When designing a room for your children, it’s important to create a space of their own, but also a room they can grow up in. As long as you follow a few basic rules, you’ll be able to design a comfortable, practical room that you both love.
A child’s room is one space that really has to work hard. For babies and toddlers, it might have to double as a playroom, while in later years it becomes a study or a place for entertaining friends. With babies, there’s always a temptation to create the perfect nursery, but it’s important to bear in mind that they quickly grow into small children and, from early on, develop their own ideas on how their personal space should look. Time and financial constraints may mean it’s not always possible to redecorate your child’s room through each stage of his or her life, so it’s worth taking time to choose a scheme and invest in furniture that will last and adapt, allowing the room to evolve as they grow up. Small children – not to mention teenagers – can be messy creatures, so good storage is essential to accommodate toys, games and any other clutter they may have. Whether you opt for built-in wardrobes or freestanding furniture, look at how it can be adapted as the requirement for toy storage gives way to the need for more clothes-hanging space. Another good investment as the teenage years approach – and if space allows – is a desk to provide a dedicated study area, or for girls, a piece of furniture that can double as a dressing table. Colour schemes and styles may well change over the years, but getting the basics right early on means the room can easily evolve from a nursery to become a teenager’s haven.
A nursery needs to be practical for toy storage and playing, as well as a tranquil place to sleep. A cot that adapts into a bed, and a chest of drawers that can double as a changing area are both good options, while safety considerations, such as plug covers, window safety catches, rounded corners on furniture and non-toxic paint, will help to reduce accidents that often happen to curious little ones. Blackout curtains are another valuable addition to help everyone get a bit more sleep!
Although pink is a common colour for a younger girl’s room, you can still create a gorgeous feminine bedroom with other colours. Lilac, raspberry, blue or a combination of pastel tones can work equally as well and will allow you to mix colours and patterns without creating too much of a chintzy effect. Florals, polka dots, hearts and bows are all pretty patterns for a girl’s room, but for something less ‘girly’, use a mix of colour and texture to create feminine appeal.
Boys tend to opt for greens, yellows and blues, but remember that they don’t have to be bold or bright. Choosing earthier tones can work equally successfully and, depending on the pattern, will last them longer as they get older. While themed rooms can be a great choice for younger children, stripes, checks and plain colours are ideal for older boys. It’s also a good idea to try to choose furniture with ample storage space for toys, books and games to keep it looking tidy.
Create a theme
Although there is a risk that they will grow out of it sooner rather than later, a themed room can be fun for you and your child to create together. Whether it’s dinosaurs or cars for boys, or ponies and ballerinas for girls, there are a multitude of products available to help you create your scheme. Custom-designed beds and furniture, to bedding, wallpaper, wall stickers, hand-painted murals or even full-size digital images can be used to create a thoroughly unique and personal space.
For something that will last from childhood into adulthood, look for colours and patterns that are less age specific, but when combined with a clever colour selection, will work for any age group. Opting for more muted or fresh colours will create a more grown-up feel, but it will also allow you to mix and match patterns – as well as colours – to add an individual flourish. As long as the basic choice of furniture is right, then this is one room that can easily be updated.
Bedrooms for teens need to fulfill a variety of functions – sleeping, studying, socialising and spending an inordinate amount of time in! Your teen will have their own ideas about how their room should look, but, although you may have little choice over decor, you can still ensure that the basic necessities are in place. Alongside the obvious comfy bed, good lighting, a desk, shelving and storage for books, computers and other technological paraphernalia are all essentials and, if space allows, a comfy chair or even a sofa bed.