There’s nothing more precious than a young child’s imagination. To nurture young minds, their rooms should reflect a sense of playfulness and optimism. As a mother, I also believe in creating spaces that both children and parents can enjoy. Ideally it should satisfy an adult aesthetic.
Like any design project, the process of designing a child’s room can get a bit overwhelming. Having a plan will save you time and money. Here are some design tips you can use when creating your child’s bedroom:
I like to get the child’s opinion first. Here are a few questions parents should ask their child before purchasing items or starting to decorate:
1. Describe your dream bedroom.
2. What do you like about your current bedroom?
3. What would you change about your current bedroom?
4. What are your favorite colors?
Of course, not all of their ideas may be practical or fit in the budget, but this exercise helps make the child feel involved in the process. From their answers, you will be able to pick up on colors and themes that will inspire the room’s look and feel. However, stay clear of themes that your child may outgrow quickly.
Selecting a color scheme comes easy for some, yet may be more difficult for others. The color will communicate the room’s temperature—typically blues and greens are cool hues, while reds and yellows are warm. Knowing how you want the space to feel will help narrow down the color selection.
Keep in mind a room’s color palette typically consists of three main colors—one or two tend to be more dominant than the third, which is referred to as the “accent” color. Once the main color has been determined, a color wheel can guide you in finding the perfect accent color.
If building a color scheme seems difficult, start by plucking colors from a patterned fabric in an existing pillow, bed linen, or upholstered chair. In doing so, you already have an element that harmoniously pulls the color scheme together. In the girl’s bedroom above, the upholstered chair and floor-length drapes incorporates the pink, blue, and white color scheme.
Before purchasing any bedroom furniture, measure the room to ensure the scale is right. This will come in handy when determining what size bed will function best in the space. In some instances, a room simply isn’t big enough for a full size bed. Additionally, if the room is shared by two or more children, a trundle or bunk beds may be a great space-saving option. Beds that provide storage are also terrific for smaller sized rooms. Other furniture pieces to consider for a child’s bedroom are a dresser, bedside table, bookshelf, and desk and chair. To get the most of your furniture investment, select furnishings and finishes that not only coordinate with the room’s existing color scheme, but will continue to be used as the child grows.
Dress the Bed
Fortunately, there are many beautiful bedding options available today for kids. Mixing patterns with solids helps to keep a balanced look. Some designers would disagree, but I advise not to go overboard with any one particular pattern. In the girl’s room above, designer Andrika King balances the busy patterns in the pillows with a solid coverlet and clean white walls.
Light it Up
Don’t neglect lighting as a fun decorative element. According to the American Lighting Association there are three basic types of lighting: general, task, and accent. In a child’s bedroom, two will be necessary—general and task. The general could be can lights or a pendant in the center of the room. Table lamps, floor lamps, and pendants can offer needed task lighting by a bed, desk, or reading chair.
Soften the Floor
Adding an area rug can muffle sound, ground the space visually, and add a restful quality to your child’s bedroom. Area rugs are also a great way to inject color, pattern, and texture into the space. In terms of size, I recommend not getting a rug so large it touches the baseboard around the room. This is when having the room’s measurements ahead of time will pay off.
Let your imagination and creativity run wild. A child’s room should be inspirational. Dressing up the walls with a mural, decals, or artwork is a great way to communicate the room’s theme. Designers Lisa Martensen and Jan Jones create a magical girl’s bedroom (above) with a hand-painted Chinoiserie mural. If a mural or wallpaper is not an option, you may consider removable wall decals.
As children grow, so do their toy collections. I know firsthand that keeping toys organized can become a challenge. The right furnishings and décor accessories will help. Bookcases (braced to the wall for safety), bedside tables with drawers, and beds with built-in storage are all great furniture options to help keep rooms orderly. Bins, baskets, and other containers will keep toys, art supplies, and books organized. And there are so many stylish storage options available. I am loving these colorful canvas bins by DwellStudio.
The most important step in the design process is to have fun! Decorating should be enjoyable.