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By Jenn Triplett

Creating an imaginative space

A child’s room is the one place where an over-the-top theme is perfectly acceptable and even desirable. You want the space to be filled with childlike wonder and as imaginative as they are. It is important, however, to create a cohesive space as children need well-defined boundaries in order to thrive. Begin by following the three basic decorating principles–theme, style and palette–to create a cohesive design with a sky’s-the-limit attitude.

The first step is to determine the theme of the space. In a child’s space this can be great fun. Let your imagination run wild during the brainstorming process. Draw from your inner dork, child’s passion, family’s hobbies or grandfather’s childhood memory. It matters less where you get the ideas and more that they are personal and meaningful to you and your little one.

Next you should determine the style of the room by defining exactly how you envision it being used. For example, if the room will be used for playtime, consider toy storage, play space, art area and so on. This room would be styled very differently from a space that is most often used for homework and quiet reading, in which bookshelves, comfy chairs and desks would likely become the priorities. By defining exactly how you expect the space to be used, you will be able to determine which elements are needed to achieve your purpose.

Finally, you will need to determine a color palette. According to an article on, it is important to find one primary color with a handful of secondary colors to keep the room feeling peaceful. There are two easy ways to achieve this. First, you can hit the paint aisle at your favorite hardware store, where you will find strips with primary and accent colors all lined up for you. Kids love this, by the way. Or you can go all techie and download the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap iPhone app. This app allows you to upload a photo from your phone, from which a color palette is created. If you believe Mother Nature is the perfect decorator, you may simply upload a photo of your favorite natural location. Or you could snap a photo of, for example, your great-grandfather’s widget collection. Either way, it will create a perfect color palette.

Now that you have determined exactly what you need in the room, it’s time to have some fun finding the perfect pieces to complete your masterpiece. Check out these three websites for ideas before you go shopping. Just enter the element and theme into the search bar of any of these websites–, or–for a plethora of ideas. Finally, don’t overlook unexpected places to find the perfect piece. I once found the perfect bicycle-themed pillows at my local bike shop. Other places to shop include tag sales, Craigslist, thrift stores, Homegoods,, and

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