1. Spice Rack Book Shelves: Way back in September of 2009 a reader (mckernanb) mentioned in a comment thread that she had used Ikea's $4 spice racks to hold books in her kids' room, but when we wrote about Lillian of Domestic Simplicty's use of them the idea caught fire! They started popping up in reader rooms the rest of the year (like Calvin and Romane's shown above) and no wonder - they're functional, cheap and attractive. If you don't live near an Ikea you can try making your own. We also love them gussied up with washi tape and attached to a dresser instead of a wall.
2. Chevron/Zig Zag: This was hands down the 2011 pattern of the year in kids' rooms and all over the home. We saw it on walls, rugs, curtains, bedding and accessories. Will it have staying power? We expect it will wane this year and come back in another five. You can see our roundup of ten examples of chevron used in nurseries and kids rooms and if you want to jump on the bandwagon before it's off the trail, check out Marketplace's resource list.
3. Garlands & Buntings. Garlands have stolen the limelight from the previously ubiquitous paper pom poms. They're simple to make and hang and are another opportunity to bring color or pattern into a room. These rooms are just a few of many, many examples we saw this year: Bunny, Henry Beckham (shown), Leo, Thatcher and Emma.
4. Faux Animal Heads: Readers are divided on whether this accessory is creepy or cool. Regardless, we saw plenty of them in all kinds of materials (papier mache, fabric, cardboard and even pinatas) in kids' rooms this year. Here are ten rooms that used them.
5. Geometric Color Blocking: This trend is on the upswing with both product designers and home decorators and we're seeing more and more of it for kids. It has a retro cool feel with a modern sophistication. We rounded up some examples if you want to be a bit ahead of the design curve.