Don't be afraid to let her pick her color scheme. You're not decorating your "safe" living room, so let your girl express herself. All it takes is a good primer to repaint the room in a few years. Or, start with a neutral background and use bedding, curtains, and accessories to introduce the color scheme. These items can be changed more easily in a few years.
-- Compromise by painting part of the room. An accent wall painted bright teal or a reading nook coated in lavender can make a striking design statement and lets you meet in the middle on painting the bedroom walls a bold hue.
-- Pink remains a feminine favorite. Trade the sweet, pale shade for a bold fuchsia or vibrant raspberry hue that will stay hip longer. Pair it with greens or blues for an energetic scheme or tans and browns for sophisticated style.
Invest in long-lasting furniture. Changing bedding and accessories won't break the budget when your girl desires a fresh look several years in the future. But it's nice to have furniture with staying power.
-- Vintage-style furniture is a classic look for girls' bedrooms. The soft shapes and weathered finishes can be mixed with modern colors and fabrics for a youthful scheme. When she grows up, she can take the furniture with her to her first home, or the classic pieces can outfit a sophisticated guest bedroom.
-- A trundle bed is a fun and functional choice for a girl's bedroom. The hidden second sleeping spot makes sleepovers easy without taking up day-to-day play space with a larger bed. Plus, you can trade out the mattress for extra under-bed storage space.
-- Add a freestanding bench in front of a window to make a window seat. Girls love to have a spot to lounge and gaze out the window or curl up with a good book. And the space underneath can be filled with bins or baskets for handy storage.
-- For younger children, include small-scale pieces such as a table and chairs for doing arts-and-crafts, and creative-play accessories such as a puppet stand. Look for pieces that reflect your child's interest and spur creative thinking.
Where there's kids, there's stuff. While parents don't want to stifle creative play, we do like bedrooms to be neat and tidy occasionally. Include plenty of accessible, easy-to-use storage options in your daughter's bedroom to encourage tidiness.
-- Open bookshelves make it easy for kids to see what they have, and put things back when they're done. Keep books and toys on the lower shelves so she can reach them safely. Use upper shelves to display decorative items or store extra supplies.
-- Built-in cabinets maximize storage and enhance any room. For versatility, include both closed-storage cabinet space and open cubbies in a wall of built-ins. Then, the rest of the room can be used for open play space.
-- Add open bins or baskets wherever you can to make it easy for your daughter to stay organized. Storage containers are available in many colors and sizes to add decoration and function to the bedroom. Attach easy-to-read labels on the front. Line woven baskets with cute, room-coordinating fabrics.
-- A memo board is a must-have in a girl's bedroom. Even if your daughter is too young for a desk and keeping a calendar and notes, she'll love to hang up pictures of friends, handmade art, trinkets, and memorabilia. You can buy fun cork and magnetic memo boards or make your own to match her room by framing a sheet of corkboard and painting the surface or covering it with fabric.