Guide to Decorating Kids' Rooms

How to Choose Kids' Bedding

Bedding is one way you can create a big, trendy statement in a child's room without breaking the bank. Even a twin bed takes up a good amount of the space in a typical bedroom, so you don't have to do much more than replace bed linens to give the room a whole new look.

Novelty "bed in a bag" ensembles include a comforter, bed skirt, and pillow shams as well as sheets and pillowcases. Some designs are also offered in matching or coordinating throw pillows, window curtains, and table rounds (the tablecloths used to drape small, round tables used as nightstands). Usually economical, these ensembles come decorated with popular cartoon and movie characters almost before a movie hits the video stores. If your child is wild for a particular character or show, you'll be an instant hero if you come home with one of these.

If you prefer something a bit more subtle, tame the latest cartoon- or movie-theme novelty sheets and pillowcases with a comforter, shams, bed skirt, and window treatments in solid colors that coordinate with the sheet's colors. When the bed is opened at night, the favorite scheme is a fun surprise. The catch here is to make sure your child likes the colors used in the novelty print as well as the characters depicted.

If you'd rather stick to bedding with more staying power, choose a whimsical print designed to delight youngsters beyond the next holiday movie release. Tropical fish, lizards, cats, stripes, flowers, gingham checks, and scores of other colorful choices abound, many with solid color comforters and other coordinates.

Whatever you and your child choose, don't let a novelty print overwhelm the whole room. Merchandising photos aside, it's distinctly possible to have too much of even a good thing. Focus the eye-catching print on one or two areas, and use solid colors or simple patterns on the rest of the room. Keep in mind that kids' belongings will always increase the visual clutter quotient -- a lot -- so keep backgrounds on the calmer side.

Finding enough storage room for toys, books, and more in a child's room is always a challenge. See the next section for tips.

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