You still remember the look on their face…the delight at the Dora the Explorer bedspread and the lampshade that matched. Maybe it was the Ironman posters or the Peppa Pig frieze that surrounded the room. Whatever it was they loved it…at the time. But now they’re asking about redecorating.
Fast forward a few years and the appeal just isn’t there. In fact, they no longer want their friends to even see their bedroom in case they DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT. Sound familiar?
You knew your decorating scheme wasn’t a long term solution, but you don’t want to invest much in updating it in accordance with your child’s wishes. Finding that balance between their unrealistic expectations and what your budget will cope with will be an exercise in diplomacy and financial management that any politician will be proud to pull off.
Here’s some of our best tips to redecorating that should ensure all parties are happy – without breaking the bank!
Set A Redecorating Budget:
This is step number one and a REALLY good opportunity to talk about what you can afford for the room. Look online for some ideas of what your child likes and dislikes. Then look at what the room already has that can be kept, re-purposed or sold. Discuss what the mandatories are (i.e. teddy bear motif) and what are the nice to haves. Then spend the next weekend visiting a few second hand stores and garage sales. Lastly go shopping but keep a budget. Your child will learn not only to appreciate money, but how to prioritise WANTS from NEEDS.
This forgives a number of flaws and can quickly cover up remnants of the previous decorating binge. It’s one of the easiest ways to set the mood. Check out what colours are in at the moment, and consider a feature wall. There’s so many different paint treatments now that you’re not just stuck on glossy white – check out Dulux’s website for ideas. A quick internet search will help you identify trends but beware – trends tend to have a use by date.
If you plan to sell in the next year or two however don’t go to outlandish – what your teenager might love may not appeal to a prospective home buyer!
The DIY cost of a redecorating a room with a quick lick of paint can be less than $100.
Chances are that single bed will no longer be big enough, and nothing says discomfort like a bunk bed. It’s time to upgrade. Most kids look for a double just like their friends.
Fortunately furniture is becoming more affordable, thanks to an increasing range of importers and designer imitation brands (see Matt Blatt). Often you can pick up a brand new bedframe for as little as $200, or $400 if a separate slat and mattress set (which may be useful for creating additional storage under the bed or simply creating a black hole for their odd socks to disappear into!).
You can also try Gumtree OR if you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can fashion your own. If your child is old enough it might be a fun project for you to do together, particularly if it becomes part of the narrative when they show off their new room to their friends. There’s some good ideas here.
Your child’s storage requirements are likely to have changed too. Less folded clothes for more hanging. Fewer toy boxes for more premium items that can go on display. Again the internet and Pinterest are your best friends for coming up with ideas for redecorating. Skateboards that become shelving, milk crates that become containers, dual purpose pieces that act as furniture and storage. Why not pick up a throwaway and give it a funky paint job? It can become a room feature as well as a place to put things.
Most interior decorators will advise you to pick a fairly neutral colour palette for big ticket items, and go crazy with accessories that give the space character but won’t cost too much to replace/update. We’ve heard IKEA is great for fun sheet/doona sets, and there’s numerous online sites for cushions, throws, funky artwork and display pieces.
Take your child on a shopping trip – potentially as a birthday or Christmas present – and keep an open mind. If they’re involved they will be excited about the end result. It’s a good idea to have looked at some photos before you go shopping so you have some sort of mental mood board. A mood board will also help you shop online for second-hand buys which entail very little outlay and 90% of the fun. Pictures, bed coverings, lamps are where the room will be defined.
Redecorating a room doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise. If you can grab plenty of second hand bits and reuse some of what you already have then it may cost nothing at all. Look around for sources of inspiration and involve your child in the decision making. If it proves too difficult – and you have a big enough house – you can always have them shift rooms and just close the door!
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The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal situation or circumstances. You should consider whether the information contained in this article is suitable to your needs and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviseror other finance professional.