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Room to Grow: children’s bedroom interior design costs

Parents – how many times have you played 60 Minute Makeover?

In many ways, a child’s bedroom is their first taste of independence. Whether they were growing up in the 70s or the 00s, children’s bedrooms have always represented a space away from parents and family and are usually the primary setting for many memories as they grow into young adults. A child’s bedroom also provides a chance to express developing personalities and individual style as kids dream of a space that defines them.

As parents, of course, this means catering to differing needs, styles and tastes over the years. And, thanks to parents’ willingness to pick up a paintbrush, bedrooms tend to grow up with children, no matter how fleeting their fads are.

But this begs the question - how much are parents dedicating to redecorating?

We spoke to parents and asked them their thoughts and opinions about being their children’s personal interior designer. We surveyed over 2,000 parents with children between the ages of 16-50 to gain insight into what it’s been like to redecorate their children’s bedrooms. We asked how many times they’ve done it across their lifetime, how much it has cost them and even the strangest things parents have found lurking underneath beds and bedside tables.

We’ve also collaborated with interior design expert Nicola Rodriguez of Essex House Dolly who has revealed her thoughts on redecorating pressures as a parent, some valuable top tips on making your child’s bedroom design evergreen, and how to tackle it on a budget.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

From toddler to teenager: bedrooms throughout childhood

Our data showed that the average parent decorates their child’s bedroom four times during their childhood, but that one in six parents admitted they’d redecorated at least eight times before their child eventually flew the nest. This could not only reflect the bedroom changes you could expect as your child goes from a toddler to school age but also parents wanting to keep up with their children’s fluctuating styles and tastes. 

That said, it was no surprise when we found that a whopping 500,000 parents were feeling the pressure to have that perfect ‘social media worthy’ bedroom, especially with how fast trends come and go.

Interior designer Niki gave us her opinion on our results, and she said:

In my line of work, I often see the pressure put on parents by social media. Wealthy reality stars from shows like Love Island fill our feeds with pictures of their stylish living spaces and have proved to be a popular and desirable design choice. From this, I’ve seen a rise in children and teenagers wanting bedrooms that resemble their very own small living space with TVs, seating areas, display units, and walk-in wardrobes – almost like a reflection of what their parents have in their bedrooms and wider home.

How much does it cost to redecorate a child’s bedroom?

As you might expect, keeping on top of interior trends, as well as your child’s interests, is sometimes not a cheap affair. We found that the average redecoration project costs £1,048.42 meaning the total redecoration cost for a child throughout their lifetime is £4,197.68. For the average family size that could total up to a whopping £7,933.62 on redecoration alone. 

Nicola also went into how exactly we can decorate on a budget and make interior decoration last throughout the phases. She told us:

“When approaching your next bedroom design refresh, be sure to think ahead. Try and avoid going for bold choices spur of the moment. Things like glittery wallpaper or bold and bright colours might seem an exciting choice at the time but will be very difficult to remove and cover up the next time you redecorate.”

“Decorating on a budget is a reality for many of us as we remain in a cost-of-living crisis, so decorating with neutral walls as your blank canvas is a great way to make each redecoration project a little bit cheaper. Invest in quality furniture early on and if you are looking for a change, try upcycling the furniture you already have with things like leftover paint, and you can even have a shop around to find second-hand pieces which give you a new lease of life.”

“Another good trick is to focus a lot of the bedroom revamp on adding storage. Storing away things like toys and knick-knacks not only promotes that useful blank canvas but encourages you to have a sort out that could result in things to sell or donate to a good cause.”

“During lockdown, people were left to improve and work on their DIY skills after being left with no choice but to tackle projects themselves. Using online tutorials to do things like wallpapering and carpet fitting yourself will also knock a substantial amount off your overall cost as you don’t have to rely on paid professionals.”

 Parents: what defines redecorating?

We wanted to find out what defines ‘redecoration’ for parents and their child’s bedroom, as it may differ between families, budgets, and what is being revamped. Nearly all the parents we surveyed stated that a fresh coat of paint will always be included in redecoration. But it was also found that temporary fixtures go a long way as 90% said that simply changing the bed linen also falls into the realm of their bedroom revamp. 

What were children allowed to do when redecorating?

With the majority of parents opting for a fresh lick of paint, we also found that 63% of parents allow their children to choose the colour of their room, even if their parents disliked it. And assuming they are given free rein of the rainbow, this might make redecorating more frequent as tastes change and children get older.

This is especially the case for Gen Z kids as we found that babies born between 1998 and 2002 are most likely to have had a higher-than-average number of redecorations, with on average  a whopping 4.7 times over the course of their childhood.

Interior designer Nicola Rodriguez says:

If your child is really keen on brighter colours, use white/neutral walls so you can add colour through accessories and temporary fixes like bed linen, rugs and curtains. This provides you with a blank canvas you can easily change. In this case, soft furnishings really go a long way.

More children having their say on the colour of their bedroom may also cause additional costs and bumps in the road when it comes to redecoration once they come to fly the nest. We found that one in six families change their child’s bedroom into an office or a gym once they have left home, meaning it’s likely that parents will embark on another redecoration project. 

Do children’s bedrooms come top of the priority list?

As parents, it’s not just the decoration of your child’s bedroom you need to maintain, but the rest of your home and your own bedroom. Or so we thought! We found that most parents would be more likely to re-decorate their child’s bedroom than their own.

But as we find sanctuary in our own home by decorating it in a way that pleases our individual style, the same goes for children. Giving a child their own space results in a range of benefits, including teaching them responsibility, a sense of independence and a great way to express themselves.  That said, one in 10 parents have even gone as far as saying that redecorating their child’s bedroom and creating this safe space is a higher priority than a family holiday.

It’s clear that children, as well as parents, feel the need for their own space, too. When asked ‘who decided when to redecorate’, over half of parents revealed that the decision to re-decorate their child’s bedroom was usually their child’s.

Millennial children's bedrooms

With Millennial kids being found to most likely have had more room makeovers than average, we couldn’t not revisit the era of Y2K and 90s nostalgia.

The 90s and 00s were an iconic time for interior design and it’s responsible for producing a number of hot items that as kids we just had to have in our bedrooms. We’ve revealed the top items from the now-considered-retro era to find the best and most common additions to children’s bedrooms.  

Top items from 90s and 00s children’s bedrooms 

Top 5 unexpected things parents find in children’s bedrooms

We’ve concluded that a child’s bedroom is their own space in which they can have that little bit of freedom and independence. But these next findings prove that when it comes to keeping their space neat, tidy, and retaining that new room smell - maybe there are some limits! 

We asked parents the weirdest and most unexpected things they’ve found in their child’s bedroom, and these were the top five.

It’s clear from our findings that parents place significant importance on maintaining their child’s bedroom as a space that shifts and changes with them. Whether they’re growing from a toddler to an independent four-year-old or they’ve discovered their current bedroom design is just so last year, parents recognise that children having their own space is important for their growth as they become ready to take on the world. 

So, if you’re one of the many parents preparing for redecoration and are on the hunt for the perfect bedroom accessories, take a look at our kids’ home range for inspiration and the perfect finishing touch!

Methodology and sources

We surveyed 2,000 parents with children over the age of 16 and analysed the findings. The survey was compiled in August 2022. 

3% of parents said they feel pressure to have the perfect, social media-worthy children’s bedroom. The total number of families in the UK is 19.4 million. 

ONS population data 2020


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