When I first saw the space set up for her, she had star wars sheets and posters. Her furniture was odds and ends from other rooms. She wanted green walls.
Mom wanted to give her new pieces (her sister just got this makeover.) Right now she wants "boy stuff" but in a few short years, she will be a tween. (It's crazy how time flies!) She may hold on to her tomboy ways for ever, but she may find herself drawn to girlier things. So, how do you decorate for her wants now and plan for the future without replacing everything?
A neutral base.
Here's the room we decided on:
The bigger, more expensive items (rug, furniture, window treatments) are all in the same gender-neutral palette: white, navy, and a sort of greige on the headboard. The bedding, lamp, desk chair, and paint color satisfy her taste today. (She can also keep the star wars sheets in this design!)
Later, those same items can be changed out to a more feminine (and more grown up) vibe.
I went pink, because it is (for better or for worse) classic "girl," and because I happen to love pink and navy together. But lavender, yellow, coral, aqua, or chartreuse could all be employed to similar effect.
Paint and bedding have a lifespan anyway, and could use refreshers after 4 or 5 years (and I reused the quilt, which gets less skin contact and gets washed less frequently.) I added a mirror over the dresser and a pinboard, which reflect changes in how a girl might use her room. The upholstered, swivel, rolling desk chair is more comfortable for an older adolescent who may have more homework. So when it comes down to it, these are changes that would happen for practical reasons anyway. I guess the big luxury is changing out the lamp!
There are tons of great options out there these days that can work for both genders. Big retailers like PBTeen and Land of Nod unfortunately separate everything into "girls rooms" and "boys rooms," but don't be afraid to cross over! You may find the perfect rug or quilt (etc) for your girl in the "boy" category.