Design bedroom with child in mind
Dear Marc; My daughter, Laurie, is turning 10 this month and she has been sharing a room with her sister, Anna, for the past few years. I have decided to move Laurie into her own room in our basement and surprise her with her new room on her birthday. I have been flipping through design magazines and looking online for design inspiration for Laurie’s new room. Is there anything I should know before I start?
— Marguerite Marguerite; Designing an adult’s room is quite different from designing a child’s room. The biggest differences are colour selection, furniture placement and the functionality of the room.
Kids’ rooms are not only used for sleeping, as most adults’ bedrooms are; they are also used for doing homework, entertaining friends and playing games. It is a child’s personal space, a haven they can call their own. The common mistake a parent can make when designing a child’s room is to think of her design style and taste and completely neglect the taste and style of the child. As parents, we are used to guiding our children and sometimes making a lot of the choices for them; therefore, it’s only natural we take the helm when designing their bedrooms.
Your child might want to use certain vibrant colours that wouldn’t traditionally be used in a bedroom, but you’d be surprised what can work. The design is all about a fun, funky, energetic space. Think of your child in a Louis XIV-designed room. She would be so scared to break something, she wouldn’t feel comfortable! Therefore, choose a design style that will suit her personality. Get inspiration from her favourite clothes, TV shows and toys. Spend time watching your child play in her bedroom to see what function the furniture would have and which pieces are required in the final space. Also, I suggest using durable products in your design, as children are energetic and ready to test the lifespan of these products.
When purchasing products for your design, choose high-traffic-built products, such as high-quality patterned carpet so if she drops something on it, you don’t have to throw it out and start all over again. Look for furniture that can stand a little more roughness and invest in neutral-coloured furniture she can keep during her teenage years.
Your daughter might love pinks and purples right now, but it doesn’t mean she will in a few years, so I would stay away from the bright pink dresser. For the walls, I would use a neutral colour and punch up your design with her favourite colour as the accent colour. This way, when the teenage years come along, she can just change a few accessories without repainting and throwing out all her furniture, because she got up one morning and decided pink wasn’t her favourite colour anymore.
Consider adding a few memorabilia that can become keepsakes in her latter years, such as funky height charts, black and white baby photos and framed childhood paintings. While your colour scheme can be simple, you can add some childlike elements in your space with fabric used in the bedding and the draperies. This will create enough of an impact in the overall design and will again be easy and cost-effective to change in a few years.
Remember, kids’ rooms are fun to design, as they allow you to reminisce about your childhood and think like a kid for those few hours in the day.
— Canwest News Service