Preparing a Place: Room Tours

Last year while preparing our home for the littles that would be coming to us, I wanted nothing more than to find a place with lots of tips and photos for preparing a room for our little foster loves. Knowing that the kiddos who would be coming to us may have never even had a bed of their own, much less an entire room that was prepared just for them, made me want to ensure that the room we had ready for them was perfect. It’s tricky coming up with a place that can work for a wide range of ages and different genders, and that can be altered to fit the kiddos who are coming on a moments notice!

Here I’ve compiled a slew of tips, tricks, and photos from other foster moms to help you prepare the perfect room for your foster kiddos.

For the baby.

Chrystal currently has this room set up for a sweet girl. Note the soft pink touches. Those could easily be switched out for blues to make it a boy room. Shelves on the wall can house photos or artwork in frames that can be quickly changed to fit the child living in the room.

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This room is also currently used for a girl. Kelly uses washi tape to hold up the posters, making them easily interchangeable. The shelves normally house photos of the child who lives here, but had to be removed for this post. She would switch the pink quilt out in the event of a boy coming into their home. She also keeps all the tags on clothes until they are ready to be worn, and uses a white noise machine to help soothe kiddos.

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Lisa currently has this room set up for a sweet boy, but throw in some pink and it’s ready to go for any baby girl!

Dropping Anchors Blog: Room Tour

Sherry set up a room using warm tones, and nature prints.

Dropping Anchors Blog: Room Tour

Kelli says, “I have the best memories of planning and decorating our foster nursery. Because we were going to be first time parents we were starting from scratch. We had just painted the room to be an office right before I made our first call to inquire, so out with office and in with the baby! For our first placement we were licensed for male or female ages 0-2. I knew I wanted the room to be fun colors with a few personal touches. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Etsy finding art for the room, made the quilt with the help of my husbands grandmother, DIY’d the crib skirt and hot air balloon mobile, and included some childhood treasures of mine and a piggy bank that belonged to my husband’s mom.

“If you are a first time parent like we were, take the time to really enjoy this experience. As foster parents, our children come to us in the most unconventional ways. We may miss out on traditions like baby showers, announcements and maternity photos. Our children may show up in the middle of the night with everything they own, or absolutely nothing. But planning a room and anticipating the children that may come can be so much fun! For us, the most important thing was to create a room that was welcoming and just felt good. It may just be the first room that child has had of their own. Make it special!”

Here’s where you can find the CribAlphabet artChanging table/shelf, and Love at first sight print

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This is our current baby room. We have two babies, age 4 months and one year. Boy and girl. Dresser, natural wood crib, white frames, and lantern are all from IKEA. Prints were found for free on Pinterest, and anchor print was hand drawn by Steph! The rest was found at thrift shops and discount stores.

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Jamie shared this room that is used for her girl who was just recently ADOPTED! But fits well for keeping things neutral. This room could easily be used for a boy or girl. White crib found at IKEA.

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Sometimes, you don’t have room to let the baby have a room all for themselves. Each state varies on ages allowed to share a room with their caregiver, but if you’re lucky, you can let a kiddo sleep in your room up to age two! Leslie C. found this crib here for only $99!

Dropping Anchors Blog: Room Tour

When bigs and littles have to share a room.

This room was actually what we had set up in our old home, before placements ever came. Since our demographic was for ages 0-5, boy or girl, I had a twin bed and crib both set up. The frames above the twin size bed were multi-colored chevron, and I put together a couple of word prints. When our boys came to us, we switched out the bedding to dark blue and hung super-hero prints in the frames above the twin size bed.

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Martina says, “My favorite aspect of this room as it pertains to foster parenting is the portable crib which can quickly be adjusted for newborn height or lower height for bigger infants, or folded up and rolled out into a different room or tucked into storage. (I wrote all about it here.) Other elements in this room that are tailored specifically to fostering: gray-blue-green gender neutral color palette, baby changing pad and supply cart that can be easily moved out if we don’t have a baby here, a bookshelf with books for a wide age range, a photo frame with a “Welcome” placeholder that’s ready for a family photo, a bulletin board with photos of our family at present and photos of our past foster kids, and a rocker which is great for building attachment with bigger kiddos and rocking babies.”
Full room tour here.

