Animals are a firm favorite with young children. Wild animals, farm animals, cartoon animals, whatever they are, they all add fun finishing touches to a child’s room.

If you like you can choose a particular animal theme and repeat it throughout a child’s room for a coordinated look, but it isn’t strictly necessary. As far as young children are concerned, the more animals the merrier, so it’s quite all right to pick and mix different animal themes. Peter Rabbit will happily live alongside Donald Duck and the cow that jumped over the moon. The possibilities are endless, as long as you keep the emphasis on bold, simple, brightly colored designs for a really folly, lively effect.

There are all sorts of wallcoverings with a variety of animal designs, or you might prefer something less permanent, such as stencils or a wallpaper border, so that less work and expense are required when the room is outgrown and it’s time to redecorate. Stencils are an excellent choice because you can repeat them throughout the room on furnishings. Stick-on decorations are more versatile as they take only a few minutes to apply and are just as quick and easy to remove.

As well as wallcoverings, of course, there are many different bed, floor and window coverings featuring animal designs to choose from, not to mention a huge array of animal accessories.

Also, there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t mix animals with other themes like trains, the circus and the funfair. Together they add up to more fun for young children, and more scope for stimulating their imaginations.

Bright and boldly colored elephants, crocodiles, lions, hippos and zebras on coordinated bed and window coverings make for a veritable bedroom safari.

Add style to curtain pole with fancy finials in the shape of animal characters.

Fun book ends with animal decals or animal moldings help to keep with the theme while keeping the books tidy.

Even simple ideas can work well. A hook rack is just a hook rack until you turn it into a colorful paddock of animals.

Another idea is to take the high seas as inspiration for decorating your cabin boy’s quarters. You may even find the room is kept shipshape and orderly in response to the theme.

Please the young seafarer in the family with a nautical-style bedroom. Start by suggesting a maritime flavor with boats and a blue and white color scheme. Whether in full sail on a fabric, or resting in miniature on a shelf, boats bring a breath of fresh air into a room and set the right note of seagoing adventure.

Or go overboard, and rig out the room with lots of seafaring mementos. Use twists of rope to lash back curtains, as an edging on shelves or to decorate lampshades and so on, to conjure up the mood.

For an older child, be more literal and collect sailing memorabilia; old sextants, charts, telescopes and binnacles displayed on open shelves have an intriguing atmospheric quality. Hunt out suitable treasures from ship chandlers, jumble and market sales and second hand shops.

Ranges of wallpaper and fabrics depicting boats, shells, anchors and lifebuoys are another option. Also choose furniture in keeping with the theme, bunk beds with deep drawers are an ideal choice for a shared room. And don’t forget that a valuable accessory to any ship’s mate is a sea chest to hold booty.