Step away from the pink rooms, the blue rooms, the theme-y rooms. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style in one or two rooms of your house.

Shop for furniture with longevity and pick palettes that fit with the rest of the house. “I believe parents should approach planning and decorating a child’s room the same as they would any room in their home,” says Carrie McBride, Apartment Therapy’s family editor. “One way to do this is to shop for your child’s room among your own belongings: Using a special piece of art or furniture that you already own in a child’s room helps create style continuity and is a lovely way to include them in your home’s past and future.”

Make sure to think outside of the box: McBride is seeing readers turn spice racks and picture-frame ledges into kid-accessible bookshelves. Nancy Twomey, principal designer of Virginia-based Finnian’s Moon Interiors, which specializes in children’s rooms, and a judge in the Washington Post Kid’s Room Contest, once did a double headboard, with twins over queens, for unusual and functional beds.

Once you’ve chosen a matching palette, timeless furniture and some family art, then find fun-for-kids decorating accessories such as throw rugs and bookends that are easy to swap out as kids age and tastes change. But here, too, you can still stick with your style preferences: A modern classic, the indoor-outdoor Eames Children’s Elephant chair, for example, would be a playful piece in a corner of younger kids’ rooms, but also an icon for your own modern patio or guest room later. You’ve got style — share it with your kids.

Roberts is a freelance writer.

2012 Kid’s Room Contest

Enter now Think your child’s room is clever and inspiring? Send in five high-resolution photos by Oct. 1 for a chance to win a $100 American Express gift card and be featured in Local Living. The only criteria are that the room belong to a child and not have been decorated by a professional.