Styling a room that parent and child will both love doesn’t have to be hard. Make a youthful theme more grownup by playing with color, furniture, and accent pieces. Designing for two different generations may be challenging, but have fun with your inspiration! Working with an unconventional theme can really highlight the versatility of your design skills.

Looking for inspiration? We’ve put together a list of themed designs that will charm your inner child.

1. Under the Sea

under the sea theme bedroom

When you think of the ocean, what do you imagine? A seaside cottage? Tropical paradise? An aquatic theme can be easily adapted by pairing neutral paint color and furniture (think of a sandy beach) with sea inspired touches. Bring in coastal vibes with a chunky teal throw and vividly hued pillows. A bright turquoise will really pop against a neutral backdrop. The same goes for drapery. Bold marine colors will make the space more lively—and on theme.

If you prefer subdued tones, choose softer shades of blue and incorporate nautical themed textiles. Fresh blue and white nautical stripes are a fabulous way to transform a room into a beachy haven.

If your client is ready to take the plunge with a brilliant ocean color, cerulean and cobalt are eye-catching choices. Otherwise, go with an accent wall.

Decor for a beach getaway

  • Tropical aquarium: If your client is NOT interested in fish, an empty fish bowl can still be jazzed up with sand or plants.
  • Beach-combing finds: Get crafty with seashells.
  • Nautical equipment: Think compasses, lanterns, and an old ship’s wheel.
  • Fish net: Clean netting strewn on a wall is a creative way to evoke the sea.
  • Wall art: Highlight your favorite moments from the beach inside aquatic themed picture frames.

2. The Jungle Book

jungle book

Similar to a bold ‘under the sea’ backdrop, you can create an exciting adventure theme by combining neutral walls and furniture with vibrant green textiles. For elements of the jungle, tropical pinks and yellows will throw some color into the space. They’ll pop even more alongside natural woven fabrics. If Indiana Jones is more what your client is going for, look for leather. Wallpaper might be a fun way to experiment with an accent wall. Botanical prints will help you bring the outside in.

Whether your client is raising a budding scientist or simply wants to highlight their family’s unique style, an adventure-themed room will keep boredom at bay.

Décor for a family adventure

  • Animal print rugs: A great statement piece.
  • Globes and maps: Make geography accessible.
  • Botanical specimens: Frame pressed plants and flowers.
  • Nature coffee table books: They will double as educational tools.
  • Magnifying glass: Keep an eye out for other interesting scientific gear.
  • Vintage suitcases: Pile books on top for an easy, laidback look.

3. Out-of-this-World

travel theme

Do your clients feel like they missed out on becoming an astronaut? Do their kids love to stare at a starry night sky? Transform a room into a space inspired by the wonders of the galaxy by using deep, luminous color choices. Think of silvery blues and add a topcoat for a glittery finish.

Look for eye-catching chrome lamps to go with metallic or iridescent textiles. If your client is still waiting on a mobile of the solar system from this year’s science fair, don’t worry! There are plenty of others ways to become lost in space.

Décor for a sci-fi night in

  • Telescope: For state-of-the-art stargazing.
  • Mirrors: Shiny metal will create a futuristic feel.
  • Prints of the galaxy: NASA has amazing space travel themed posters available for free, along with crafts made for kids.
  • Sleeping bags: Easily hidden in a storage bin during the day.
  • Pod seating: Unconventional and visually interesting.

4. Bookworm’s Paradise

bookworm paradise

If story time is more of your client’s idea of fun, design a room that every bookworm will fall in love with. For a den, invest in an impressive-looking library by installing built-in bookcases. Working with a limited budget? Simple IKEA hacks can transform basic bookcases into custom looking shelves.

Warm throws and plenty of pillows will make for comfy seating. Lamps will also serve as statement pieces and ensure there is always plenty of ready light in the room. Find out what the households’ favorite books are, and craft a literary theme in other rooms.

The fantastic thing about a home library is that a family will grow into it over time.

Décor for a fantasy library

  • Color blocked bookshelves: A creative way to organize books.
  • Book nook: Combine with a window treatment.
  • Library showcase: Placing the favorite reads of the month behind glass will give kids a fun opportunity to personalize their very own library.
  • Electric fireplace: Gives a warm ambiance.
  • Vintage clocks: A posh nod to the history of the written word.
  • Script decals: A speedier answer to hand painting a favorite verse.

5. Wild West with a Grown-up Twist

wild west

Time to tackle another frontier: the great Wild West. Think back to your favorite Spaghetti Western for design inspiration! Has your client secretly always wanted saloon doors? They can be mounted on a wall, or used as room dividers. Look for big solid pieces of furniture to go with rich leather. Use logs or wood slats for a truly rustic look.

Warm paint and textile colors will complement fun plaid or gingham prints.

Décor for pioneer charm

  • Cow hide: Great as a rug or tacked to a wall. Faux alternatives are easy to find.
  • Equestrian gear: Saddles can be converted into stool seats.
  • Mini tepee: A wonderful suggestion from HGTV, this might be the perfect prompt for teaching your kids about Native American History.
  • Cowboy buckle and old coins: Show them off in shadow boxes.
  • Tree stump seating: Your clients can rough it in style.

Have you ever adapted a shared family space? Share your experiences in the comments! For more design tips, check out QC’s post on designing a kid’s room that will stand the rest of time!

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