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My space
Here's how to choose a style even your child will love



Decorating your child’s bedroom is often a game of chance — polka dots or stripes, purple or blue. Chances are, parent and child are bound to disagree. Interior design experts say the focus in the beginning stages of decorating a child’s room shouldn’t focus on color schemes at all, but rather on space and function.

Tara Wilke, owner of McNabb & Risley Fine Furniture and Interior Design in Thiensville, says the planning stage is crucial because you first need to assess what purpose you want the room to serve. "The first step to consider when designing a child’s room is to assess how the space is currently working for you and your child," Wilke explains. "If there are clothes and toys everywhere, then you may need more storage options. If their homework is all over the bed, it’s time to invest in a desk with storage hutch and file cabinet."

Wilke suggests taking a detailed "inventory" of items and decide what stays and what goes. She also suggests taking measurements of the room before shopping and making sure to gather paint chips, swatches and samples of carpets. Bringing your child along on the shopping trip can help give you a better idea of his or her likes and dislikes — and avoid a future battle.

"If all else fails, remember you can always keep the door closed," Wilke says.

Theme rooms are a popular trend right now for any age group — keep in mind it will most likely fit your child’s interests for only three or four years, as their tastes change. "Your children are young for such a short time that if a fairy theme enchants her, indulge in her wishes," Wilke says. "You don’t have to furnish the room top to bottom in décor that will be quickly dated. Start with a collection of fairies for her display or coordinating artwork and go from there."

Joline Steigerwald, president of Design Resource Center and European Comforts LLC — Bed & Bath in Elm Grove, says that classic designs are always in style and incorporating unique items makes a room stand out. "Right now some of the trends are stripes, plaids and polka dots in a variety of many colors and designs," Steigerwald says. "You can add special touches such as personalization, photos, new hardware, paint, wallpaper, pillows, window treatments and collectible items."

Steigerwald says theme rooms — from teddy bears to Barbie — are also a popular choice with her clients and please both parent and child. "Many of these themes incorporate both boys and girls and old-fashioned to modern ideas," she says.

Color my world

Sugar and spice girls:

Soft pink and apple green

Spa colors — aqua blue, soft greens

Citrus colors — hot pink, orange, lime green, yellow

About a boy:

Shades of blue

Colors from nature — dark gold, russet, sage green

Neutral colors — taupe, gray and black, with a punch of an accent color, such as orange

— McNabb & Risley