From a toddler into a tween: A space of their own.

With so many articles and so much advice on how to decorate your little ones nursery, it seems older children's rooms are a forgotten wasteland.  Babies are only babies for such a short time and then all of a sudden you have a loud rambunctious mess maker who needs a cool and (semi) private place to hang out. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

How do you transition a room from little kid A.K.A "Babyish"  into something your 10 or 12 year old will think is cool well into their high school years. 

We have some great tips for you to score major points with your tween... I mean they may even let you hang out in there a little.

Here is how we did it. When my 10 year old and soon-to-be-8-year old joined up to share a room this is what happened. With the help of friend and interior decorator Megan Tagliaferri (Megan came up with the amazing paint pattern on that main wall!) the boys put together a list of things they loved. 

This list included: 

1. Favorite Colors

2. Favorite Music

3. Favorite Hobbies 

Believe it or not, everything in the boys room was pulled from either what was in their rooms before or from other places in the family home or what needed to be purchased was bought at vintage stores. 

The music posters were already ours, the Pendleton blankets were from the old beds in their toddler bedrooms, The colorful Caleb Siemon vase was a wedding present from our dear friend,  the furniture was repurposed. 

It was really just the paint and accessory styling that made the huge change from little kids room into the cool hang out they have now. 

You don't have to spend a lot of money, just don't be afraid to pilfer other areas of your home for big kid friendly grown up art & accessories. 

For example, you may have to give up your favorite framed band posters and your Dylan McKay doll. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Celebrate who your kiddo is and what they love, give them a place to express it. It's amazing how many passions you and your kids can share as they get older. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

For example the Dumont boys love reading and music, so we highlighted both their books and instruments as a major part of the room. 

You also have to know what to keep and that can be tricky... As  decor editing always is. 

Changing the lighting wasn't in the budget for this room refresh, so we kept the lights from the nursery . This little bird pendant used to hang right over the crib, but now acts like a cool night light the boys love. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Giving the boys a space of their own worked out so well for us, they now will actually sit in their room and listen to music (we loaded up an old iPod and let them have at it and it is so fun to hear what they pick to play... Lots of The Cure and Black Sabbath happening in there) 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Our family is big on art and all of our boys have somehow inherited the art gene, so we try to fill their room with art that we all love. Staying away from kid-centric prints and instead using the work of some of our favorite artists like Mark Rebennack & Neckface. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

We want to make sure that we give a nod to the fact that they are still kids, we haven't lost them to the dark side of teenage angst yet, so we remind them to have fun and keep it light while nurturing their artistic side by having a little special effects makeup station in their bathroom. 

They get pretty into this and trust me when I say... Ewwwww. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Let your kids space grow with them, don't be afraid to change things up and our biggest piece of advice for everyone out shopping for a new baby... Think ahead on the big purchases (Dressers, beds, desks, lighting fixtures etc.) ... keep them simple and clean lined enough that they can be styled for any age. 

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

Photo: Ashley Beliveau for Things We Heart

XOXO- TWH