Remember the joy of decorating your room as a child? Getting to take control of what was on the walls and your bed was a form of self-expression and a taste of freedom. And many kids are needing a bit of freedom as the new school year starts — along with a fresh look now that school is out of bedrooms and back in classrooms.

Here are some tips and ideas for kids still living at home and those heading off to college.

Trendy dorm decor

If you want to send your kids off to college with some trendy items, House Beautiful has news: Many of the items you loved in your bedroom are now back in style.

“It’s no surprise we’re circling back to everything from the dreamy canopy bed that made you feel like actual royalty to loads of pastels. Even collages and posters in the form of elevated mood boards and framed art pieces are cool again,” the magazine says.

Here are a few dorm decorations that are back in style for college life in 2021.

String lights: Also known as fairy lights or twinkle lights, string lights are a good way to add coziness to a room. You don’t have to stick to the holiday-light style, either. “Decorative string lights also come in many different designs, including vintage-looking Edison bulbs, sleek orbs and even lantern-shaped lights,” Better Homes & Gardens says.

Posters have moved far beyond movies and bands, as seen in this array from Poster Store. (Courtesy of Poster Store)

Posters: Perhaps the quintessential dorm decoration, posters can do more than show off your pop-cultural interests.

“Posters can be used for all sorts of purposes,” says interior design site Homedit. “They can add color to the room and they are a very beautiful choice for minimalist interior decors. They are just the pop of color the room needs. Posters can also be part of a theme and can help bring together a room. They can also serve as art pieces and they make great decorations.”

Beaded curtains, like Urban Outfitters’ Yin Yang Bamboo Beaded Curtain, are back in style. (Courtesy of Urban Outfitters)

Doorway curtains: The 2021 version of the beaded curtain comes in a variety of materials. Plus, it makes dividing a shared space easier. “Depending on the style of the space, you can use fabric, crochet or wooden beads to block off a doorless frame without actually having to install a door,” House Beautiful says.

Children’s bedroom decor

As remote learning ends (knock on wood) and summer comes to a close, it’s a great time to update the kids’ rooms with a fresh look and feel.

And although home and school may not be as closely intertwined this year, you can still foster a fun home environment that also helps children focus on homework.

Organizational systems can be decorative and help make children’s bedrooms more conducive for the school year. (Dreamstime via TNS)

One way to make children’s bedrooms conducive to the school year is with streamlined organization tools.

“To help your kids stay organized, keep things at their height. Closet storage, benches and coat racks will all be used more often if kids can get to them easily. Try adding a few bins to conceal their toys and other items,” says HGTV.

Desks are also important. Not only do they provide a dedicated homework space, but they’re also good for creative activities.

“Whether for homework, crafting, art projects or computer work, having a designated space where kids can work builds healthy routines, fosters independence and encourages creativity,” says Popular Science.

Apartment Therapy notes that younger children should have desks suited to their proportions. Older children can work at regular-sized desks.

“The ideal situation is a desk that’s on the smaller side but still provides ample space for coloring and working, as well as room for holding their supplies and other fun trinkets,” says Apartment Therapy. “Even if they outgrow this piece in a year or two, it’s worth some investment into a proper work area for their development. Luckily, many desks on the market cater to all of these needs and more. Plus, you can find solutions at a variety of price points.”