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Steph has “accessories” she can switch out depending on who is in there… since it’s pretty gender neutral, I also tried to make it age neutral. The baby stuff we use now can be put in the closet and older toys and books brought out if needed. The twin size bed in this room makes it guest friendly, also, when it isn’t being used for foster kiddos. She used furniture with closed storage help “hide the ugly.” She suggests that you try to find free and used items. Things from your local buy/sell pages, Craigslist, hand-me-downs from friends, and asking around helps keep the cost of putting together a room low. This room cost less than $100.

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For the big kids.

Big kids are definitely trickier to plan a room for. Most of them have definite likes, dislikes, and preferences for how they’d like their room set up.

Martina says, “It’s 100% girly in the bedroom our three-year-old occupies. Her KURA bed from IKEA can be flipped into a low loft bed with a second mattress on the floor if/when she has a sister that’s ready to move into her room.” Full room tour here.

Dropping Anchors Blog: Room Tour

We also use the KURA bed from IKEA in our big kids room. We allowed each child to choose their own decorations for above their beds. Storage made easy with a shelf from Target and bins that the kids can just fill with their toys when its time to clean up and replace on the shelf to keep things tidy.

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Alisha keeps her rooms plain, and when placements come they are allowed to choose their own bedding and decorations, which they are then allowed to take home with them if they leave her home. Currently, she has two girls!

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Jay shared her boys’ room, but the built-in bunks would work great for boys or girls! The initials next to their beds adds the personalization we’ve been talking about, and neutral colors make it welcoming for any of her four boys!
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Before Jay had a room devoted just to boys, she had this sweet room waiting for placements.

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Bunk beds are awesome for big kids’ rooms. It gives each child their own space. This room is currently shared by two boys and two girls. Sarah allows each child to have two stuffed animals and three books in their bunks.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed touring our kiddos’ rooms and have been inspired to put together the perfect room for your future littles!

What have you done to make the perfect room for your foster kids?

casey

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11 Responses to Preparing a Place: Room Tours

  1. Kay says:

    This is so good! I am just at the ‘preparation’ stage right now and am trying to think about what will be the most versatile and widely used. Love the suggestion to buy each child bedding and send it with them- what a great way to build continuity between homes.

    • caseyholly says:

      Thank you for your comment Kay! Congrats on starting your home prep! I hope you found lots of inspiration in this post!

  2. Kim says:

    I agree with Kay! I loved this post. I’m also in the prep stage and have been searching Pinterest and the net looking for inspiration for a gender neutral room for kiddos 0-5.

  3. Pingback: Preparing Your Home for Foster Parenthood – Part 1 | Dropping Anchors

  4. Pingback: Preparing Your Home for Foster Parenthood – Part 2 | Dropping Anchors

  5. Bobbie says:

    OH wow! Just ran across your post in pinterest and love all the ideas! We are just starting out foster care adventure and we can’t wait to get everything ready!

  6. Jaime says:

    Thank you, Casey. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed in my preparations as I’ve lived alone for 15 years and have no kids. I’m turning a front room that I’ve been using as kind of a junk/catch all room into a living space. Because of my pool, I think I can only accept placements 7 or older. Can you think of any “must haves” that I should build into this space as I’m kind of starting with a blank canvas? Thanks so much!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much for this post. We are in process to be licensed for ages 0-6, with space for 2 kids. I’m trying to determine what to get now and what to wait on. We have been offered a twin day bed with a trundle, and will be purchasing a crib. I’m concerned that if we need two beds, the trundle would work temporarily, but we should buy a second twin after the fact. I’m not sure I like the idea of having to make a big purchase while also wanting to focus on the children. We are considering having a second twin in the room already. Thoughts?

    • Danielle Webb says:

      Our agency requires children up to age 2 to be in a crib. Also they do not allow using the trundle bed (atleast the pull out). We have a ikea kura bed and they will not allow the mattress directly on the floor underneath and kids on top have to be over 6. These things seem kinda silly, considering my youngest was out of a crib way before then and she currently sleeps under our other kura bunk bed ….but I see the agencies objective of making sure the kids have a “proper” bed considering the conditions they may have just come from. I just thought I’d note these things because you may want to check with your agency. Also on a side note, a friend of mine is accepting ages 0-6 and was told by the case worker not to get a crib yet… first placement was a 17mo old! oops!

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