Most of us can remember the various bedrooms we occupied as children, and often we took great pride and pleasure in adorning them with all manner of furniture and decorations that we felt reflected us and our personalities. As we grow up and have children of our own, we have a unique opportunity to rediscover some of that magic and share it with our own children. Numerous advances in our manufacturing capabilities have opened up new and exciting possibilities when it comes to the range of decorative and practical furniture available to furnish our kids rooms with.
A child’s room is the environment in which they will spend most of their time, and many psychologists believe that subtle factors such as the color scheme we choose for them can have a profound and unexpected effect on behavior. It is therefore important that any parent carefully considers the choices they make with regards to furnishing their child’s room. Of course, this concern needs to be kept realistic, lest we run the risk of creating boring and sterile environments that hinder our children’s creativity and joy. Parents also need to balance their legitimate concerns with the wishes of their child as this is, after all, their room and it is them who will be spending a considerable portion of their time there.
Below are some design tips from parents, psychologists and furniture manufacturers themselves for designing and putting together the perfect children’s bedroom.
Scaled Down Furniture
There is a growing trend for scaled-down furniture which, as the name suggests, is smaller child-sized versions of adult furniture whereas most kid’s furniture is designed specifically for children. This allows you to design a room with your children that replicates the style you would not normally associate with a child’s room. The obvious drawback is that scaled down furniture might not carry the same aesthetic qualities as furniture specifically designed for kids and might not elicit the same response from them.
One potential solution to this is to have your children paint the furniture with you. Discuss with them various options for color schemes and, while you can try and steer them in the right direction, giving them as much freedom as you are comfortable with to make these choices for themselves will help them to build confidence and will make them more receptive to any other suggestions you have to offer.
Giving an Existing Room a Makeover
One way of giving your kids’ rooms a new look and extra shine without breaking the bank is to make over what is already there. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your kids involved in the practical work as well as encouraging them to think about the practicalities of the space that they live in. The best part is that you can give the appearance of having put together an entirely new room with a few simple DIY tricks.
Add hooks to the backs of doors to hang up clothes and other clutter. Kids’ rooms will inevitably be somewhat messy, and it doesn’t matter how well you design the rest of the room; if there is clutter strewn about the place, clothes with nowhere to go, and toys strategically hidden behind and under other furniture, then it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your design choices are, the room will never look as good as it should.
As well as hooks, you should look to add other types of storage. Many children’s beds contain built-in draws which are an excellent place to store toys and clothes. There are also the more common options of chests, drawers etc. and with an almost endless variety of designs available it should be possible to find something to match any room or design.
Create a Soft Play Area
Children love to play, and by creating a ‘soft spot’ with rugs, blankets, pillows, etc. you can give your children an area where they can play to their heart’s content without having to worry about sustaining any knocks or scrapes. Be careful to make sure that any such area is away from hard furniture and sharp edges, as a child in the midst of play is not the most attentive creature.
Walls and Ceilings
Decorating the walls and ceiling is one of the most fun parts of giving your kids’ room a makeover. It is up to you and them whether you prefer painted walls or wallpaper, both can be very effective design choices and there is no right or wrong way to decide. Posters and other artwork should be encouraged as they offer a great way for your kids to express their personality without permanently altering the room. After all, posters can always be taken down, and if sticky tape or blue tac is used to hold them up, then they can be removed without leaving a mark.
Wallpaper comes in so many varieties that there is almost certainly something out there that your kids will love. It used to be the case that wallpapering a room was a tedious and tricky business, but this is no longer the case. And, wallpaper is not only cheaper than ever before, it is far easier to work with than it used to be. This has the additional benefit of making it a lot easier to redo the wallpaper if the child’s tastes change as they grow, or if they change their mind about the design they’ve chosen.
For ceilings, consider investing in some glow in the dark stars. These are particularly good for children who are afraid of the dark as they will glow when it’s dark, but won’t produce enough light to interrupt sleep.
Put Up Shutters Instead of Curtains
Rather than putting up curtains adorned with cartoon characters, consider using shutters. One of the main benefits of shutters is their aesthetic appeal. While curtains often look untidy, even in the rooms of the most organized of us, shutters are an elegant solution to this problem, and unlike curtains can be painted and customized easily to suit tastes. White shutters, or those left the natural color of the wood they’re made from, can be very attractive.
If you do prefer curtains, or shutters aren’t suitable, then be creative with your choice in both terms of design and material.
Mixing and matching bedding styles can create a wonderful environment for your children to sleep in. Kids’ beds come in all manner of sizes and styles, some are more gimmicky, such as those in the shape of racing cars. Others resemble more traditional beds. Elevated beds and bunk beds leave storage space beneath them, while some ground level beds have drawers built into the base, allowing them to double up as neat storage solutions. Some children prefer a themed room with a bedspread and accompanying furnishings that all fit along a particular theme. Companies such as Vision Bedding offer such pre-made sets to cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.
The Personal Touch
While there is furniture out there catering to all tastes and sensibilities, nothing can quite match the effect of hand crafted furniture, particularly if it’s stuff you’ve made yourself. Depending on how old your children are, you might want to get them involved with the DIY process, nothing will be quite as special as them being able to look at a piece of furniture and know that they had a hand in making it.
Another fun option for some DIY decoration is to place blackboards over any panels on doors or cupboards and give your kids chalk so that they can draw and color over and over again. It also doubles as a useful way for them to record any homework or chores that they have to do. Similarly, if you have the wall space, you might want to encourage them to put together a picture wall where they can display any drawings or colorings that they do. This adds to the control they have over their environment and encourages them to think creatively.
Your choice of lighting will depend largely on the age of the child in question. For very young children, there are any number of night light products available, some of these project stars on to the ceiling that match real constellations and provide an excellent way to get your kids interested in space and science. Bedside lights and night lights are also a good idea, particularly for children who just can’t seem to ever put their book down and those likely to stay up late. In both cases, the gentle light produced is much less likely to interfere with their sleep patterns.
Designing your kid’s bedroom should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both of you, and the more involved you can encourage your children to be, the more likely they are to be pleased with the results. Give them a room that matches their personality, provides them with a space that really feels like their own, and lets them know that they always have somewhere safe and secure to go to if they need it.