlarged digital image of the toddler. You can add block letters with their name spelled across the wall. Think about lighting. Grab some LED lighting and be creative with it. At night when the lights are off, use the LEDs to form constellations so when you turn the lights off, the LEDs spill across the ceiling like a starry night outside. And oversized stuffed animals are the latest and greatest. Don’t forget about curtains. It’s a good way to expand a view you might not have or maximize one you do. To expand, use light colored window treatments to create more space and avoid a cramped feel to the room.
Jenette Di Fazio