12 functional and fun kids' bedroom remodeling ideas

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Are your little ones growing up too fast? If your children claim they're no longer babies, it's time...

Are your little ones growing up too fast? If your children claim they're no longer babies, it's time to tuck away the yellow duckies and teddy bears to give the kids' bedrooms big kid makeovers. For the latest in remodeling ideas, visit the 29th Annual Fall Atlanta Home Show at Cobb Galleria Centre, September 21-23, 2012. Until then, start your bedroom makeover wish list. Here are 12 ideas to get started.

1. A new bed
If the convertible crib bed is getting a little too cramped, it's time to move up to a big kid bed. To maximize space, consider building a trundle bed with storage draws underneath to hold toys, clothes or books. Or, try bunk beds. Instead of having a second bed on the lower level, leave the space open for a desk or play area.

2. Toy storage solutions
Kids never outgrow toys, so storage is always a growing need. Consider adding an extra chest of drawers to accommodate toys. Or, use a bookcase. Collectible toys and books look like display pieces when not in use. Smaller toys can tuck away in decorative baskets on the shelves.

3. A window seat
When your child starts wanting to spend more time in his room, a window seat can add instant seating and comfort to his space. If you don't have a bay window to convert into seating, have a contractor build a long bench-style seat along the wall near the window. The seat can also double as storage space for toys, blankets and off-season clothing.

4. New flooring
As a baby, your child enjoyed thick pile rugs and carpet when learning to crawl. But now that your child is growing up, consider removing carpet and installing laminate hardwood floors and using rugs to add a pop of color to the room. This flooring conversion reduces allergies and a buildup of dust or pet fur.

5. Fresh paint
Update the kids' bedrooms with fresh coats of paint. Although they'll be your little ones forever, they don't have to live with powder blue or pastel yellow walls forever. Also, consider using blackboard paint to create a drawing wall, or use borders to add a splash of color to neutral tan or cream-colored walls.

6. Creative lighting
If your child has trouble sleeping, consider changing the lighting in his bedroom. Have an electrician place the room light on a dimmer to leave a dull glow on in the evening. Or, choose a fun outlet-mounted nightlight to give the child a sense of security at night. A bedside lamp can also make your little one feel more comfortable in his room by himself.

7. Clothing hampers
Since he's not a baby anymore, your little one is probably tossing his clothes around the room as he dresses himself. Teach your child responsibility by adding a clothing hamper to the room. Choose a soft-sided container to keep the room safe for play.

8. A learning center
Remove the baby swing and install a desk to create an interactive learning area in the child's bedroom. Stock the area with hands-on activities such as blocks, toys that run on a track (trains, cars) or a child-size musical keyboard.

9. Window coverings
Curious kids like to look out windows. Remove decorative blinds that can trap heads and arms and choose more grown-up window coverings instead. Try curtains, valances and drapes with built-in tie backs. Add a splash of color to neutral-painted rooms with patterned window coverings.

10. Install peg hooks
Clothes hooks aren't just for the closet or front foyer. Use decorative hooks on the child's bedroom wall to store favorite dress-up clothes, backpacks and sports gear. Tuck the hooks in often-wasted wall space behind doors or on narrow-width walls.

11. Big kid furniture
As you child gets older, his furniture should become more sophisticated. Invest in an armoire to organize and hide clothes, a television and a gaming system. Chests of drawers can hold your child's growing clothing collection. Or, add a shelving unit to display favorite toys.

12. Go vertical
Increase storage space by using the ceiling. Hang netting above the bed to store soft toys or mount flower-hanging hooks to the ceiling to hang vertical, soft-sides storage units. These modern storage devices are perfect for clothes and lightweight toys.

Ready to make a few changes to the bedrooms? Check the Atlanta Home Show website for the next event! Contractors, remodeling professionals and retailers will be on hand to answer all your home makeover questions.

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