4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Classroom Theme for Your Room

Cover photo of picking a classroom theme.

So, you signed your contract and agreed to take on the fantastic, challenging, rewarding, and incredible journey of being a classroom teacher! They give you your keys, you walk into your room, and there you stare… It’s an entirely blank space. Your head might be racing with all your ideas to make this space your own, or you might feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start or how to create a cute classroom conducive to student learning! You might think, how will I ever pick a classroom theme?!

Have no fear; I’m here to help!

The idea of setting up your classroom, picking a theme, and changing your space into a home away from home may seem like too much on top of adjusting to a new school year, learning a different curriculum, and thinking about the routines and procedures you want to teach this year; but it doesn’t have to be! I am here to make the setup of picking your classroom theme easy! I have four simple steps I want you to think about how to decorate your classroom! It doesn’t have to be scary or daunting; it can be fun!

Read more to find ways to pick your new classroom theme while making your classroom one of your favorite places!

Think About Your Physical Space

When you walk into your classroom, look around. What do you notice about your space? I like to start by looking at my walls. Do I have bulletin boards, cylinder walls, or painted walls? When choosing your classroom theme, you want to think about how you can decorate your wall space. With bulletin boards, you typically want to use paper for a background, add some borders, and then pick out posters or sayings that fit your theme. Cylinder or painted walls need a different approach; you must think about hanging your classroom theme items without causing damage.

Next, see if you have any unique or quirky little spaces that make your room stand out. Do you have a little nook, shelving, a loft, an open closet, or a popout window? Any of these unusual features can make the most remarkable areas in your classroom and make your classroom theme come to life!

For example, in my Dreamy Modern Neutral Classroom Makeover, Ally, the winner of our classroom makeover giveaway, had this giant cubby wall and amazing storage. It was a blank space waiting to be transformed into something beautiful!

Thinking about her classroom theme, I wanted to create something to make the modern neutral theme come to life, so I decided to paint a gorgeous sun! The sun matches the color scheme, and as a bonus, I found a rug with suns on it, too! We then used the shelving units for classroom storage. Again, thinking about the classroom theme, I created labels that matched perfectly with the color scheme! If you want to see more of my modern neutral decor bundle, follow this link!

Photo of a classroom space before I decorated it for my Modern Neutral classroom makeover. Use the space to inspire your classroom theme!
Photo of the finished look for the modern neutral classroom makeover. Modern neutral classroom theme.

When picking a classroom theme, thinking about the physical space of your room allows your creativity to flow! You will find unique areas that you can transform into something magical and help make your classroom feel like a home away from home!

Think About the Items You Already Own For a Classroom Theme

When considering your classroom theme, look at the items you already own! Many teachers, especially first-year teachers, feel overwhelmed by how much money they think they need to spend on their classrooms. I recommend looking at what items you already own. You may have a lot of blue things. Maybe you have a big black and white rug. Maybe you have white bookshelves you aren’t using. These items can help inspire your classroom theme because you can pick a theme based on what you see!

For example, if you own blue book bins or storage cubes, choose a classroom theme with a blue vibe, like an ocean theme! My Ocean Decor Bundle is an excellent example of using blue items to make your classroom design come to life!

Ocean Theme Classroom Decor Bundle Cover Photo 1

You may have a flower wall art piece in your storage that you do not have hanging in your house. That could inspire you to pick a nature classroom theme, or my Farmhouse Floral classroom theme.

Another example of an item I found from childhood is a lava lamp! That lava lamp would be perfect for a retro classroom theme! You may have old metal stools you are not using. You could spray paint them a fun color and pick a classroom theme around those!

Just look around your house; it is the perfect inspiration for your classroom theme! Use your old items to help transform your classroom into a warm, cozy space! Those of you coming out of college, look at all the fun colored crates, rugs, lamps, and pillows you own! Those would quickly help inspire your classroom theme! Search your house and save some money!

Bonus Tip: Early in my teaching career I took a lot of trips to Goodwill and other thrift stores – I’ve found some amazing decor pieces I could build a classroom them around!

Think About the Content You Teach

When picking a classroom theme, consider the content you teach! As a primary or elementary teacher, you might teach all subjects, so making your classroom theme come to life with any bulletin board is easy!

As a middle school teacher and sometimes an elementary teacher, you might specialize in a specific topic like mathematics. Think about how your classroom theme can be incorporated into your content board! The posters or quotes you choose should have something to do with the specific subject but also coordinate with your classroom theme selected.

For example, if you pick a tropical classroom theme, add green leaves to math posters. If you make a place value chart, select a green color scheme representing the different periods. If you are an English teacher, your grammar board could have a quote like “Let’s eat, grandma! Let’s eat, Grandma! Punctuation saves lives!” You could use green cardstock or print in green letters to make the quote fit your classroom theme. Then, add some tropical leaves in the corners to make it pop!

Thinking about the content you teach can make your classroom theme much more meaningful!

Think About Your Design Style

When choosing a classroom theme, thinking about YOUR design style is essential! Not what the previous teacher did or what the teacher next door has; think about YOU! What are your interests or hobbies? What colors do you like? What decorating style do you use in your house?

Thinking about what you want your classroom to look like and how you enjoy decorating is a great way to start when picking a classroom theme! You must create a space you look forward to coming to each day. If you choose a classroom theme you don’t love; it will be hard to find the joy in the space you teach in every day!

If the idea of picking a classroom theme or thinking about your design style has you needing help, I have a tool for you! I have created a short two-minute quiz you can take! The quiz is your guide in determining what colors, styles, and vibe you want in your room. It is a perfect starting point to kick off your new role as a teacher gone, interior classroom designer!

A photo of the link to take the quiz to find the perfect classroom theme!


Photo of Confetti & Creativity decor bundles. These bundles can help you pick your classroom theme.

So, I hope these four steps will help you when considering a classroom theme! There is no wrong way to pick a classroom theme, but I advise you to pick one you love and enjoy looking at! Your classroom theme sets the stage for you to create your special home away from home! 

Check out my decor bundles if you want more inspiration on how to decorate your classroom! I have numerous themes for you to look through! Choosing a bundle is the easiest way to give yourself a cohesive and beautiful classroom!