Decorate your kids room on a budget

Setting up a bedroom for your baby? Or does the latest growth spurt call for a makeover? Here’s how to create a fun, functional space that can evolve with your child – without the expense.

As tempting as it is to recreate the gorgeous setups you see in magazines, remember your children’s rooms are all about them – a place they can enjoy easily without worrying about ruining the décor, rather than a display space for your carefully curated items. If your child is old enough to be involved, ask them what colours they want in their room and include them when you’re choosing fabrics for cushions, or when plotting where to store toys – they’ll enjoy the space more if they can see they’ve made their mark.

Don’t paint – stick. Wall stickers are an inexpensive way to add personality to a room – bright colours and fun designs of animals, clouds and trees are perfect for a child’s room. Best of all, they’re temporary and can be peeled off when the room is ready for a new look.

Plan ahead. When you’re setting up your child’s room, invest in classic, multi-function furniture than can serve a new purpose when your baby grows out of it. Cots that can be converted into junior beds will carry your child through to school age – and through a room makeover or two.

Get arty. A blank white wall doesn’t need much more embellishment than DIY art, courtesy of your kid. Frame their early drawings or buy inexpensive canvases for them to paint or cover with colourful handprints.

Sew your own accessories. Even novice sewers can carry off a basic cushion cover or simple tab curtains. Borrow or invest in a sewing machine (basic models can now be picked up for under $200 and will save you much more in the long run), pick up cute fabrics from your local craft store and whip up accessories with a personal touch. Stitch bright buttons onto cushions or sew colourful fabric triangles to make bunting to string up across a wall. Small updates can transform a room entirely.

If your child has outgrown the furniture… It’s inevitable that you’ll need to upgrade some items – but be wary of interest-free deals that enable you to redecorate a whole room, right now. If you haven’t paid off the full amount within the designated time period, you can face 20% or more in interest rates. Be smart and funnel savings into a high interest account so you’ll have that money once the time is up – check out how much you need to deposit each week to pay it all off when the interest free period ends with a savings goal calculator.

See things in black and white. Chalkboard paint is a fantastic way to create play surfaces and give tired furniture a second life – use it to turn an old table into a drawing desk, or you can even use it to turn a chest of drawers into a fun storage space, with each drawer labelled to help your little one learn where things go.