7 budget-friendly kids’ room design ideas

Thomas adds to her advice by suggesting that parents buy basic pieces of wood furniture from stores such as Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, and Pottery Barn Kids, which can be easily updated with a simple paint job. “Customizing the colors based on your child’s current age and tastes allows you to make the pieces more unique and personal,” he says. “This works really well to transform toy chests, desks, and beds.”

Make art personal

Skip expensive artwork. Thomas recommends buying a selection of picture frames (hit up One Kings Lane, Wayfair, and IKEA) to create a gallery wall. It’s easy to swap out the images in the frames as your child grows, from vintage children’s book illustrations to family photos. Babcock likes the idea of ​​framing a few personal items, like outgrown baby shoes, clothes, or special toys. Or better yet, choose favorite pieces of your child’s own artwork to frame and hang.

Make your own gallery wall, like Phillip Thomas did in this nursery. Photo: Aydin Arjomand

Get creative with the walls

Why stick to basic painted walls when you can have fun playing with different design features instead? Thomas loves dry erase boards, which give your kids the freedom to redecorate every day depending on their mood, drawing polka dots, stripes, or simple landscapes. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is also a great option since it’s not permanent, and you can easily install it yourself. Babcock says that it allows you to completely change the feel of a room without an enormous mess or investment in both money and time.

Also, consider buying a simple stencil at a craft store or on Etsy. “You can transform a closet into a secret reading nook with a can of paint and a stencil, and if your child outgrows it, it’s easy to paint over again,” says Babcock.

Change sheets and accessories

Mixing and matching top and bottom sheets and pillowcases gives infinite options for color, pattern, and texture. Buy a few sets of inexpensive sheets from retailers such as Serena & Lily, Pottery Barn Kids, and One Kings Lane. Changing the bedding, throw pillows, and other small accessories as your child grows up is a wallet-friendly alternative to buying new furniture. “If your little girl wants a unicorn-themed room, let her have unicorn sheets and accents, which can be easily switched out for scalloped edge bedding and sports trophies when she gets older,” says Babcock.

Experiment with lighting

Take a selection of inexpensive lighting fixtures and group them together to transform them into a larger and more unique piece. “Combining small lamps, mobiles, and toys into mini chandeliers… These pieces become a work of art in themselves,” says Thomas. “You can change the presentation to create new pieces for your kids as they get older.” For example, Thomas recently took four individual sailboat models that were nightlights and had each of them rewired to be mounted on a simple four-arm chandelier frame. The result added impact and personality to the room, he says.


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