Choosing a Kid's Room Theme

Whether you want to incorporate a theme in a small way or go completely over the top, we asked designers for their top tips to creating a themed kid's room.
Boys Bedroom with Blue and Red Airplane Mural

Blue Airplane Themed Boy's Bedroom

Design by Sue Firestone

Design by Sue Firestone

Pirate ships, princess towers and jungle scenes: Kids' rooms are the ideal space to embrace creativity. Whether you want an all-out themed room or to create a space that's imaginative but will still grow easily with your kid, we have suggestions from top designers of kids' spaces on selecting the perfect theme for your child's room.

Getting Started

Themed rooms range from subtle to outrageous, so the first decision to make is how far do you want to go with the theme? Designer Sherri Blum of Jack and Jill Interiors says to consider three things when deciding on a theme for your kid's room: budget, longevity and how easy it'll be to change out as the child gets older.

"When it comes to children's rooms, the child often has his or her own ideas for the space. Remember though that children's interests will change as frequently as their shoe size. Try to create an overall room that isn't theme specific and can grow with the child with respect to the furniture, murals, etc., and then bring in the theme of the day through smaller, less expensive accessories," says Blum.

Creative Themes for Boys' Rooms

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Find a Balance

For nurseries, Julie Frank and Alessia Corpino of My Tiny Nest encourage parents to bring their history and childhood into elements of the design, through favorite characters or quotes from childhood. When designing for older kids, talk to them first to see what they want in the space. It's important to create a space that expresses the individuality of the child, while balancing it with the style of the rest of the home.

Frank and Corpino make sure that a theme is present enough to excite the child without being overwhelming, especially since a theme runs the risk of a child outgrowing it quickly. "We advocate subtlety, balancing themed and neutral elements. For instance, if the wallpaper is themed, we suggest only covering one wall."

Princess-Inspired Girls' Rooms

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Think About Murals

Most themed kids' rooms bring gorgeous murals to mind, which can be very expensive and might be painted over in as little as two to four years. If you do opt for a mural, Blum suggests sticking with a scene that will grow with your child, such as a countryside mural with trees and grassy hills. The scene can evolve into various themes, like princess or garden for girls or farm animals, jungle, or knights and dragons for boys. "If the mural is a general backdrop, it can transition beautifully for several years. Incorporate the given themes with lamps, quilts and toys. You won’t feel badly about discarding these small items to change the theme every couple of years," says Blum.

Go All Out

If you and your child want a truly one-of-a-kind space, embrace it. It's one time to let your and your kid's imagination run wild. "A kid's room is one of the spaces where you can really let loose while designing and decorating. Just about every design element can be inspired by the imagination of the child, and allowing them to be part of the process can be an exciting experience.


Designer Troy Beasley of Beasley & Henley Interior Design creates a jungle-inspired kid's room complete with a real thatched roof, bamboo posts on the bed and a hidden cave made of faux stone.

Designer Troy Beasley of Beasley & Henley Interior Design creates a jungle-inspired kid's room complete with a real thatched roof, bamboo posts on the bed and a hidden cave made of faux stone.

"Crafting a fun, whimsical bedroom inspired by a theme from a favorite story or character brings the space together and creates an atmosphere of wonder, discovery and creativity," says designer Glenda Hobus of Hobus Homes.

When creating a themed kid's room, Hobus suggests keeping three things in mind.

1. Allow the child to be part of the process. This nurtures imagination and creativity and gives them an opportunity to exercise autonomy.

2. Be sure there are common features in the colors and patterns to be included throughout the space. Paying careful attention to the cohesiveness of each design element incorporated will ensure a successfully created, over-the-top themed kid's room.

3. Have fun with the project. After all, it is a kid's room.

Next Up

Gender-Neutral Design Tips

Don't want to decorate your child's room in the typical pink or blue? Discover designer tips for creating a space that works for both boys and girls.

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