6 Smart Ways To Let Your Child Personalize Their Space

Los Angeles-based interior designer and mother of two Dee Murphy of Murphy Deesign shares her expertise on decorating for kids. There's a trend that's brewing in the design world, and it's popular in the 4'-and-under set. You heard me: it's the "littles" calling the design shots, and I couldn't be more on board! I mean, it's their personal space, right? While it may not be smart to let your kiddo go "Jackson Pollock" all over his or her room, you can certainly allow them to make both some smart design choices on their own, as well as some choices based on your own guidance and direction. The result will be curated and kid-chic. Bottom line, have fun with it -- and trust that your child's eye may open your own! _1 Instead of shopping for more toys, take your child on a vintage shopping trip to buy something special for his or her room. Let them know that this piece will last forever, and hopefully they will pass the item down to their own children some day. If you can find out the history of the prop, even better! My son Parker picked out vintage Foo dogs for his room. He knows they stand watch over and "protect" him. I picked out a vintage shoe mold for my daughter Avery, 5 months old.
Mini-Navy-Canvas-Trunk-The-Little-Market-_18908-23-510x650 white_foo_dogs__42315.1381766760.450.450 XXX_8599_1320607977_1
Little Canvas Navy Trunk, $300, The Little Market White Foo Dogs, $82, Furbish Studio Vintage American Shoe Molds, $95/each, 1stdibs
_2 While you may not want your child to pick out the main paint color of their furniture, allow them to choose something fun for the inside! It's an unexpected surprise each time your mini makes her move for her multiple outfit changes per day.
Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 4.42.13 PM babyletto-Skip-3-Drawer-Changer-Dresser il_570xN.511598966_2ymo (1)
Regency Changer, $2850, ducduc Babyletto 3-Drawer Changer Dresser, $389, AllModern Custom Bamboo Dresser, $1250, The Papaya Tree
_3 We stack books as decor all over our homes, why not allow your littles to do the same? Bonus: they're even more apt to read them when they're at eye level or below!
9069072 download download (1)
Buenos Noches, Luna, $4, Amazon Wonder, $10, Amazon Dragons Love Tacos, $9, Amazon
_4 When preparing for his sister's arrival, I let my son Parker choose between some old baby toys for a DIY changing station mobile. The result is recycled chic, literally! Avery loves it too, which of course is the most important thing of all -- especially at 3 a.m. in the morning!
minmax 71QpwUYaBqL._SL1500_ 1140902_l
Authentic Models A-Cup Mobile, $57, Hayneedle Playmobil Architect With Planning Table, $6, Amazon Vintage Toy Soldiers, $480, 1stdibs
_5 Kids tend to throw their favorite clothes and costumes around their room naturally, so why not give them a proper place to display them? Allow them to drape scarves, hats, superman capes, etc. on a pair of antlers, hung up strategically on shelving, or even on a wardrobe rack bought specifically for the purpose of corralling their clothing in the coolest way possible!
chrome_faux_antler_wall_hanging_coat_rack__05324.1404205457.1280.1280 img11o PD_0294_MAIN-1
Chrome Antler Wall Rack, $45, WFT Emily + Merritt Wardrobe Rack, $299, PBTeen Eames Hang-It-All, $299, Design Within Reach


The gallery wall has become the ubiquitous tool of designers and stylists everywhere, and it's not going to leave any time soon! I, for one, am perfectly ok with this, as it is especially useful in kids' rooms as an outlet for their creativity. Just allow it to be changeable and malleable.

They can display their own art, choose photos for canvas prints, or pick out wallpaper that they can layer with even more options, such as maps that can be pinned with personal travel photos. Create a wainscoting effect with grasscloth wallpaper around the room, then have your little one push pin to their heart's desire; the grasscloth will hide the holes!
rhbc_prod405635 productimage-picture-it-s-nice-to-be-nice-print-1177 Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 5.55.02 PM
Vintage Illuminated Marquee Letter, $199, RH Baby&Child It's Nice to Be Nice Print, $32, Sugar Paper Custom Neon Sign, inquire for price, Endeavour Neon
Photographs: 1. 9. Sawyer | Benson (designer and source), 2. 7. 14. Murphy Deesign photographed by Avia Rosen, 3. Kristen Buckingham (designer and source), 4. 100 Layer Cake photographed by Scott Clark Photo, 5. ducduc, 6. A Beautiful Mess, 8. A Merry Mishap, 10. Emily Henderson photographed by Ryan Liebe, 11. Emily Henderson photographed by Bethany Nauert, 12. Ollie & Seb's House via A Merry Mishap, 13. A Cup of Jo, 15. Lilly Bunn (designer and source), 16. Susanna Salk (designer and source) _dee